Parrots Prove Deadly: A Pru Marlowe Pet Noir

Clea Simon, Author
Clea Simon. Poisoned Pen, $24.95 (278p) ISBN 978-1-4642-0104-2
Reviewed on: 02/25/2013
Release date: 04/01/2013
A parrot proves a key murder witness in Simon’s clever third mystery featuring Pru Marlowe, a latter-day Doctor Dolittle, who practices in the Berkshire town of Beauville (after 2012’s Cats Can’t Shoot). When 84-year-old Polly Larkin, who lives in a room with her parrot, Randolph Jones, in a retirement complex, dies abruptly, Pru investigates. Pru determines that someone attempted to poison Randolph Jones, presumably to cover his or her tracks. Suspects include Polly’s two grown children; resident gerontologist Dr. Wachtell; Polly’s blind friend, Rose Danziger; and Rose’s aide, Genie. Pru meticulously pieces the clues together with psychic advice from a fuzzy crew of confidantes: her tabby, Wallis; Rose’s seeing-eye dog, Buster; Frank the ferret; and the neighbor’s bichon, Growler. Det. Jim Creighton, her on-again, off-again boyfriend, lends human assistance. Simon’s pithy dialogue and distinctive characterizations more than compensate for the predictable plot. (Apr.)
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