Cover Image: Fifty-Four Pigs

Fifty-Four Pigs

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Peter Banneman is a veterinarian, excellent with animals not so much with people. Still, he wants more than anything it seems to be an amateur detective, a desire his wife as well as his RCMP officer brother-in-law wish he’d curtail. But then Peter witnesses an explosion at the barn of a friend that kills fifty-four pigs, This is followed by a string of burglaries including at Peter’s house in which, oddly, the  only items stolen are meat. Peter is determined to do his own investigating with the aid of Pippin, his dog who has an amazing sense of smell. But soon it becomes apparent that it is not as simple as it seemed especially after a human jawbone is discovered in the barn along with the dead pigs and then the owner of the barn disappears.

Fifty-four Pigs is the first in a new mystery series by Philipp Schott and it was an entertaining and smart mystery. There are plenty of red herrings and twists and turns but more than anything, this is a puzzle driven by a cast of quirky and likeable characters. A very enjoyable read and I look forward to more in this series.

<i>Thanks to Netgalley and ECW Press for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review</i>
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A light mystery with a fascinating main character and a gripping plot. This is the first mystery  book I read by this author, loved his book about vet life, and hope there's going to be other as I thoroughly enjoyed.
Good storyteling and character development, a solid mystery that kept me guessing.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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One of the most delightful novels I’ve read for years!

Dr Peter Bannerman is a veterinarian, in a village called New Selfoss which borders Lake Winnipeg, Canada. He is an exception to most of the population who are of Icelandic descent. He is from Scotland. Peter’s animal patients range from farm to domestic pets, and he’s kept busy. Often having to do emergency visits in the middle of the night, especially in the calving season. 

Peter Bannerman is on his way to attend to a calf with a cut needing stitches when a blast rocks the car and on looking towards the farm owned by Tom Pearson, he sees smoke billowing up – even from a distance, it looks like the barn housing Tom’s rare breed of pigs is on fire. By the time he reaches the farm, the barn has collapsed, and all fifty-four pigs are dead. His brother-in-law Kevin Gudmundurson, an officer in the local RCMP, arrives along with his colleagues to investigate what’s caused the explosion. 

Peter Bannerman considers himself to be quite a good detective. Even though he’s been warned by Kevin to stay far away from the investigation, he can’t resist seeing if he can find why there was a fire and whether Tom Pearson was involved. This leads to some very intense situations,

I think I’ve fallen in love with this very tall, lanky vet who insists on getting involved with mysteries – whether they are shed break-ins or murders. I’ve also fallen in love with the winter landscape that Philipp Schott describes in such detail that I felt the need to put on a jersey! I loved the animals that he gets to see in his practice, especially the Russian Wolfhounds. Just a perfect read!

Rony

Elite Reviewing Group received a copy of the book to review.
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Dr. Peter Bannerman, a vet in a small town in frigid Manitoba, likes order, numbers and solving puzzles. With his obsessive eye for detail, he's able to look at a problem from an alternate perspective.  When the book opens, his neighbor, Tom, has an explosion  and fire in his barn that kills his 54 pigs. While not especially close now, Tom would protect Peter from bullying when they were growing up. Interesting glimpse into the mind of someone on the autism spectrum and seeing how that can be used to great advantage. While a tad slow going at first, the pace picks up and delivers an interesting and unusual mystery
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Philipp Schott's Fifty-Four Pigs, the fist volume in the Dr. Bannerman Veterinary mystery series, offers not just an engaging read, but also hopes that the series will continue, bringing a generous future of continuing entertainment. The characters are what really make this novel shine, but the mystery is solid (though I admit to figuring out certain plot elements before the author apparently intended). 

Peter Bannerman, the man at the heart of this series, is the sort of man one might label as "on the spectrum": more comfortable with animals than people, very set in his routines, unable to give up on a question or problem once he's conceived of it. Among the problems that catch his interest are crimes within the small community he's part of. Fifty-Four Pigs is the first volume in the series, but not the first time that Bannerman has gone detecting—much to the frustration of his brother-in-law, a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (the brother-in-law also happens to be gay, a potentially engaging addition to the cast of characters, though his affectional orientation doesn't play a role in this novel).

