Friday, August 05, 2011
Sandie's Corner - Dogs Don't Lie by Clea Simon
DOGS DON'T LIE
Poisoned Pen Press April, 2011
ISBN 978-1-59058-860-4 (hc)
ISBN 978-1-59058-862-8 (Trade pb)
Pru knew that Lily didn't kill Charles, but Lily's past trauma has made it impossible for her to communicate clearly with Pru. This was going take a whole lot of questions to a whole bunch of people before Pru would be able to prove Lily's innocence. Somehow everyone in this small town was tied to everyone else, which made one question lead to another and another. Pru had her work cut out for her. She had to save Lily from execution by proving she didn't kill Charles. Once she'd done that, Pru had to find out who really did kill Charles so she didn't end up next on the hit list herself.
DOGS DON'T LIE is a charming character-driven mystery. Everyone, human and otherwise, was woven together in the fabric of small town life, past, present and future. That doesn't mean the plot didn't twist and turn; it did. We don't uncover the secrets we learn without some resistance and Pru's persistence. First we got to know Pru and her tabby cat, Wallis, the one who had introduced Pru to her new ability. Next we learned about Charles and the computer work he was doing. We became familiar with Lily and what had traumatized her so badly. And we become acquainted with the handsome police officer, the home health aide assisting Charles' mom, the jock from her high school days, the town gossip, the owner of a long-haired cat who had problems the vet could not cure, and even Happy, the local dive's bartender. In meeting all these characters and more, we also had the pleasure of listening in on thoughts from a number of animals such as Bitsy, who referred to himself as Growler, the Bichon Pru walked every weekday; Bandit, the ferret owned by the animal control officer, who had a penchant for shiny objects; Frank, a gorgeous black Persian cat lonely for his original person and neglected by his current one; and Floyd, a small red tabby cat with his own story to tell, if Wallis can connect with the shivering kitten. Pru's talents extend beyond felines, leaving the door wide open for future tails.
Clea Simon has written two other series based around cats - the Theda Krakow mystery series published by Poisoned Pen Press, and the Dulcie Schwartz series from Severn House. Simon's mysteries revolve around cats and other animals, but they by no means exclude human beings and the world at large. Her books are strongly flavored with information from her book THE FELINE MYSTIQUE: ON THE MYSTERIOUS CONNECTION BETWEEN WOMEN AND CATS. Coincidentally Clea Simon's latest Dulcie Schwartz book, GREY ZONE, was also published in April, 2011 by Severn House. Simon has written several non-fiction books in addition to her contributions to numerous publications.
The small town of Beauville and its residents have many secrets to tell. I'll be very curious to see where Pru Marlowe heads with her special talents, along with her faithful tabby cat Wallis, in Clea Simon's cozy pet noir series.
For Lesa's Book Critiques