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Did Not Survive    by Ann Littlewood order for
Did Not Survive
by Ann Littlewood
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, CD
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Iris Oakley comes to work early at the Finley Memorial Zoo in Vancouver, Washington, only to discover a man seemingly being abused by an elephant in her cage. The man lies motionless as the elephant pushes him and places her foot on his back.

It's hard enough to be pregnant and working as a keeper at a zoo, but to have to rescue someone from certain death is asking a little much. Especially when Iris learns the man was already dead murdered. Iris is still recovering from her husband's murder. But she is a pretty strong woman - she may feel timid about something but mushes ahead regardless.

Despite orders from her boss to desist, Iris investigates this death at the request of her fellow workers. While she's working as a bird keeper, as well as asking questions she shouldn't be asking, zoo employees learn that big changes will be made on the arrival of a new CEO.

Iris is asked to collect elephant urine for testing. How that is accomplished is one of the extremely interesting nuggets of zoo life garnered from Did Not Survive.

Ann Littlewood has managed to incorporate all sorts of zoo information into her second novel while developing the murder and building the suspense it engenders. She worked for twelve years as a zookeeper and is a life-long environmentalist and volunteer with the Audubon Society of Portland, Oregon. Did Not Survive is a great summer read.

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