Undercover Sweepstakes with Some Like it Hawk by Donna Andrews!

Some Like it Hawk by Donna AndrewsNote from the hijackers HQ:

Art director David Rotstein has been sharing the ideas and processes behind book cover design on a Tumblr site—check out his previous posts on Gone Missing by Linda Castillo and The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny for examples. Gorgeous, right? No jury of other crime fans would ever convict us for hijacking it. And from now on, we’ll be hosting great backstage scoop in our own Going Undercover feature.

Our first installment includes the hilarious new Meg Langslow cozy mystery Some Like it Hawk by Donna Andrews. And, to really launch this properly, we’re adding a sweepstakes below for registered commenters to enter for a chance to win one of 10 copies of the book!

So, without further ado, we pass it over to David…be gentle with him, we just removed the blindfold and handcuffs.

Hot Chicks and Murder—

Well okay—they are actually hawks (not chicks) in Donna Andrews’s new Meg Langslow mystery, Some Like it Hawk.

I absolutely loved Donna’s title, which plays off of the beloved Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, and Marilyn Monroe film Some Like it Hot.

For the cover I just had to try covers that referenced the movie. The very-talented Maggie Parr does these illustrations for me, and she came up with the below sketch, which I adore.

Some Like it Hawk conceptual drawings by Maggie Parr

Unfortunately the sketch strays a little too far from the book’s plot, and ultimately was perhaps a little too complicated as well. So Maggie got to work and submitted these very funny revisions.

Some Like it Hawk conceptual drawings by Maggie Parr

We all loved the old-fashioned electric fan sketch. Trouper that she is, Maggie further refined the sketch with an additional two versions.

Some Like it Hawk conceptual drawings by Maggie Parr

The bird digging his claws in was so funny—but the claws felt too sharp or off-putting somehow. We did other versions with the type layout slightly altered, as well as a variety of background colors before ultimately coming to our final cover.

Some Like it Hawk by Donna Andrews

Donna’s books are such great fun, and the covers capture that aspect of the writing and always make me smile. How about you?

Sorry, the sweepstakes has ended. Be sure and check out our sweepstakes page for all our current contests!

To enter for a chance to win one of ten copies of Donna Andrews’s Some Like it Hawk, make sure you’re a registered member of the site, and then simply leave a comment below.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 or older. To enter, fill out entry at https://www.criminalelement.com/blogs/2012/07/going-undercover-book-cover-design-donna-andrews-some-like-it-hawk-meg-langslow-cozy-mystery-sweepstakes-david-rotstein beginning at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) July 16, 2012. Sweepstakes ends at 11:59 a.m. ET on July 23, 2012 (the “Promotion Period”). Void outside of the 50 US and DC and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules at https://www.criminalelement.com/page/official-rules-some-like-it-hawk-comment-sweepstakes. Sponsor: Macmillan, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010

TIP: Since only comments from registered users will be tabulated, if your user name appears in red above your comment—STOP—go log in, then try commenting again. If your user name appears in black above your comment, You’re In!


David Rotstein is the Art Director of Minotaur Books, and hopes you have as much fun viewing these entries as he had creating these covers.



  1. Dale Gear

    Hawk stuff.

  2. Allison Campbell

    I love the Meg Langslow mysteries! The fan image is hysterical.

  3. Donna Andrews

    David, I’m delighted that you are sharing this story. When I saw the first draft of the cover, I remember that my reaction was “It’s gorgeous! I love it! Wait–why are the hawks in drag?” Shows how deeply immersed I was in Deadline City that I didn’t get it at first glance. And I was impressed that you and Maggie came up with another equally gorgeous idea. Love the final!

  4. Tina Schwab

    I absolutely love this series. I thought of the movie the second I saw the new title. Can’t wait to dive in!

  5. Sharon Shirley

    I love the final cover, but the one of the hawk sweating under a hand held fan is very fun and intriguing to me. I can’t wait to read this update of Meg’s crazy life!

  6. Karen O'Donnell

    Love the cover! Donna’s having a reading later this week in DC.

  7. Sue Carroll

    I’m looking forward to time with Meg and the twins again. The cover is great. I also liked the hawk with the hand held fan.

  8. Teresa Wilder

    This was really interesting. I often wish I knew the background story on cover art on books I read.

  9. Joanne Mielczarski

    This is definitely a different twist on a mystery – can’t wait to read it!

  10. Sheila McMahan

    Looking forward to reading it!

  11. jason fiske

    I love the patriotic ribbons coming from the fan. Adds to the excitement of the book.

  12. Donna Andrews

    Off2europe, it’s a Fourth of July mystery–hence the patriotic ribbons!

  13. Cindy Scheffler

    Looks like a great read can’t wait

  14. Karen Durban

    I can’t wait! I love your books and this looks like a great way to spend a weekend!

  15. Ethel Jarrett

    I can’t wait not only do I love your books but I have also develope an interest in birds and bird watching. Thanks for both

  16. Louise Meyer

    Interesting story about how the cover came to be created. I love the reference to Some Like It Hot! I can’t wait to read this book. I have enjoyed all the titles in this series. Thank you for such great reading!

