The Telltale Turtle
Joyce & Jim Lavene
Midnight Ink, 2008
Pet psychic Mary Catherine is a widow with panache and a successful radio show. Then, one day, she hears the thoughts of an animal in distress and discovers a turtle with the body of his murdered owner. Unfortunately, turtles don’t have a good grasp on communication skills so Mary Catherine will need to do some sleuthing to figure out what has happened, especially since the police don’t exactly have faith in her psychic abilities.
I’m not sure if this is a standalone or the first in a series—no new titles have been listed yet—but I enjoyed it. It’s entertaining in a lighthearted way and quite amusing to “read” the thoughts of the animals.
Hollywood Cemetery: A Tour
James E. DuPriest, Jr.
Richmond Discoveries, 1989
This is a small (28 pages) booklet that would be of little interest to anyone other than a resident of Richmond, Virginia, or someone who likes to explore old cemeteries. Hollywood Cemetery, dedicated in 1849, is an especially beautiful resting place for people from all walks of life, including U.S. presidents, Confederate soldiers and generals, and Supreme Court justices. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Hollywood is a place where locals and tourists go to enjoy incredible beauty and peace while immersing themselves in history.
This treatise offers descriptions of the burial sites of some of the more prominent “citizens” as well as many photographs and the history of the cemetery and is a must-have for anyone with an interest in cemeteries in general and this one in particular.
Scribner Book Company
San Bernardo police dog detective Max “Crusher” McNash finds that he must ignore his misgivings and work with special agent Cassius Lap of the Feline Bureau of Investigation when a serial killer cat begins targeting dogs, starting with two Rottweiler goons for hire and progressing through movie star Jack Russell Crowe and other victims. Along the way, they are offered help by an incarcerated psycho cat, convicted of murder.
Seemingly just another entry in the collection of animal-driven mysteries, this one is different. Most of the books in this subgenre are naturally very cozy in nature and involve humans but this is a classic hardboiled story with a great deal of satirical humor set in a completely human-free world (although all the accoutrements of humans–clothing, bars, divorce, etc.–are present). Anyone who likes the Raymond Chandlers of the mystery world and who can place tongue firmly in cheek will enjoy this book. I really hope there will be more stories of Crusher and Cass.