The mystery begins with the explosion of a pig barn belonging to Peter Bannerman's friend Tom. Then, human remains are found in the wreckage from the explosion. Tom becomes the primary suspect in this disaster, so Peter (with the help of his dog Pippin) commits himself to exonerating  his friend, gradually tying himself into a series of "white lies" as his investigation continues.

If you enjoy quirky mysteries with engaging casts of characters, this is a book you'll want to read—sooner, rather than later. I'm looking forward to spending more time with Peter and the interesting community he's part of.

I received a free review copy of this title from the publisher; the opinions are my own.
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Fifty-Four Pigs is the first Dr. Bannerman veterinary mystery by Dr. Philipp Schott. Released 19th April 2022 by ECW Press, it's 256 pages and is available in paperback, audio, and ebook formats. 

This fictive amateur sleuth mystery debut by real-life veterinarian Philipp Schott features a fictional problem solver who is also a veterinarian alongside his trusty canine sidekick Pippin, a husky/lab/border collie mix with a gifted sense of smell and an unusually high degree of intelligence to go with it. Dr. Bannerman struck me as an odd guy, generally likeable but also stubborn and often pedantic. I appreciated the nerdy culture references which the author wrote into the story, and it's cool that his wife is a nerdy fibre artist and knitting designer.

The book is well plotted and moves along at a good clip; definitely action driven and engaging. Unusually in this case, the characterisations are above average and believably rendered. There were a few places in the book where the dialogue didn't ring true for me at all, but all in all, well written and enjoyably readable. The overarching mystery is heavily foreshadowed and not a surprise, but there were motivations and hidden aspects which definitely surprised me. The climax, denouement, and resolution had a bit too much deus-ex-machina to be entirely satisfying, but overall I enjoyed it very much. 

It's not really a cozy mystery at all and shares more in common with modern medical thrillers than "James Herriot". The author is clearly familiar with rural Manitoba and he does a great job describing the weather, the area, and the history of the place. There is some on-page violence as well as some mildly graphic descriptions of blood and fire/explosion damage to a skeleton. Language and dialogue are R-rated with some casual f-bombs scattered around. 

The unabridged audiobook has a run time of 7 hours and 2 minutes and is capably narrated by Miles Meili. He has a rugged and rough-edged baritone which suits the dialogue very well. Sound and production quality are high throughout the recording. 

Four stars. Very enjoyable and I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next for Peter, Laura, and Pippin (&co).

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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I loved the characters in this odd book - readers should be prepared to feel invested in even the most peripheral side characters.  The story itself is unusual and interesting, offering a blend of humour and clever plot.  The setting is absolutely charming, too.
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A gripping plot and very well painted characters easy to empathize with is what you get for opening this charming murder mystery, and you might just have a hard time laying it away to get some sleep. At least that's what happened to me. The main protagonist, a hyperrational veterinarian with an incorruptible eye for even the slightest detail, is appealing enough to raise the hope for many more books about him. The location setting is rural Manitoba, close enough to where I'm from that I was able to identify with every single page, chapter and sentence. Five stars well deserved, Mr. Philipp Schott.
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I love a good mystery and this one totally kept my interest. The setting in a small town in Manitoba, Canada was intriguing, as was the mystery itself. The main character, Peter Bannerman, is the local veterinarian, and he is a bit quirky, which made for some fun observations on his part. He is very particular about how he brews his tea, for example. And I learned a fun fact: the half-life of caffeine is 12 hours. Who knew? 

The descriptions of the townspeople were wonderful and the town itself was more or less a character in the story. The story takes place in the winter and I had to smile at the notion of it not being very cold as -10 degrees C! It’s all relative, I suppose. Even though I guessed part of the mystery, I definitely did not guess all of the details. And I wanted to see if I was correct! I do wish Peter hadn’t put himself in such danger at one point, however. Pippin, his dog, has a great sense of smell and helped Peter in his investigations.

I bounced between the audiobook and the ebook for this title, which was very convenient. Miles Meili narrates the audiobook and does an excellent job with the many voices.

