How the Finch Stole Christmas!

How the Finch Stole Christmas!

Meg's husband has decided to escalate his one-man show of Dickens' A Christmas Carol into a full-scale production with a large cast including their sons Jamie and Josh as Tiny Tim and young Scrooge and Meg helping as stage manager.The show must go on, even if the famous―though slightly over-the-hill―actor who's come to town to play the starring role of Scrooge has brought...

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Title:How the Finch Stole Christmas!
Author:Donna Andrews
Rating:
Edition Language:English

How the Finch Stole Christmas! Reviews

  • Dawn Michelle

    OH how I love these books. Totally and completely love them. And all the wacky characters that come with them.

    This time around, Michael [Meg's husband] is putting on The Christmas Carol as a whole, instead of as a one-man play as he has always done. And he has managed to persuade a "has-been" actor to play the part of Scrooge. But that man has a drinking problem and things are not going well. Especially when they find out that someone has been supplying him liquor after everyone had been warne

    OH how I love these books. Totally and completely love them. And all the wacky characters that come with them.

    This time around, Michael [Meg's husband] is putting on The Christmas Carol as a whole, instead of as a one-man play as he has always done. And he has managed to persuade a "has-been" actor to play the part of Scrooge. But that man has a drinking problem and things are not going well. Especially when they find out that someone has been supplying him liquor after everyone had been warned against that very thing. Meg follows him one night and doesn't find booze, but what she does find is much worse and much more dangerous. And chaos ensues, as only it can in Caerphilly.

    And the killer is a complete and utter surprise - that is the BEST part of a mystery book.

    I loved this book - every second of it. I highly recommend this series to anyone!

  • Jill

    Meg Langslow is back again. Despite just chasing down errant seagulls just a few months ago (Gone Gull), she's back this Christmas season to celebrate How the Finch Stole Christmas! And to share in the joy of the holiday season, she has brought her whole crazy family to the party, along with special guests. 

    For this year's Christmas in Caerphilly Festival, Michael decided to change his one-man A Christmas Carol into a full cast, and the town put up the money to hire a well-known actor for the ro

    Meg Langslow is back again. Despite just chasing down errant seagulls just a few months ago (Gone Gull), she's back this Christmas season to celebrate How the Finch Stole Christmas! And to share in the joy of the holiday season, she has brought her whole crazy family to the party, along with special guests. 

    For this year's Christmas in Caerphilly Festival, Michael decided to change his one-man A Christmas Carol into a full cast, and the town put up the money to hire a well-known actor for the role of Scrooge. Malcolm Haver was quite dashing in his time (which was more than a couple of years ago), but he got the contract to join the cast, thanks to a friend on the college board. And he is enough of a draw for this production, so director Michael decided to make the best of it. 

    Sadly, professional actor Haver did not decide to make the best of it. His performance is being badly affected by the alcohol he's supposed to be staying away from, and Meg is determined to hunt down whoever his supplier is. 

    Also on her to-do list in her notebook-that-tells-her-when-to-breathe is to keep her and Michael's two sons moving back and forth to school and rehearsals for both A Christmas Carol and the church pageant, find a minder to separate Malcolm Haver from any kind of liquor, try to keep her father from talking about the corpse of a hunter that was found in a nearby river in public and especially at family dinners, and (of course) to stop her grandfather from forcing finches onto every unsuspecting potential foster bird parent. He currently has more finches than he can keep in his zoo and insists that his friend at the Fish and Wildlife Service are about to rescue even more of the beautiful birds from an animal smuggling operation. Oh, and Reverend Robin has asked her to figure out what "Weaseltide" is, so she'll know if it's okay to celebrate it at the church. 

    So basically for Meg, it's just another day in Caerphilly. 

    Join Donna Andrews in celebrating this 22nd book in the Meg Langslow series of witty bird mysteries. There is no family as adorable and insane as Meg's, and there is no time like the holidays to jump into the middle of the craziness and make yourself a part of it all. Andrews' writing is smart and compelling, and you'll feel just at home in her 22nd book as you do in her first. Jump in anywhere in the series, but make sure to celebrate this holiday season with Meg, Michael, their sons, her parents, brothers, sisters, cousins, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends as well as a literal zoo of animals. 

    Do I really have to say how much I love this book, and really every book in this series? Meg Langslow is who I want to be when I grow up, and I would read any and every book that Donna Andrews could write about her (or about anyone else). How the Finch Stole Christmas! is a must-read this holiday season, and the perfect reread for Christmases to come!

