Sunday, November 7, 2010

'Did Not Survive', Ann Littlewood; July 2010; Poisoned Pen Press

Near Vancouver, Washington is Finley Memorial Zoo, a small zoo that has two Asian elephant cows, Damrey and Nakri. Iris Oakley is a keeper in the bird section of the zoo, is pregnant and still recovering from her husband's murder. But early that morning she hears a rukus in the elephant barn and decided to investigate and with no elephant experience sees that she has to help her boss, Kevin Wallace from being mauled by Damrey. Damrey has never acted in any aggressive manner and has no motive, but Iris finds that there are others with motives to kill the foreman. Confused and dazed coworkers appoint Iris to find out what's going on. Soon Iris learns of feuds, secrets and adding to all the confusion, animal rights activists are picketing the zoo. Animals are disappearing; what about the improved exhibit that isn't even under construction as planned? Iris plunges in to solve the many mysteries surrounding the zoo.

Ann Littlewood's 'Did Not Survive' offers the reader an inside look at the day to day running of a zoo and the personalities of the employees a well as the animals. I found all this very informative and written with a well-crafted plot that keeps the reader's interest. Littlewood has given each character distinct personalities and is adept at keeping the mystery evolving while still presenting her wealth of knowledge about the zoo world, which I found fascinating. Animal lovers or not,this is a real eye opener that I thoroughly enjoyed.

FTC: Full Disclosure: Book provided by author

1 comment:

  1. I loved hearing Ann talk about her series at a Powells in Oregon! She is a talented writer with an unusual conceit...

    Nice review!