cover image Fear on Four Paws: A Pru Marlowe Pet Noir

Fear on Four Paws: A Pru Marlowe Pet Noir

Clea Simon. Poisoned Pen, $15.95 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-4642-1009-9

At the outset of Simon’s sprightly seventh Pru Marlowe Pet Noir (after 2016’s When Bunnies Go Bad), Pru, a freelancer for the animal control department in Beauville, Mass., who has an uncanny ability to understand what animals are thinking, discovers a bear trapped in rope netting in the woods. Passed out on the ground nearby is Pru’s boss, good-natured drunk Albert. When the police find a body locked in a shed near where the bear was trapped, the evidence points to Albert as the culprit. Pru is moved to investigate, not so much for the sake of Albert as for his ferret companion, Frank, whom Pru considers “one of the more intelligent and discerning males in Beauville.” Frank, who’s also a good ally in a fight, and Wallis, Pru’s imperious cat, who’s as blasé as many people believe cats to be, assist Pru in her efforts to apprehend a band of bear poachers and determine who’s responsible for the disappearance of some pampered domestic pets. The animals outshine the human characters in this irresistible outing. Agent: Colleen Mohyde, Doe Coover Agency. (July)