I am looking forward to reading more of Peter Bannerman’s adventures!

Thank you to ECW Press for the opportunity to read an advance readers copy of this book and to ECW Press Audio and NetGalley for the opportunity to listen to an advance copy of this audiobook. All opinions are my own.
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Fifty-four Pigs is the first book in the Dr Bannerman Vet Mystery series by Canadian veterinarian and author, Philipp Schott. Due to his hyperrational brain and his eye for detail, veterinarian Dr Peter Bannerman has a bit of a reputation in his Manitoba hometown of New Selfoss. He quite likes being thought of as a quasi-PI, and has solved a mystery or two, to the occasional embarrassment of the local RCMP. So an explosion and fire, practically in front of his eyes, at his friend Tom Pearson’s pig barn has him intrigued.

Tom believes it’s the animal liberationists who have been sending threatening emails about his bear hunting activities, but Peter’s brother-in-law, RCMP corporal Kevin Gudmundurson reveals there was a human corpse in with Tom’s fifty-four pigs. They come up with theories about it, but soon after, Peter and Laura’s house is broken into. Some valuables are gone, but the bizarre aspect is that the thieves emptied their freezer of meat. Is this somehow related to Tom’s fire?

Outside of his usual work at the New Selfoss Veterinary Services clinic, Peter likes to drink perfectly-brewed tea, forest bathe, walk the frozen lake and scent train Pippin, his lab-husky-border-collie mix, who has proved himself as a champion scent dog in various competitions. 

Even though the RCMP mark Tom as a suspect, especially when he suddenly disappears, Peter is convinced his friend is innocent of any wrongdoing, actually surprising himself by leaning away from his usual logic and towards loyalty, to try to prove this.

It turns out that body in the barn is murder victim and, in fairly quick succession, another break-in, a brutal murder, and a pursuit through the forest by the probable killer, result in warnings by Kevin and pleas from Laura to leave the investigating to the police. 

But when he’s objective, Peter can see it’s like an addiction for him, stubborn intellectual pride, “a compulsion to solve a problem himself and reaffirm to the world that Peter Bannerman was indeed the cleverest boy in the class”. Pippin (via nose) ably assists in proving a few of his suspicions, but it’s when he and Pippin are out on the frozen lake in a blizzard, being chased over ice and snow by a gunman, that he realises the error of an early assumption.

In a cleverly-plotted cosy mystery that stars a quirky protagonist with an equally quirky cast of support characters, Schott manages to include a pair of bear poachers, a mystery watcher, an elusive black F150 truck, an enigmatic scrap of paper filled with Hangul, a number of interesting veterinary consults, and a smart, heroic dog. Plenty of intrigue and a good helping of humour lead up to an exciting climax.

Schott does include a soapbox moment on boutique grain-free dog food, a subject about which he is clearly passionate. More of Peter Bannerman and Pippin is most definitely welcome: luckily Dr Bannerman Vet Mystery #2: Six Ostriches will follow. hopefully soon.
This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and ECW Press
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My thanks to ECW Press and NetGalley for a review copy of this book.

Fifty-Four Pigs is the first in a series of mysteries by veterinarian and author, Dr Philipp Schott, a volume of whose nonfiction memoirs I had the chance to read and review some moths ago, and which I enjoyed very much. So of course, when I saw this book on NetGalley—a mystery with lots of animals and a veterinarian as detective, of course I had to request. 

The series is set in New Selfoss, a small town in Manitoba with a mostly Icelandic-origin population, and this first book opens right in the midst of winter (when -10oC is described as an (almost) ‘balmy day’ …). Dr Peter Bannerman is a forty-year-old veterinarian, running a small practice in New Selfoss, where he sees both ‘pets’ and farm animals. He is married to Laura, who knits sweaters, scarves and such with Star Trek, Harry Potter, LOTR and other themes and designs, while Laura’s brother Kevin is in the local police. Peter is rather idiosyncratic—a tea aficionado (whose teas must be brewed with precise timings)—obsessed with facts and measurements (random will never suffice), and proceeding logically on everything; as described in the blurb, ‘an odd duck’. He is certainly intelligent, but has his limitations and sometimes can get in over his head. He (and also Laura) do like their Lord of the Rings for the family pets include—Pippin the dog (with an excellent nose, and who’s been in competitions), Merry the cat (a tortie), and Gandalf the goat!

