Laura Morrigan's Call of the Wilde mysteries have become some of my favorites with a socially inept sleuth who is an animal whisperer with a deep love and respect for all animals. Even in Horse of a Different Killer, when her sister is in trouble, Grace Wilde finds time to rescue and search for animals. And, in turn, they rescue her.
Grace Wilde has just talked a koala bear out of a tree when she received news that her sister, Emma, has been arrested, found standing over the dead body of Tony Ortega, Emma's abusive ex-husband. Grace knows her sister wouldn't kill him, but Detective Boyle, the belligerent homicide detective seems determined to prove Emma is guilty. And, Emma won't say much to her sister. But, Tony's current girlfriend, a fashion model, is willing to talk to Grace. In fact, she hires her to find a missing horse, a Friesian named Heart, that Tony bought as a surprise gift. While looking for a missing horse, Grace also looks for answers. Who might have wanted to kill Tony? Where's the missing horse, and why is there a car following her wherever she goes?
Grace Wilde is a wonderful character, with a telepathic ability to communicate with animals. While she has a true gift in dealing with her wolf-hybrid, Moss, cats, dogs, horses, goats, and in a wonderful scene, an alligator, her ability to deal with other humans is almost the opposite. She herself is almost a gun-shy animal when dealing with strangers, showing a lack of trust because of a man who dumped her. She doesn't know how to dress or wear make-up, is awkward in social situations, the exact opposite of her sister who is an event planner. While Grace's ineptness is humorous at times, it's part of her charm.
Morrigan's series centers on Grace and her animals, but the supporting characters in this series are wonderful as well, from Emma to Kai, the detective that's interested in Grace, to Wes, the family attorney, and the mysterious Logan who works for a mafia boss. It's a strong cast of wonderful characters.
The latest mystery in the series, Horse of a Different Killer, is an intriguing story set in Florida. Laura Morrigan's characters and setting work together beautifully. But, it's that mysterious Grace Wilde that brings the story to life, with her determination to find answers, and her uncanny, fascinating way with animals. Anyone who loves animals will appreciate Grace Wilde's gift. And, anyone who loves a determined amateur sleuth should appreciate the new book in the Call of the Wilde series.
Laura Morrigan's website is www.lauramorrigan.com
Horse of a Different Killer by Laura Morrigan. Berkley Prime Crime. 2015. ISBN 9780425257210 (paperback), 294p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.