  17. Priscilla Harszy

    I started reading your books because of the titles; I then found the books themselves to be just as good. I try to get the books as soon as they are released. Can’t wait for Bouchercon.

  18. Cynthia Wong

    a definite add to my WishList!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!!

  19. jj york

    Looking forward to it. Have read them all!

  20. Robin Weatherington

    What a great series!

  21. Carol Wong

    I love, love, love cozies and I love birds too. I have two cockatiels, Squeaky and Speckles. I am trying to get all of Donna Andrews’s books eventually.
    Have my fingers crossed and hoping so much!

  22. Terry Parrish

    Really interesting how the process goes for designing a book cover. If only I could draw!

  23. Mason Canyon

    This is a terrific series by a wonderful author and the covers always make me laugh.

    Thoughts in Progress

  24. Anna Mills

    If it’s funny AND a mystery?? Exactly what I need right now!

  25. Steven Wilber

    Sounds interesting…

  26. Chrystina Williams

    Cool! Looks good 🙂

  27. Linda Rodriguez

    Love the cover! I can’t wait for the book.

  28. Karen Barnett

    What a hoot the movie was! Love the cover and how it came about. Book now on wish list!

  29. Debbie

    I love seeing the drawings of how the cover design came about. Looks like a great read! Good luck with your new release.

  30. Phoenix

    Thanks for the inside story of the cover. Great pictures!

  31. Patricia

    I want a poster of that hawk on my wall.

  32. Anne Muller

    I like the cover which imitates Some Like It Hot, but I wonder how many people these days would actual get it. Looking forward to Meg and family’s lastest adventure.

  33. Andrew Kuligowski

    It was nice to read some of the background story – we’ve all heard that you can’t judge a book by its cover, BUT spend 5 minutes in a “brick and mortar” bookstore and you’ll see that it happens all the time!

  34. Wezzie

    [color=rgb(0, 128, 128)]LOVE a new cozy series! Thanks for offering a chance to win![/color]

  35. Kathleen E. Rourke

    The final cover is very cute but I personally prefer the one with the hand fan. The hawk looks less silly in that one. But all the covers for these books have been delightful, nicely matching the interesting book titles. Thank you for showing the artistic process behind the covers. I am really looking foward to reading this book, but then I do with all of Donna Andrews’s books. None have disappointed. All are hilarious and very well written, with good character development and intriguing plots.

  36. Kathy in OR

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the drawings. Thanks for the background on the cover.
    Would love a copy too!

  37. Rosemary Simm

    What a fun play on words for the title. It certainly caught my attention. I have not read any of your books, but plan to change that quickly.
    Wonderful cover !

  38. Diana Meyer

    Cannot wait to read it!

  39. CarolT

    Love this series and what a great cover(story)!

  40. Karen Arrowood

    Love the play on words, and looking forward to reading this.

  41. Peter W. Horton Jr.

    I like hawks!

  42. John Kilgallon

    Love the series and love all the covers. Liked seeing the evolution of this one….

  43. Pam Howell

    PICK ME!!! PICK ME!!!!

  44. Harvee Lau

    I’ve enjoyed your mysteries and would love to win this one. I like the humor in your books!

  45. Marissa Culp

    I just love these Meg Lanslow mysteries! And each of the covers (and the play-on-word titles) have been fun as well!

  46. Laura McDonald

    I have always loved cozy mysteries, somehow they make escaping reality a lot easier! This one sounds great and I appreciate the background on the cover art.

  47. mysandycat

    one of my favorite series! i had wondered if they were gonna continue with the theme of the buildings being repossessed! Can’t wait to read it!

  48. Buttersweet

    Love the hawk cover. Am looking forward to reading the book

  49. Janet Stewart

    Have never read Donna Andrews but would love to!

  50. Marjorie Manharth

    Oh, I hope the book is as good as the cover. Would love to find out!

  51. Victoria Swadley

    I love the information behind book cover designs. I’ve always wondered how that works and to see the connection between the novel’s plot and the cover art doubles the reading pleasure!

  52. Ginny Tata-Phillips

    Look forward to reading this. Wining a copy would be a big bonus and I promist to Read It Forward and share when I finish!

  53. Brenda Hill

    I love the cover and it would really catch my eye if I were looking at books to buy. Sounds like a great book.

  54. Joyce Mitchell

    I love Donna Andrews’ series starring Meg Langslow. Fun book cover! Thanks for the chance to win.

  55. Patricia Douglas

    The title and the cover are enough for me to want to read this book. Keeping my fingers crossed!

  56. Leslie

    The sketches made me take a second look. It does sound like a fun read.

  57. Lisa Garrett

    My daughter loves this series. I would like to start it on her reccomendation.

  58. Lois Harry

    I really enjoyed the story of how the cover came about. Terrific artwork and David described the process very entertainingly. Thanks for your generosity for this great series. I have been with this series from the beginning.

