Andrews, Donna

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Andrews, Donna

PERSONAL:

Born in Yorktown, VA. Education: Graduated from the University of Virginia.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Reston, VA. Office—11654 Plaza America Dr., Ste. 313, Reston, VA 20190. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer. Previously worked on the communications staff of a large financial institution, Washington, DC.

MEMBER:

Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Private Investigators and Security Association.

AWARDS, HONORS:

St. Martin's/Malice Domestic Award for Best First Traditional Mystery, 1998, Agatha Award, Anthony Award, and Barry Award, all for best first novel of 1999, and Lefty Award, for funniest mystery book of 1999, all for Murder with Peacocks; Agatha Award, best novel of 2002, for You've Got Murder; Toby Bromberg Award for Excellence, Romantic Times, 2003, for Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon; Lefty Award, 2005, for We'll Always Have Parrots.

WRITINGS:

"MEG LANGSLOW" SERIES

Murder with Peacocks, Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 1999.

Murder with Puffins, Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2000.

Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos, Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2001.

Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon, Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2003.

We'll Always Have Parrots, Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Owls Well That Ends Well, Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2005.

No Nest for the Wicket, Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Minotaur (New York, NY), 2006.

The Penguin Who Knew Too Much, Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Minotaur (New York, NY), 2007.

Cockatiels at Seven, Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Minotaur (New York, NY), 2008.

Six Geese a-Slaying, Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Minotaur (New York, NY), 2008.

"TURING HOPPER" SERIES

You've Got Murder, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 2002.

Click Here for Murder, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 2003.

Access Denied, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 2004.

Delete All Suspects, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 2005.

OTHER

(Coordinating editor, with Maria Lima) Chesapeake Crimes II, Tidewater Publishers (Centreville, MD), 2006.

Contributor to books and anthologies, including The Mysterious North, edited by Dana Stabenow; Powers of Detection, edited by Dana Stabenow; Death Dines In, edited by Claudia Bishop and Dean James; House Unauthorized. Editor of Chesapeake Crimes 1. Also contributor to Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine.

SIDELIGHTS:

Donna Andrews worked for two decades in the communications department of a financial firm before the publication of her first mystery novel, Murder with Peacocks, in 1999. Since then, she has written numerous novels for both her "Meg Langslow" and "Turing Hopper" mystery series. Murder with Peacocks, which won several "first mystery" awards, introduces readers to Meg Langslow, a blacksmith and sculptor who becomes involved in a murder mystery with her father, a retired doctor. They begin investigating the mysterious death of a guest at one of the three weddings in which Meg is serving as a bridesmaid over the summer. Before long, both Meg and her dad are targeted as the killer's next victims. In a review of Murder with Peacocks in Publishers Weekly, a contributor noted that "plotting takes a back seat to hilarity and comic panache."

Murder with Puffins finds Meg and her boyfriend, a college teacher named Michael, staying at a cottage on Monhegan Island in Maine along with Meg's mom, dad, and brother. When Meg and Michael are shot at by local reclusive artist Resnick, they seek him out only to find his dead body. Meg begins to investigate, and there is no dearth of suspects as Resnick, who once painted Meg's mom in the nude, was almost universally disliked. Pam Johnson, writing in the School Library Journal, commented that "the story wends its way to a satisfying ending." A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that the mystery "has much to recommend it, and will leave readers cawing for another adventure featuring the appealing Meg and Michael." In Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos, Meg is working at a crafts booth during a reenactment of an American Revolution battle when a person is found dead in her booth, killed by one of the wrought-iron flamingos in Meg's possession. The murder victim was a swindler, and soon Meg is working her way through a long list of suspects, including personal friends. Jenny McLarin, writing in Booklist, called the mystery "a better-than-average entry in a consistently entertaining … series."

Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon finds Meg working temporarily as an office manager in her brothers software firm when she discovers the body of one of her brother's employees traveling around on the office's automated mail cart. It turns out that the employee was a blackmailer, and Meg has plenty of suspects, from a programmer who dresses as a cop to another employee who also operates a porn site. A Kirkus Reviews contributor noted that the author "is unlikely ever to find a setting better suited to her brand of frantically inventive farce than Silicon Valley East." Set at a convention for the popular television show titled Porfiria, Queen of the Jungle, which features Meg's boyfriend Michael in a leading role, Andrews's mystery We'll Always Have Parrots has Meg investigating the murder of the show's leading female villain. Jenny McLarin, writing in Booklist, called the mystery the author's "most over-the-top adventure to date."

Owls Well That Ends Well features Meg and her boyfriend Michael buying a home together in Virginia and cleaning out the junk left behind by the previous owner, who founded the group Stop Poisoning Our Owls and Raptors, or SPOOR. When they hold a garage sale, an unlikable antiques dealer is found bludgeoned to death in the nearby owl barn. A Kirkus Reviews contributor noted that the mystery is "surrounded by rampant goofiness." No Nest for the Wicket features Meg trying to solve the murder of a woman who has her head crushed during an extremely competitive game of croquet. As Meg investigates, it turns out that the woman was once romantically involved with Meg's boyfriend. A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that "the author's sense of fun and a lively, charming cast will please most cozy fans."

