Sharing Books and Authors, with an emphasis on Mysteries.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Sunday Salon- Did Not Survive by Ann Littlewood
Ann Littlewood follows up her dark, educational mystery, Night Kill, with another fascinating glimpse in to the world of zoos. Since Littlewood worked as a zookeeper for twelve years, she knows the animals, the politics and intrigue, and the mysteries surrounding zoos and the animals. Her latest mystery, Did Not Survive, captures all those elements in an absorbing story.
Zookeeper Iris Oakley found her husband's body in the lion enclosure at the Finley Memorial Zoo in Vancouver, Washington. Six months later, she's working in birds because of her pregnancy, and she's on early morning duty when she hears an uproar in the elephant enclosure. When she finds her boss lying in the enclosure, being mauled by Damrey, one of the elephants, she has no experience to try to save him. Although she was able to move the elephants, she's sure Damrey tried to kill the foreman.
With the zoo in an uproar over the attack, and people out front picketing against elephants in zoos, Iris' friends turn to her to find out what's happening. But, Iris has her own priorities, "Staying healthy, doing my job, and getting ready to deal with a baby." However, events continue to spiral out of control, as zookeepers turn on each other, and Iris doesn't know who to trust. It might not be a member of the elephant species that is the real killer. The human species might be more deadly to Iris.
Once again, Ann Littlewood has placed Iris Oakley in jeopardy in an enthralling story that includes controversy over elephants, zoos, and endangered species, as well as the trafficking in animals. And, I don't think Iris has anything to worry about with her mothering skills. As the go-to person for all of her friends, she'll have that mothering bit down pat. It's going to be interesting to see how capable she is at juggling her zoo job and motherhood. I'm sure Ann Littlewood has plans for her in the follow-up to Did Not Survive. Readers will be waiting.