PANTHERS PLAY FOR KEEPS by Clea Simon

PANTHERS PLAY FOR KEEPS

KIRKUS REVIEW

The ability to talk to animals is often a curse rather than a blessing.

Massachusetts animal behaviorist Pru Marlowe is bombarded by chatter from every passing bird and beast, and her romance with Detective Jim Creighton is tricky. Though he realizes she has a special gift with animals, she hasn't told him they communicate with her lest he think she's crazy. Pru is currently training Spot as a guide dog for wealthy Richard Haigen and his trophy wife, Dierdre; Haigen is slowly losing his sight and not handling it well. Spot is being fostered by Dr. Laurel Kroft, an attractive therapist who, unbeknownst to Pru, has been dating Jim. A walk in the woods with Spot leads to the discovery of the badly mutilated body of the Haigen’s maid, Mariela, who it appears may have been killed by a panther—even though experts say there aren't any left in the Berkshires. Although the taciturn Spot is talking to Pru, what little he has to say confuses her. She's getting plenty of advice from her bossy cat, Willis, and Growler, a Bichon she walks for a nasty gossip. When Laurel is found murdered, Jim casts a suspicious eye Pru’s way, knowing she had some issues with the secretive therapist. A gangster who loves cats warns Pru to stay out of the murder cases, but Pru is never one to heed advice from humans. She continues to ferret around, putting both herself and Spot in danger from a determined killer.

The fourth in Simon's series (Parrots Prove Deadly, 2013, etc.) is not a bad mystery, but the constant animal chatter and Pru’s often unbelievable behavior may appeal to only the staunchest animal lovers.

Pub Date: April 1st, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-59058-870-3
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Poisoned Pen
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2014




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