Monday, October 13, 2014

Panthers Play for Keeps

Panthers Play for Keeps
A Pru Marlowe Pet Noir
Clea Simon
Poisoned Pen Press
Scottsdale, AZ
ISBN: 978-1-59058-872-7
Trade Paperback
April 2014
$ 14.95
256 pages

Finding a dead body is not what Pru Marlowe planned while working with Spot.  He was being trained to become a service dog and walking him daily was included in his education.  His nose picked up the scent of the body which in turn, picked up Pru's curiousity.   Even when the local law enforcement takes over the case, Pru just can't help herself.

The victiim appears to have been killed by a wild animal, specifically a wild cat, a puma.  This gruesome death appears as if the victim was mauled and attacked at her throat.   There have been no recent sitings of pumas in the local area.  How did the animal come to this part of the country?

Pru has an unusual ability.  She can communicate her thoughts with animals telephathically. Unfortunately the language is not always common everyday English, but more conceptual in a few basic words.   Between Spot and her personal cat who lives with her, Pru is the privileged recipient of their thoughts, memories, and emotions.  

What Pru was for Spot's thoughts to link the dead body to his prospective owners. The victim worked for the service dog's new owners as a maid.   Why was a maid wearing an elegant blouse?  Was she meeting someone?  With just glimpses of Spot's memories and thoughts, Pru really couldn't understand the entire picture and was puzzled about how these two were related.  

Added to this already complicated life, Pru's former love is the detective investigating this case. He knows that she has some hidden secret.   How can you tell a law enforcement officer about your Dr. Doolittle type of gift without him thinking that you are crazy?  She quickly learns that her therapist is also her newest rival to his affections.   Will her secrets be told to her former lover?

Clea Simon has published numerous novels both fiction and non-fiction including the Theda Krakow, Dulcie Schwartz, as well as the Pru Marlowe's series.   This former journalist currently resides in Massachusetts.

Panthers Play for Keeps is a wonderful cozy mystery with a well-planned story involving a gifted protagonist.  The story is predictable, but the journey to the end is an adventure.

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