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Death Roll (A Snake Jones Zoo Mystery) Kindle Edition

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Length: 355 pages
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Editorial Reviews

Review

...I have never read another story set behind the scenes in a zoo, and that alone made it fascinating and intriguing. But the plotting and writing were also both first rate, and extremely sophisticated. It was a book I did not want to put down, and just kept reading till I reached the end. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

--Eden Embler, I Love A Mystery Newsletter -- www.iloveamystery.com June, 2007 http://www.iloveamysterynewsletter.com/eden_embler1.htm

Zookeeper Lavender Jones, aka Snake, and her husband, Jeff, an Aussie herpetologist who bears a striking resemblance to the late crocodile hunter Steve Irwin, investigate a murder in which the zoo's star crocodile is chief suspect.

Anthony Wright, director of the Minnesota Valley Zoo, is no one's favorite. Still, finding him dead in the crocodile pool on the night the zoo's Australian exhibit officially opens is a bit of a shocker. Even more shocking is the arrest of the crocodile keeper, JR, who the police discover is wanted for murder in Florida. Snake can't believe JR is guilty even after her sleuthing turns up the details of his alleged crime, which involves several other members of the zoo family: Wright's wealthy wife, a State Senator and JR's ditzy girlfriend, on the run from an abusive husband. When Snake barely escapes with her limbs intact after she's kicked into the crocodile pool, she's sure her hit-and-miss detection has hit a nerve. Gary Olson, intern on Jeff's wildly successful cable wildlife show, Zoofari, adds to the confusion when he shows Snake evidence that Wright may have been involved with the lucrative illegal trade in wild animals. Snake must dig deep to prove to her high-school boyfriend, now the cop in charge of the case, that JR is innocent.

A competent debut with engaging characters and an intriguing behind-the-scenes look at zoo life. -- Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2007


Product Details

  • File Size: 549 KB
  • Print Length: 355 pages
  • Publication Date: May 17, 2007
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003CJU05G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #669,195 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amy J. Adams on June 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I typically do not read mystery books, but was introduced to this story and was intrigued as it relates to the Minnesota Zoo and is set in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Getting a sense of what zoo life is like beyond what we see in the exhibits was very interesting. I have never thought about what happens behind the scenes and have a new appreciation for zookeepers and all the work involved in creating the displays we see.

The characters are interesting and I found that I could easily picture each. I became interested in the fate of everyone throughout the book and would love to read about where everyone is 5 years later. The plot twists were great, just as soon as I was convinced I was on the right track a new piece of information was interwoven in the story and I had to rethink my position. While away from the book, I still found myself thinking about the character interaction and trying to conclude who the guilty party was. I also enjoyed the elements of "normal" zookeeper activities spread throughout the story. It was hard to set the book down.

I recommend this book to people interested in wild animals and zoos, people who are familiar with the Twin Cities and enjoy "knowing" where the action is taking place and anyone who enjoys a good mystery.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Connie Fletcher on September 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The most fun I've had reading a mystery in a long time! It's a mystery why no other author has given readers a zoo setting before -- lots of behind-the-scenes animal fascination and human intrigue here. A wow of a book!
--Connie Fletcher, Chicago, IL
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dawn Dowdle VINE VOICE on September 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Lavender "Snake" Jones is a zookeeper at the Minnesota Valley Zoo. Her husband, Jeff Jones, is a herpetologist from Australia and works with the crocodiles at the zoo. Plus he is the star of the show Zoofari.

When the director of the zoo, Anthony Wright, is discovered dead in the crocodile pit in the new Australia Walkabout Trail during the Beastly Ball at the zoo, zoo employee J. R. ends up the prime suspect. Snake sets out to prove their friend and colleague didn't murder Anthony.

But is she helping? She keeps uncovering lies that only serve to strengthen the case against him. This begins to throw suspicion on the people she trusts. Can she uncover the killer without putting herself in danger?

I loved the zoo setting for this mystery. Snake and Jeff are fabulous characters. The zoo really lent itself to the cozy genre with the "small town" feel of the employees and supporters.

There were plenty of secrets and corruption to keep me guessing at the killer's identity. And there were plenty of twists and turns in the plot to keep me reading.

I found myself not wanting to put this book down. I can't wait to read another one in this series. I hope the writers write a little faster!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. L. Petersen on April 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I like mysteries, but they are not a staple in my reading diet. The zoo setting was a big part of why I picked up "Death Roll." The book is filled with interesting tidbits about zoos, their animals and the animals' caretakers. But that alone would not make a good book.

The characters and their relationships with each other were very well developed. I can easily see this cast of characters holding up throughout a series. I don't think we'll be getting tired of Snake, Jeff or any of their friends and co-workers anytime soon.

The mystery is well thought out with plenty of secrets to uncover and many surprising twists and turns. I was kept guessing right up to the end.

When you add up the elements of setting, character and plot, all masterfully handled by Victor and Mallory, you get a great story that you won't want to put down until you turn the final page.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lil Gluckstern on February 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very satisfying peak at life in a large zoo park with wonderful, sympathetic characters, and charming animals. The mystery is satisfying, but the treat is seeing how zookeepers to deal with the crises of animal care, and daily life (and hopefully) not so daily mysteries. "Snake" and her crocodile handler husband are charming. The authors' knowledge of zoos is so nicely presented, and if you've ever enjoyed a visit to a good zoo park, this will delight you as it did me. I'm already looking forward to the next.
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