Synopses & Reviews
Iris Oakley, a young zookeeper at the Finley Memorial Zoo in Vancouver, Washington, hopes to reconcile with her newly sober husband, Rick. But when heas found deadaand dead drunkain the lion exhibit, a paralyzing mix of grief and anger at his betrayal keeps Iris from questioning the assumptions around his death. But Irisa friends motivate her to prove that her husband could not have died the way it appears. Soon, however, these same friends impede her progress as she follows ambiguous clues and sorts through unlikely motives. Meanwhile, Iris must also adjust to losing her beloved job as feline keeper and instead learn to be a bird keeper. The zooas veterinarian respects her skills, but the foreman would far rather she get a job elsewhereaand the senior bird keeper seems to agree. After Iris survives a series of near-fatal aaccidents, a she begins to understand what really happened to Rick. But Iris must survive to prove it....
"Littlewood, a former zookeeper, knows a great deal about animal management and goes to some lengths to work her knowledge into her debut, but unfortunately, the behind-the-scenes details slow the pace and dilute the drama. Iris Oakley and her husband, Rick Douglas, are both keepers at a small zoo in Vancouver, Wash., where she works the big cats, he the reptiles. He drinks too much, they fight, she leaves. Then Rick's body turns up in the lion area, ripped to pieces. Unwilling to accept that this tragedy was an accident, Iris decides to find the truth about how Rick died and why. Soon she herself becomes the target of suspicious and increasingly threatening 'accidents.' The plot, a mix of woman-in-jeopardy and standard amateur-sleuth conventions, will be familiar to most mystery readers. Still, the highly original setting is a plus. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
.,.""a tighter breathing, And zero at the bone"" -- Emily Dickinson
About the Author
Ann Littlewood was a zoo keeper in Portland, Oregon for twelve years. She raised lions and cougars, an orangutan; and native mammals, as well as parrots, penguins, and a multitude of owls. The financial realities of raising primates (two boys of her own) led Ann to exchange a hose and rubber boots for a briefcase and pantsuit in the healthcare industry. Ann has maintained her membership in the American Association of Zookeepers and has kept in touch with the zoo world by visiting zoos and through friendships with zoo staffers.