You know how sometimes you love a book too much to review it well? This book is like that for me. I unabashedly love it, and I’ve reread it twice. It’s a comfort read that I rely on to make me smile.
Title: We’ll Always Have Parrots
Author: Donna Andrews
Series: Meg Langslow Mysteries
Sleuth: Meg Langslow, blacksmith
Children: Meg’s ten-year-old nephew, Eric. Her mother and father are also very much a presence.
Setting: The fandom con for (fictitious) television show Porfiria, Queen of the Jungle. held in a hotel in Northern Virginia. Meg’s boyfriend Michael acts on the show, and she’s accompanied him to the conference and is selling swords in the dealers’ room.
Animal: Meg’s parents have brought along a dog, Spike. More importantly, the Friends of Amblyopia (that’s the fan club for the show) have tried to re-create the jungle setting of the show by bringing parrots and monkeys to the hotel, all of which have escaped their cages are are hanging out at roof level.
It’s the insanity of low-budget cult television, and the fandoms that support it, that really makes this book. The mystery is satisfying, and nicely grounded in the supporting characters’ past, but it’s the atmosphere that keeps me rereading this. I will never not find it funny when someone discovers slashfic for the first time; I am incapable of reading about filksingers without being charmed; and I would really, really be into a show where all the places and characters have been named out of a medical dictionary.