The constant chatter of animals can be both annoying and enlightening.
While she’s working toward her certification as an animal behaviorist, Berkshire-based Pru Marlowe is making some money as a dog walker and trainer. Her latest client is an African gray parrot whose owner has just died in an upscale nursing home. The client’s daughter can’t keep the foulmouthed Randolph, and her brother doesn’t want him around his children, so Pru is asked to retrain him to help find him a new home. Since Pru can hear what animals are thinking, she realizes that Randolph, while he doesn’t always think very clearly, is hinting that all is not well with his owner’s death. In addition, she’s helping a friend at the shelter deal with a young raccoon that keeps getting into a new, shoddily constructed condo unit. The condo manager, someone Pru has disliked since her high school days, would rather see the raccoon dead than rehabilitated. When the scared animal bites Pru, she has to worry about rabies. Every animal, from her own cat to Frank the ferret, seems to be giving her advice about the nursing home and the condo development. After a second nursing home patient almost succumbs to a drug overdose and she finds a connection to the undersold condo units, Pru realizes that she’d better listen to her animal friends, and her police officer boyfriend, before she becomes the next victim.
Although Randolph is a hoot, Pru’s third (Dogs Don’t Lie, 2011, etc.) is an average mystery that may be too cutesy for all but the most dedicated animal lovers.