In this mystery, Peter is on his way to see a cow with a cut in her leg, when he sees an explosion on his friend Tom’s pig farm. When he heads there, he finds the entire barn is destroyed, and with it all fifty-four pigs. But when Kevin and other police arrive, they find not fifty-four, but fifty-five remains, the last an unidentified human being. Peter, who has solved a few mysteries before, is tempted to investigate, not being too impressed with the intelligence of the local police, and this urge becomes stronger when they begin to suspect Tom, who has been Peter’s friend since high school. In carrying out his investigations, Peter relies not only on his logical thinking and reasoning but also on Pippin’s nose, for there is nothing better when something must be tracked down. But as Philipp begins to uncover some information and clues, he soon finds that he can’t investigate the case without putting himself (and his family) in danger. Alongside, we also get a look into Peter’s practice as he sees different patients every day and grapples with small and big problems.

This was quite an enjoyable read for me with a great sense of place, an interesting set of characters, a good mystery at its core, and a great background in Peter’s veterinary practice.

I loved the setting of this one—while the town itself, New Selfoss, is fictional, the broader place with Gimli in Manitoba which had Canada’s first Icelandic settlers is very much real. I had no idea that there was an Icelandic community in Canada, let alone that it was the largest outside of Iceland, so it was interesting to learn about the community and place. (I assume the LOTR connection with Gimli is coincidental, but nonetheless good fun). Since the mystery opens in winter, we also get an idea of the extreme temperatures in which people seem to live quite ‘normally’—Peter himself walks to work—much to my surprise (shock?--I’ve lived in a place where it snowed, so I can take some cold, but -25oC!!!), but on the other hand, one also gets to live in a place quite close to nature, and see aurora borealis! 

The author has done a great job incorporating Peter’s veterinary practice with his investigative activities—this is done in a completely believable way, so it isn’t that Peter is leaving aside his practice to investigate or vice versa, but he manages to accommodate both comfortably. The details are clearly drawn from Dr Schott’s own experiences and interesting to read of in themselves (one point at least I did recognise from his memoirs). It was all the more so since Peter sees not only pets, but also farm animals. 

Being a first-in-series, we also get some insights into and introduction of Peter and his family, the others working in his practice, as also some of the residents (human and animal) in New Selfoss, whom we will see more of in subsequent books. I liked that Peter comes across as a realistic character—he is intelligent certainly, and perhaps more so than the Police as he likes to believe, but not infallible either, which means he needs the police as well. Also, his idiosyncrasies can certainly rub people the wrong way, including poor Kevin. One has also got to love Pippin, the dog, who certainly has a marvellous nose but even without it would be a jolly dog to have.

The mystery itself was also enjoyable; it is a slow-paced one, the kind where one follows Peter as he gathers clues and comes across information from different sources, and tries to form a picture alongside, but not I guess the kind we could work out in advance; the solution eventually fully became clear only at the end, and some parts do certainly shock Peter himself. I don’t know if I’d classify it as a cosy since there was a bit of gore, and the opening with the fifty-four pigs having to die was pretty upsetting.

But I enjoyed this one very much, and the title of the next book, Six Ostriches, and small excerpt at the end have certainly left me anticipating it. 