The Penguin Who Knew Too Much, the eighth volume in Andrews's "Meg Lanslow" mystery series, finds Meg finally set to marry her longtime boyfriend, Michael. The couple is planning their wedding in secret while preparing to move into their newly renovated house, supposedly aided by Meg's father and various other relatives. However, when Meg's father sets out to dig a hole in their basement in order to install a pool for some penguins he is currently watching, he stumbles across a corpse. The body is that of Patrick Lanahan, now-former owner of the bankrupt Caerphilly zoo—home of the foster penguins. Meg sets out to try to solve the mystery and save the zoo, motivated in part by the steady stream of animals that have been appearing at her door, dropped off by other foster "parents" who take Meg's father up on his offer to substitute for them if their duties to the animals became too much. Sue O'Brien, writing for Booklist, found the book "makes the most of humorous situations, zany relatives, and lovable characters." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly praised Andrews for "deftly balancing outrageously funny scenes with well-paced suspense." Harriet Klausner, in a review posted on the Harriet Klausner Review Site, called the book "a terrific tale that will leave the audience laughing especially with some outrageous slapstick yet the humor remains inside a strong mystery."

In her "Turing Hopper" mystery series, Andrews features an Artificial Intelligence Personality, or AIP. In You've Got Murder, AIP Turing Hopper begins investigating the disappearance of her creator, Zachary Malone. However, bound to the confines of her artificial computerized world, Turing must seek the help of Zach's friends to find him. Before long, Turing and her aids discover that Zach's disappearance has something to do with the death of Zach's colleague David Scanlan and an effort to end all AIPs by the corporation that funded their creation. A Kirkus Reviews contributor noted that the author "adroitly keeps up the suspense and even manages something of an eleventh-hour surprise." Click Here for Murder finds Turing guiding company employees Maude and Tim to discover the murderer of another employee who was living under a stolen identity. Rex Klett, writing in the Library Journal, called the mystery "a novel concept sure to keep readers guessing and amused."

In Access Denied, Turing is monitoring the credit cards of Nestor Garcia, a criminal Turing hopes to capture. When thousands of dollars are suddenly charged to the accounts, Turing is suspicious and tracks the purchases to a vacant house in Virginia where a murder takes place, and one of her helpers, Tim, becomes a prime suspect. A Publishers Weekly contributor commented that Turing "observes everything with the wry, witty musings on human-computer relations that make this ‘techno-cozy’ series a true standout." Turing and her human helpers Maude and Tim are investigating the suspicious hit-and-run death of a computer nerd in Delete All Suspects. A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that the mystery is "full of surprising twists and turns."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, May 1, 2000, Jenny McLarin, review of Murder with Puffins, p. 1610; August, 2001, Jenny McLarin, review of Revenge of the Wrought-IronFlamingos, p. 2094; February 1, 2004, Jenny McLarin, review of We'll Always Have Parrots, p. 952; December 15, 2004, Jenny McLarin, review of Access Denied, p. 710; March 15, 2005, Jenny McLarin, review of Owls Well That Ends Well, p. 1268; November 1, 2005, Jenny McLarin, review of Delete All Suspects, p. 26; July 1, 2007, Sue O'Brien, review of The Penguin Who Knew Too Much, p. 36.

Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 1998, review of Murder with Peacocks, p. 1631; August 1, 2001, review of Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos, p. 1067; February 15, 2002, review of You've Got Murder, p. 221; November 1, 2002, review of Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon, p. 1568; April 1, 2003, review of Click Here for Murder, p. 506; October 15, 2004, review of Access Denied, p. 985; February 15, 2005, review of Owls Well That Ends Well, p. 198; June 1, 2006, review of No Nest for the Wicket, p. 546.

Library Journal, January, 1999, Rex E. Klett, review of Murder with Peacocks, p. 163; September 1, 2001, Rex E. Klett, review of Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos, p. 238; May 1, 2003, Rex Klett, review of Click Here for Murder, p. 158; July 1, 2005, Ann Kim, review of Delete All Suspects, p. 58.

Publishers Weekly, November 23, 1998, review of Murder with Peacocks, p. 62; April 17, 2000, review of Murder with Puffins, p. 54; September, 2001, review of Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos, p. 58; March 18, 2002, review of You've Got Murder, p. 80; January 20, 2003, review of Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon, p. 60; April 21, 2003, review of Click Here for Murder, p. 42; January 26, 2004, "February Publications," includes review of We'll Always Have Parrots, p. 235; November 29, 2004, review of Access Denied, p. 26; September 26, 2005, review of Delete All Suspects, p. 66; June 19, 2006, review of No Nest for the Wicket, p. 44; June 4, 2007, review of The Penguin Who Knew Too Much, p. 32.

School Library Journal, October, 2000, Pam Johnson, review of Murder with Puffins, p. 194.

ONLINE

Books ‘n’ Bytes,http://www.booksnbytes.com/ (September 11, 2004), Tuggy Curan, review of Murder with Peacocks, Harriet Klausner, reviews of Murder with Puffins, Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos, You've Got Murder, and Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon.

Donna Andrews Home Page,http://www.donnaandrews.com (January 12, 2007).

Fantastic Fiction,http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/ (January 12, 2007), information on author's works.

Harriet Klausner Review Site,http://harrietklausner.wwwi.com/ (March 9, 2008), review of The Penguin Who Knew Too Much.

Lady M's Mystery International,http://www.mysteryinternational.com/ (September 11, 2004), Diane Klechefski, review of Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos.

Murder Express,http://www.murderexpress.net/ (January 12, 2007), Lelia Taylor, review of Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon.

Myshelf.com,http://www.myshelf.com/ (September 11, 2004), Susan McBride, review of Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos.

Mystery Reader,http://www.themysteryreader.com/ (September 11, 2004), Monica Pope, reviews of Murder with Peacocks and Murder with Puffins.

Romantic Times Book Club,http://www.romantictimes.com/ (September 11, 2004), Toby Bromberg, reviews of Murder with Peacocks, Murder with Puffins, Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos, and You've Got Murder; Tara Gelsomino, review of Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon; and Jo Peters, reviews of Click Here for Murder and We'll Always Have Parrots.

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