The sixth entry in Simon’s Pet Noir series (Kittens Can Kill, 2015, etc.) is just as blanc as the first five.
By the morning after he's bullied his girlfriend, redheaded Cheryl Ginger, at Hardware, perhaps the finest dining establishment in Beauville, Massachusetts, reputed mobster Teddy Rhinecrest has gotten his comeuppance, and more, as Pru Marlowe, the “animal behaviorist”—all right, pet psychic—who overheard the quarrel, sees when she finds him stabbed to death in the doorway of his rented condo. Jim Creighton, Beauville’s top cop, makes it clear that he doesn’t want his main squeeze’s help as he works with the Feds to track down Berkshire Forest, aka Bunny in the Snow, a painting Teddy allegedly boosted from an art museum. But everyone else is dying for Pru’s help. Cheryl asks her to train her spaniel, Stewie, whom in her ignorance she calls Pudgy. Teddy’s widow, Theresa—that’s right, the no-goodnik was married all along—wants Pru to meet with private eye Martin Parvis. Local gangster Gregor Benazi, who’s something of a fixture in Beauville, asks her to keep an eye out for something he declines to describe very closely. Although everyone wants Pru’s help, no one seems to be leveling with her: not the sparse human cast, not Stewie, not even Henry, the wild rabbit new client Marnie Lundquist is minding while her vet-tech granddaughter is taking a gap year in Asia. What’s the big secret?
Not much of a secret at all, it turns out. Fans will know better than to expect much mystery to get in the way of Pru’s communications—however cryptic this time around—with the animals she loves.