Monday, March 11, 2013

The Telltale Turtle

Author: Joyce and Jim Lavene
Genre:  Mystery

4 Stars
Mary Catherine Roberts is a pet psychic.  She can communicate with animals of all kinds, including reptiles.  When her boss's aunt is killed, she finds the body and the aunt's pet turtle, and asks him to help her find the killer.  Suddenly, there is a huge line of suspects, and Mary Catherine finds herself in more trouble than she ever thought.

She also has a local radio show where she answers questions regarding peoples' pets.  One day, while coming home from work, she 'hears' the distress call of a creature.  As she follows the distraught voice, she walks right into a murder scene, with a woman's dead body on the floor and a very small turtle who wants to know what happened to his human.  She calls the police, and after being questioned, takes the turtle home, and then begins to discover from him various details of the murder (from a turtle's point of view, which isn't a lot).

While trying to convince the police detective assigned to the case that she really does communicate with animals, 'accidents' seem to occur to her and her pet cat, Baylor, who goes with her everywhere, including work.  It seems someone has been paying attention to Mary Catherine and doesn't want her to tell what the turtle knows.  Add in a P.I. who likes her and has a gift of his own, a pet food sponsor who's semi-interested in her, and assorted other characters, and you have a well-rounded novel that should keep you interested.
I felt that this was a very good mystery.  I really enjoyed the fact that Mary Catherine could communicate with animals, and it was interesting to "hear" their thoughts about humans.  Whether they really think this way or not is also interesting, but I do believe that human/animal communication certainly does exist in one form or another; and I do know that there are pet psychics who seem to be pretty good at this (although I have never met one).

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