    Galleys for How the Finch Stole Christmas! were provided by St. Martin's Press through NetGalley.com, with many thanks. 

  • FangirlNation

    Donna Andrews comes back strong with How the Finch Stole Christmas!, the 22nd book in Andrews’s Meg Langslow series. In the previous Christmas books in this series, we have seen Michael, Meg’s theater professor husband, perform a dramatic recitation of A Christmas Carol to raise money for the local book bank. This year, he has expanded the performance into a complete cast production that will raise money for many of the programs run by the city of Caerphilly, VA throughout the year. To create an

    Donna Andrews comes back strong with How the Finch Stole Christmas!, the 22nd book in Andrews’s Meg Langslow series. In the previous Christmas books in this series, we have seen Michael, Meg’s theater professor husband, perform a dramatic recitation of A Christmas Carol to raise money for the local book bank. This year, he has expanded the performance into a complete cast production that will raise money for many of the programs run by the city of Caerphilly, VA throughout the year. To create an even bigger draw than having Michael star as Scrooge, the city has hired a former star who hasn’t had a successful acting job in ages due to his alcoholism. Michael soon gets really upset at the town because they let Haver, the actor, insert language into his contract that makes it virtually impossible to fire Haver, despite the fact that he misses rehearsals, hasn’t learned his lines, and shows up to what rehearsals he does deem worthy of attending quite drunk.

    Read the rest of this review and other fun, geeky articles at

  • Clare O'Beara

    I enjoy the mystery books about blacksmith Meg Langslow and her extended family in Caerphilly. Here the folks are doing something quite usual for a change; putting on a Christmas production of A Christmas Carol. In trying to keep the visiting big-name actor away from drink, Meg discovers an out-of-town pet hoarder and puppy mill, ready to sell pets for Christmas. A hiker has been found dead early in the tale, and when a second death occurs it starts looking like murder.

    The finches of the title

    I enjoy the mystery books about blacksmith Meg Langslow and her extended family in Caerphilly. Here the folks are doing something quite usual for a change; putting on a Christmas production of A Christmas Carol. In trying to keep the visiting big-name actor away from drink, Meg discovers an out-of-town pet hoarder and puppy mill, ready to sell pets for Christmas. A hiker has been found dead early in the tale, and when a second death occurs it starts looking like murder.

    The finches of the title are token calling birds to go with the French hens and partridge in the town hall decor. Only, there are more finches every day.... This isn't a big matter so don't worry about them 'stealing Christmas'.

    If you enjoy the series you'll love this addition but if you have not tried any, you may as well start here as anywhere, it would be a good introduction. Meg has previously starred in other Christmas mysteries and this is the 22nd book in the series.

    I read an ARC from Net Galley. This is an unbiased review.

  • Nicole

    I picked up How the Finch Stole Christmas! (Meg Langslow #22) by Donna Andrews as a lark - it looked like a cute cozy mystery to listen to during the first week of December. I was not disappointed! The characters and story line were engaging, and I really enjoyed meeting the residents of the town of Caerphilly while they readied the town for their production of A Christmas Carol. A 5-star read (well, listen!) for me, and I will most certainly look for the other Meg Langslow books. Of note: I rar

    I picked up How the Finch Stole Christmas! (Meg Langslow #22) by Donna Andrews as a lark - it looked like a cute cozy mystery to listen to during the first week of December. I was not disappointed! The characters and story line were engaging, and I really enjoyed meeting the residents of the town of Caerphilly while they readied the town for their production of A Christmas Carol. A 5-star read (well, listen!) for me, and I will most certainly look for the other Meg Langslow books. Of note: I rarely read a series out of sequence, but I didn't feel at all lost starting this one with the 22nd installment. Highly recommended! :-)

  • Brenda

    Love this light-hearted series and this is a great Christmas romp in Caerphilly. There were a few glaring editing errors that sort of surprised me. In one place it said himself instead of myself which made absolutely no sense at all. I am wondering if these types of errors are more prevalent in ebooks? I am also wondering just how old Spike the dog is now since he was around well before Meg’s twins who are now ten year olds.

