Swan for the Money is the 11th novel in the Meg Langslow series, but was a first for me.
Meg has volunteered to organize the local competitive rose show - her parent's new hobby. It's being held on the estate of Mrs. Winkleson. Now, Mrs. Winkleson hasn't ingratiated herself with the others in the group. Between her insistence that everything on her estate be black, grey or white - including the livestock - and the growing (pun intended!) suspicion that her rose propogation techniques may not be on the up and up, she is causing some headaches. Meg's grandfather and his cronies are skulking about the estate as well, looking for animal rights abuses among those colour coordinated animals. And when a body is found on the grounds of the estate......
Donna Andrews has created a wonderfully warm, cozy mystery series. No overt violence, lots of humour and and an eclectic group of characters. There is such a mix of ages in the characters that this series would appeal to a variety of ages. Some of the characters are over the top (the murder victim in this case) but they're great fun to read. It took me a couple of chapters to get up to speed with who's who, but after that it was no problem. I found the descriptions of the competitors and the goings on at the rose show quite funny, reminding me of the mockumentary Best in Show that spoofed dog shows. Meg herself is a great recurring vehicle - an amateur sleuth who can't stop herself from helping solve the mysteries that she stumbles into.
There's no great mystery as to whodunit, but the read itself is the most enjoyable part, not the solving.
Fans of any of the themed series out there, such as Diane Mott Davidson, Carolyn Haines or Joanne Fluke would enjoy this series.