Are you ready for a great ‘zoo-dunit’? Ann Littlewood is a Portland author who writes about a fictitious zoo north of Vancouver, Washington. Have fun imagining which Oregon Zoo animals she’s talking about, and picture the various Portland landmarks that are liberally sprinkled throughout her wonderful books. Put lots of animal stuff in any book and I’ll bite, but add great behind-the-scenes info on zoo keepers and their feisty charges and I’m already looking forward to the next adventure.
Plucky heroine Iris Oakley finds her husband chomped to death by a lion, and it’s no accident. Now someone is clearly out to get her so she sets a trap with herself as bait, to catch the wily killer in
As with most mystery heroines, Iris stumbles upon dead bodies with astonishing regularity. In the sequel Did Not Survive, it’s her boss that’s the victim, found dead in the elephant exhibit. Iris is widowed and pregnant but chases after animal activists skulking in the shrubbery, doesn’t dare turn her back on some of the zoo staff, and tracks down a complex series of clues like a fearless tiger after its prey.
Iris now has a two-year-old baby in tow. But domestic bliss is interrupted when she’s sent into the field to rescue exotic tortoises and parrots in the third book, Endangered. Wouldn’t you know? Our heroine stumbles upon yet another dead body amongst the blackberries. Her sleuthing adventures lead to danger for her young son, confrontations with animal traffickers, and dates with two admirers. Unfortunately, things are not like they seem… Who can you trust?
Each novel has suspense and intrigue, fascinating characters that carry over from book to book, and details about the internal politics, animal management practices, and challenges faced by zoos and the dedicated keepers that work for them. Author Ann Littlewood worked as a zoo keeper at the Oregon Zoo for twelve years and brings the joys and challenges of this work to your living room in each and every book. Ann has been scratched, bitten, pecked, stepped on, and taloned, but like her heroine, Iris, has a strong commitment to animal conservation issues. See her website, http://zoomysteries.com, and note that a portion of her book profits goes to animal welfare organizations.