  • Juli

    Meg Langslow's husband, Michael is directing the annual charity benefit production of A Christmas Carol. Instead of Michael's usual one man show, this time they have hired a big-name actor to star in the production, but Malcolm Haver has been a problem from day one. He's a raging alcoholic, chronically late, and just a complete pain. Both Meg and Michael hope that having Haver in the cast will boost ticket sales, if his out of control drinking doesn't wreck the entire production. Haver's contrac

    Meg Langslow's husband, Michael is directing the annual charity benefit production of A Christmas Carol. Instead of Michael's usual one man show, this time they have hired a big-name actor to star in the production, but Malcolm Haver has been a problem from day one. He's a raging alcoholic, chronically late, and just a complete pain. Both Meg and Michael hope that having Haver in the cast will boost ticket sales, if his out of control drinking doesn't wreck the entire production. Haver's contract prevents him from being fired so Meg and her extended family struggle to keep him sober enough to perform. This means following him around town and hiring a "minder'' to be sure nobody sells or gives him alcohol. Add in the annual Christmas pageant at church, the discovery of an animal smuggling ring, and her grandfather pestering everyone to foster finches seized from the smugglers, and the holiday season is keeping Meg extremely busy. When a dead body is discovered in the snow and their cantankerous star actor is a murder suspect, the holiday season gets even less jolly. Can Meg and her rag tag group of friends and family make sure the Christmas productions go off without a hitch, solve the murder and break the ring of animal smugglers before the holiday season becomes a complete disaster?

    This is the first book by Donna Andrews that I've read. It's #22 in the Meg Langslow series, but I was able to jump in and enjoy the story without having read any of the previous books. I could tell that I wasn't up to snuff with some of the background or personalities of the characters from previous stories, but I was still able to very much enjoy this Christmas-y cozy mystery. My favorite character by far is Meg's grandfather. He is a side character and not as developed as some of the other more main players....but his personality is just delightful. His attempts to sneak multitudes of finches into the 12 Days of Christmas display at the theater and his habit of discussing inappropriate topics (like murdered hunters and how to fingerprint dead bodies bloated by laying in water for days) at the dinner table just made him the shining star of this book, in my opinion. There wasn't a single character I didn't like (well, except maybe for the horrific Malcolm Haver), and I liked the nice mix of mystery and humor. The plot moved along at a nice pace, and the mystery definitely had a few unexpected twists and turns. All in all, a very enjoyable cozy mystery!

    I liked the fact that this book wasn't in a hurry to get to the murder. There was a nice bit of story before the body popped up. The side mystery of the animal smugglers didn't over-power the murder mystery portion of the plot.....the two intertwined to make a wonderfully complex investigation. The story moves along at a nice pace, and had several surprises! Nicely done!

    This is a fun book to read. It's a nice mix of holiday theme, humor, fun characters and mystery. I will definitely be going back to read the earlier books in this series. I think this will be a cozy series that I will enjoy!

    For more information on the author and her books, check out her website:

    **I voluntarily read an advanced readers copy of this book from St Martins Press via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

  • Kelly

    **I voluntarily read this ARC**

    My feelings on this are slightly complicated. Overall, I really enjoyed it. My only issue is that parts of the story had a disconnected feeling to them. Other than that, it was great.

  • Karen

    September 12th I finished Donna Andrews upcoming holiday themed Meg Langslow Mystery, How the Finch Stole Christmas. This one is out October 24th and published by Minotaur Books. I love the cover, and this is the first in series I have ever read. Even though I had not read the series, I found this was easy to follow and I was pleased that it was not at all predictable. Having read similar themed Christmas cozies, I was sure I had it all figured out but I was really thrilled that Donna did not ta

    September 12th I finished Donna Andrews upcoming holiday themed Meg Langslow Mystery, How the Finch Stole Christmas. This one is out October 24th and published by Minotaur Books. I love the cover, and this is the first in series I have ever read. Even though I had not read the series, I found this was easy to follow and I was pleased that it was not at all predictable. Having read similar themed Christmas cozies, I was sure I had it all figured out but I was really thrilled that Donna did not take the easy way out with this mystery! I enjoyed how the title really came into play into the mystery itself . The story was well done and thought out, with strong characters and purpose. I really enjoyed the storyline and I am happy I found a series I can continue to enjoy!

  • Lisa Ks Book Review

    This entire series by author Donna Andrews is so fun. She knows who to write a great mystery that keeps the reader's attention, and make us laugh while doing so. Just when I think she can't come up with another original story for this series, she puts out a book like HOW THE FINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, and I know I'm going to stay hooked, and looking forward to the next!

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