  59. Desmond Warzel

    Count me in, please!

  60. Cindi Hoppes

    I enjoy your style of writing immensely! I read the books in this
    series and pass them on to my best friend…
    Many thanks, Cindi

  61. Sue Farrell

    I love the cover and I’m anxious to read the book.

  62. Kenneth Konczsl

    Sounds interesting

  63. Librarian

    sounds like great fun!

  64. L L

    Nice pictures.

  65. Bea C

    I always enjoy hearing about how covers come about. I really like the movie “Some Like It Hot”; I wish the original cover could have been used but I do like this one too. I discovered this series via the library and enjoy it very much.

  66. Diane herr

    Love the birdy puns in all the titles. My husband is the birdwatcher and
    the Punny guy, enjoys the titles too! Keep up the great work and titles!

  67. Max


  68. Max Lakshtanov


  69. Johanna

    These books crack me up. I have them in my classroom library and the kids love them.

  70. Saundra K. Warren

    interesting article

  71. Mildred Mayo

    Although you don’t judge a book by it’s cover many are sold by it. I like her choice.

  72. Merle Carrus

    love her books and this cover is really cute!

  73. Allison Moyer

    Looks like great fun!

  74. Debbie Miller

    Would love to add this author to my list of favorites….
    I liked the additional info on the cover…little booklovers tidbits!

  75. Phyllis Sinclair

    Look forward to an author new to me.

  76. Marsha Kamish

    I love humor with my murders. This one seems right up my alley!

  77. Michelle Fidler

    I’ve read quite a few of the Meg Langslow mysteries. They are funny and great cozies and I’ve known about them since there were only one or two in the series. The covers are great, too, with all the birds.

  78. Terrie Farley Moran

    Donna Andrews is very funny!

  79. Janet Best

    Sounds like a great book! Looking forward to reading it!

  80. Brenda Tucker

    The hawk sounds very interesting – I can’t wait to read it.

  81. Joan Boose

    Is anyone else having a hot flash looking at the cover?

  82. Chuck Aeschbacher Jr

    Sounds like a great book, love the artwork.

  83. Cheryl U.

    This looks like great fun!

  84. Darlene Slocum

    I’ve enjoyed reading all of Donna’s books and that nutty family gives me many chuckles.

  85. David Rotstein

    Thank you all so much for all of this feedback and support. It’s been so great to hear everyone’s thoughts and opinions! Even though the nature of my work entails a great deal of collaboration, being so in-touch with the fans and the community is something new to me—and it’s a delight. Thank you again. I look forward to hearing from all of you in the future.

  86. Melissa Keith

    Love the cover! Love the title! Very clever. I really enjoy Donna’s books and after I read them I give them to my mom and sister. My mom’s 80th birthday is coming up. I’d love to win a copy! Thanks!

  87. Linda

    Sounds like a awesome book….hope to win a paperback copy……

  88. Susan Wilkinson

    Always enjoy the mysteries, always interested to see how the cover is going to turn out. Really like the hawk’s expression as well as the fan.

  89. Mary L Allen

    Now that I find myself on this coast, I have been re-reading and enjoying again your books. Can’t wait for this one too!
    Mary Allen

  90. Judith Vassie

    Donna Andrews books have become my best go to mysteries. I seem to relate to many of them. The time when the lawn tractor went out of control and over the clift had me laughting so hard, do to the fact the my little 12 year old niece drove her parents lawn tractor into their pond. My niece bailed off the tractor before it hit the water. But the tractor kept moving all the way to the deepest part of the pond. My brother had to put on his scuba driving gear and attach a rope tow to his truck to pull it out.
    The whole time this was happening my niece’s 85 year old Aunt was watching. She said it was hard not to say anything. So you can see why these books relate to my life.

  91. Cheryl Rydberg

    Adorable. Really enjoy this series.

  92. Eileen O'Keefe

    I love the face on the hawk; a little befuddled (just like Meg at times). Seeing the other potential covers was fun.

  93. Laura McLendon

    Not familiar with this author or this series, looking forward to the chance of introduction via winning here!!

  94. teresa sopher

    love this cover…..but really liked the purple hat

  95. Michelle St. James

    I’m a big fan of Ms. Andrews’ books and the first time I read one, it really was because the cover caught my eye. They are so vivid and fun–just like the stories themselves!

    My favorite version of the cover was the one with the claws dug in–too funny.

  96. Beth Talmage

    I haven’t read any books by Ms. Andrews yet, but I’d like to. Thanks for the chance to win one.

  97. Victoria Muncy

    The cover alone would entice me to read this book. That plus needing a good chuckle is all the encouragement I need.

  98. Deb Carroll

    I love this series and can’t wait for this one! I love the cover and the title!

  99. Ted Guglielmo

    Want very much:)

  100. Emily Ginder

    I love Donna Andrews series! I was originally enticed to read this series by laughing at the title of her books. This time is no exception. Can’t wait to read the new book.
    Enjoyed reading about the evolution of the cover.

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