Books by Skye Kathleen Moody

MEDUSA by Skye Kathleen Moody
Released: Aug. 4, 2003

"Everything but the kitchen sink—an abstemious departure for Moody, who usually throws that in too."
Just when you thought it was safe to go in the water, a jellyfish the size of Brooklyn appears. Read full book review >
K FALLS by Skye Kathleen Moody
Released: July 16, 2001

"A fish-counter has an easier job than the poor reader, who must sort out an overabundance of fishy characters, politics, and (bad) poetry."
Fleeing Kettle Falls, Washington, for Astoria, Oregon, Darla Denny lands a job at a bank and a nameless boyfriend. Then someone blows up the bank's safe the one night when it's full of cash, a fact Darla had confided to her "big guy." Since his unexplained absences also coincide with ecoterrorist dam explosions, Darla's not entirely surprised when he takes her away and trains her in explosives and psychological dependency. Meanwhile, the US Fish and Wildlife Department places Agent Louie Song at Priest Rapids Dam to prevent another explosion. When the dam is blown up anyway, Song disappears, and his good friend, Special Agent Venus Diamond (Habitat, 1999, etc.), gets an anonymous tip from frightened Darla and a rotting fish in the mail. Venus takes a leave, ostensibly to join her erring eco-husband, but instead tracks the fish and Darla to Kettle Falls, where Darla and the big guy are staying with Darla's obtuse stepfather and her selfish mother, who's all too frequently on the phone to Fritz Fowler, elusive leader of the self-explanatory Dambusters. In a pointless trailer-trash domestic idyll, Venus goes undercover with Song to infiltrate the big guy's big dam plot. This fine kettle boils over when the president of the US, his Republican opponent, and diverse Kettle Falls conspirators, plus an angry beaver, all converge on Grand Coulee Dam. Read full book review >
HABITAT by Skye Kathleen Moody
Released: Nov. 10, 1999

Another wild and wooly chapter in the life of Venus Diamond, an agent with the Department of the Interior—Fish and Wildlife division. Strange things are happening at Breedhaven Laboratory, a research center on Helix Island, off the coast of Washington State. The work there is centered on the saving of endangered species and is largely the province of world-renowned Dr. Hannah Strindberg. Years of collecting and freezing the DNA of threatened species has produced a kind of ark for the future. Then Hannah dies, in a Seattle restaurant fire—almost certainly arson—along with other scientists celebrating the passage of a treaty aiding their cause. Hannah's close friend and working colleague Oly Olsen calls on Venus to investigate, even though she is still on leave after her marriage to environmentalist Richard Winters. Venus protests but undertakes the job, beginning a search for the motive behind Hannah's death and some other mysterious happenings on the island. Breedhaven has a board of trustees: island dwellers often opposed to the laboratory's goings-on. Venus soon uncovers the agent at work for a foreign country—trying to find Hannah's ark and her decoding materials. Ulterior motives and betrayals of trust abound, and what has happened to the genetically pure Borneo Bay kittens? There's more—much more—as Venus manages to survive in this grossly overstuffed saga, bearing no trace of the crispness and clarity present (in small amounts) in previous outings. (Wildcrafters, 1998, etc.) Read full book review >
WILDCRAFTERS by Skye Kathleen Moody
Released: Dec. 11, 1998

