I can give Laura Morrigan's character, Grace Wilde, a pass I don't normally give to amateur sleuths. The animal behaviorist takes risks and goes out on her own, behavior I normally refer to as "Too Stupid to Live". However, Grace herself comes across as an injured animal, unused to trusting others. A Tiger's Tale is worth reading for the fascinating character of Grace. The mystery is an added bonus.
When Grace rushes to rescue a friend, a vet that has been treed by a Siberian tiger, she knows something caused Boris' behavior to change. The gentle giant is upset, and when Grace calms him enough to understand him, she learns he witnessed the kidnapping of a teenage girl, one of the attendants at Happy Asses Donkey and Big Cat Rescue. However, the girl's parents won't report her missing because she's been known to run away. Crime scene investigator Kai Duncan believes her because he's one of the small number of people Grace has trusted with her secret. She's telepathic, and can communicate with animals. But, how can she call the police and tell them a tiger told her a girl named Brooke was kidnapped?
Grace works on her own trying to learn why Brooke disappeared. She knows how wrong it appears, because Kai even becomes the target of an internal investigation after he helps her. And, it isn't easy. "So far, I'd slogged through the muddy woods, streaked through the mall in pursuit of a juvenile delinquent, struck a deal with the mob, staked out a misogynist, and questioned a cougar, a tiger, a tabby cat, and a donkey." And, it's a lot easier for Grace to question those animals than the people involved in the case.
Grace Wilde is an intriguing character, in tune with animals' emotions and behavior. Her sister, Emma, has to coax her to do anything resembling normal behavior; date, shop, attend a party. And, she doesn't know how to conduct conversations and interviews with humans as she does with animals. She makes progress in slow increments. But, in A Tiger's Tale, she's forced to trust a couple more people, revealing her gifts. The contrast between Grace and her sister, an event planner, is amazing. However, Grace and Emma are as loyal to each other as animals are.
Looking for an amateur sleuth that isn't spending time cooking or baking? Grace Wilde is fascinating in Morrigan's A Tiger's Tale.
Laura Morrigan's website is www.lauramorrigan.com
A Tiger's Tale by Laura Morrigan. Berkley Prime Crime. 2014. ISBN 9780425257203 (paperback), 328p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.