- Series: Zoo Mysteries
- Paperback: 250 pages
- Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (August 1, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1590587472
- ISBN-13: 978-1590587478
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 25 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,878,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Did Not Survive (Zoo Mysteries) Paperback – August 1, 2010
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"Zookeeper Iris Oakley, who lost her husband in her first outing (2008's Night Kill), returns to Finley Memorial Zoo near Vancouver, Wash., for a second harrowing adventure that meshes the complexities of animal care and human failings. Early one morning, Iris discovers her boss, Kevin Wallace, face down in the elephant enclosure, apparently being mauled. What first appears to be a dreadful accident is revealed by autopsy to be a murder and merely the first incident to bedevil the little zoo. Although she's six months pregnant, several colleagues suggest that Iris should look into other disturbing events, including the theft of a zoo van and the body of a tiger. Fascinating details of zoo life--the impending birth of clouded leopards, collecting urine samples from elephants--lend color. Man again proves to be the most dangerous animal, and Iris needs all her cunning to discover the rogue behind the violence in a follow-up that should win Littlewood more fans." --Publishers Weekly
“Mystery mavens may pick out the killer early on, but a wealth of behind-the-scenes detail smoothly integrated into the puzzle makes this a promising debut.” --Kirkus Reviews of Night Kill
“A debut from former zookeeper Ann Littlewood, it convincingly and affectionately evokes its animal-friendly setting. Call it a zoo cozy.” --The Seattle Times of Night Kill
“Mystery mavens may pick out the killer early on, but a wealth of behind-the-scenes detail smoothly integrated into the puzzle makes this a promising debut.” --Kirkus Reviews of N
About the Author
Ann Littlewood is the author of Night Kill, the first in the Iris Oakley Zoo-Dunnit series. She worked for the Oregon Zoo for 12 years as a zookeeper before a career in business writing with Kaiser Permanente. Ann lives in Portland, Oregon, across the river from Vancouver, Washington, the home of the fictional Finley Memorial Zoo. She is a life-long environmentalist and a volunteer with the Audubon Society of Portland.
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As in the first book, the mystery is the death of a zookeeper. An elephant is the initial primary suspect this time, but it is fairly quickly determined to be a human murderer. There are a number of situations swirling around that may or may not be related to the murder: conflict between crew members (past and present), new crew members with past secrets, things disappearing from around the zoo, and anti-zoo activists picketing the zoo. I did not pick out the culprit on my own, but when the who-dun-it was revealed, I realized I hadn't paid attention to clues that were there all along.
Murders occur, stolen animals occur, the vet is dubious, people confess to murders who surely didn't do them, they have PETA-type picketers who want to turn all the elephants out to pasture somewhere in Kentucky, zookeepers either quit, are murdered, or confess to murders to the point that the Findlay Zoo barely has enough people to feed the penguins. Into this stew comes a new head of the institution, a sexy single guy with a seriously bad disposition: but who can blame him for lightly banging his head on the door frame (aha, he's tall, too) in this deteriorating situation? And also saying that he's hoping for just one day when no zookeeper has a mental breakdown.
So our heavily pregnant heroine Iris helps him and cooperates with the reorganization, right? Ooops, not exactly, she climbs thru heavy brush despite her condition and finds where people are getting into the zoo after hours and solves all the mysteries at once. Does the new head of the zoo thank her profusely and fall in love? Nooooo........but he does say he'll consider carefully whether or not to begin disciplinary hearings.
I look forward immensely to the next mystery in the series.