Fish and Wildlife Special Agent Venus Diamond (Blue Poppy, 1997, etc.), whose turf includes Washington State's Bogachiel Wildlife Preserve, is honeymooning with husband Richard Winters, head of a forest conservation fund, when she's called back to duty by Secretary Wexler of the Department of the Interior (who, incidentally, is romantically involved with Venus's movie-star mother). Paris, one of the nine-month-old twins of Native Americans Winn and Theresa Nighteagle, has vanished from his bassinet, left outside the couple's trailer in the Cedar Grove Trailer Park on the edge of Bogachiel—the site marked by elk hoofprints. Agents and neighbors by the dozens scour the sometimes impenetrable woods to no avail. The trailer next to the Nighteagles" is home to Bob and Carolee Brightman and their daughter Becca. Carolee is one of several wildcrafters illegally harvesting wild plants from the Preserve. Another is Clint Kellogg, a writer living in a beach house nearby. They both provide material for the Adonis Anti-aging Clinic in Los Angeles owned by Clint's brother Brad, a surgeon and master of the lunch lift. Another of his providers—of human growth hormone—is Dr. Lawrence Fish, who runs the Bogachiel Indian Clinic and hospital. Meanwhile, the body of a Finnish tourist has been found on the Preserve—his pituitary gland, according to the autopsy, removed. Agent Louis Song is sure the killer is the child molester he calls the Gecko, who recently escaped arrest. But much more much be discovered before the kidnaping is resolved, motives and culprits revealed, and Venus and Richard able to resume their honeymoon. It's a tribute to the author's skill that, despite a tangled web of plot threads and a jam-packed collection of mostly intriguing characters, suspense builds steadily to the socko finish. As a bonus, herbal enthusiasts will get an almost too generous gift of herbal lore. Read full book review >
BLUE POPPY by Skye Kathleen Moody
Released: Aug. 11, 1997

A second outing for tiny Fish and Wildlife troubleshooter Venus Diamond (Rain Dance, 1996) sends her to a lovely salt-spray meadow on the outskirts of Seattle. Jilted via e-mail in chapter one, Venus throws her engagement ring into the freezer and applies her know-how to the fatal shooting of a young scientist, an interloper found just yards from the leased poppy fields of a nearby perfumery (Blue Poppy, so exclusive a scent that Venus's movie-star mom wears it) with the scales of a thought-to-be extinct butterfly (the Dungeness Silverspot) still staining his fingers. In due course, Venus meets the media-slick Avalon brothers, busy choosing next year's Miss Blue Poppy, and the Budge sisters: haute couturiere and butterfly black-marketeer Mimi and drop-dead gorgeous Lily, still recovering from her infatuation with Mimi's fiancÇ, the lepidopterist who did indeed drop dead. Then there's Cookie, Richard Avalon's jealous wife, and wealthy, elderly Aggie, who lives the natural life in a mountain shack (and dies an unnatural death). Before the close, two more will be dead—a temperamental model and a poisoned resort chef—and you'll meet a family of bears named Sunbeam, Berry, Roe, and Radio. There's some terrific social and environmental lore, plus a number of eye-catching characters, but Moody never slows down for more than a superficial scan of her crowded horizon. An author with a lot of potential, but she reads like Jackie Collins on a busy day. Read full book review >
RAIN DANCE by Skye Kathleen Moody
Released: Sept. 10, 1996

A first mystery with an environmental theme features a female Department of Interior (DOI) agent tracking poachers and other politically incorrect (and very dangerous) scum. We first encounter diminutive Venus Diamond, weakened by malaria, as she is being abruptly pulled from a long-term assignment in Singapore and sent back home to investigate the strange death of a wealthy timber widow whose body has been pulled from the waters off Ozone Beach, Washington, a politically correct resort. Had Madge Leroux noticed the altered nesting habits of the pelicans on the isolated lighthouse island she recently purchased? Had it led to her death? Had her hard-living son made a shady deal with the US Navy, represented by skulking, sandy-mustached Jack ``Popeye'' O'Connor? Isn't village council president Janice Mercy a tad surly to outsiders, especially considering the importance of the tourist trade? Why is fellow DOI cop Sparks pooh-poohing the mutilation of bears on his turf? And, finally, will Venus be able to shake her fever long enough to solve several murders, as well as focus on the romantically interesting men who cling to the trajectory of this rather complicated tale? Moody oversells her heroine (a movie-star mother, a rider of Harley Davidsons) and overpacks her plot (in a rare first novel that actually should have been longer). But the spirit and sophistication—you'll think of the classic Avengers TV series- -smooth any number of rough edges. Read full book review >