4.25 stars
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A different sort of cozy- will it be a new series?  Dr. Peter Bannerman finds himself wrapped up in a murder mystery when his neighbor's pig barn burns down (no pigs survive) and a human jawbone is found.  Peter has his issues but he's very good at deductive reasoning and thus sets off, against the warning of his brother in law Kevin, an RCMP officer, to find the real villain.  Unfortunately, not all is well in this small town in Manitoba and now someone seems to be targeting Peter.  Luckily, he's got his trusty dog Pippin (as well as his wife- love that she sells knits) by his side, especially when he's at risk himself.  No spoilers from me.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  I enjoyed this, especially for the setting as well as Peter (and the mystery, of course).
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Peter Bannerman, a small town rural veterinanarian in Canada, is on his way to a farm call when he sees and hears an explosion nearby. Instinctively, he knows it took place at the swine farm of his good friend Tom. Peter heads toward it only to confirm his suspicion - Tom's large pig barn is ablaze, with 54 pigs still inside. Tom wasn't on site, but a forensic investigation finds a human jaw bone among the  wreckage inside the barn which sends Peter and his loyal dog Pippin nto full problem solving mode, much to the shagrin of Peter's brother-in-law Mountie cop, Kevin. Things get a little wild as the mystery unfolds and Peter finds himself right in the cross hairs of a dangerous killer.

While I found this story interesting and enjoyable, I've come to know the "cozy mystery" whodunit type novels are just not what I gravitate toward. It was quirky and fun (and I learned a lot about rural veterinanarian practices), but I struggled to stay engaged. I'm still giving it 4 stars because it's very well done and fun for the exact reader. It's just not my cup of tea - if you dig fun cozy whodunit style mysteries, you should definitely pick this one up!

Thank you so much to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to read this and provide my honest review.
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I am sold on any story that includes veterinarians and their anecdotes.  What is not known until the book is read is what amount of the book includes them. Peter Bannerman is a busy doctor for pets and farm animals in Canada who is a witness to an “accident.”  When the police get involved, Peter gains more interest since it happens at his friend’s house and later involves a burglary at his own home. I wanted a vet story with a little mystery but what I got was a mystery with a bit of vet story. This novel is probably the beginning of a series, which explains the bit of info dumping on the surrounding town and details on the heritage of Peter’s family. The story may also be classified as a cozy mystery with not much gore and lots of town intrigue. I also noted the usual trait of cozy mysteries where the amateur detective is so addicted to the sleuthing that they alienate the local police.  It is so irritating that a character would keep clues from the authorities. However, I hope the author is setting up many of the characters for reoccurring parts in future mysteries. One of the most important characters is the vet’s mixed breed dog who is a champion tracker, making him invaluable in finding evidence. It is always unbelievable to me how exact these animals can be with their noses. I enjoyed this mystery and appreciated that it was on the shorter side, however I would have liked more veterinary stories interspersed. Thank you to NetGalley for a free ecopy of this book in return for an honest review.
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🐷Poor pigs, we hardly knew ye!🐖

4.5🌟 stars
The beginning of this story, while thrilling, did not wow me and I felt bad for pigs.  But I gave it a chance, very quickly the story took off and Peter the vet and his awesome scent-tracking dog turned out to be a great amateur sleuth team.  Peter was a quite interesting character: mild-mannered and firmly stuck in a regimented, pretty ho-hum routine but, when it came to his curiosity about the odd things suddenly going on in his rural Manitoba town, he throws predictability and caution to the wind to conduct his own investigation.   

In many mysteries the amateur detective clashes with law enforcement and so it goes here.  What's a bit unusual is the fact that the policeman he irritates most often is his own brother-in-law!  Not the best when they are regularly breaking bread together🙃.

I was first attracted to the book by its Canadian setting and ended up thoroughly enjoying the story.  And I did find it unpredictable, easy to read and a bit whimsical, especially when the author relates local history and attitudes in a way that reminded me of Garrison Keillor describing the origins of Lake Wobegon (but in a more understated way).  

I would definitely like to read more by the author.

Thanks to ECW Press and NetGalley for sharing a complimentary advance copy of the book;  this is my voluntary and honest opinion.
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Good cozy mystery and a good first book of a series.  The main character was a compassionate, quirky, introverted and highly methodical veterinarian by day and an amateur sleuth by night.   It's no surprise that darkness exists in small towns as in cities, it's everywhere though it surprised the main character. The loss of 54 pigs was only the tip of the iceberg. ;)  A slow mystery that reached a crescendo ending the last 20+ pages. I look forward to reading the next book of the series.
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I want to extend my sincere thanks to NetGalley and ECW Press for this ARC in return for an honest review. Fifty-four Pigs was written by Dr. Philipp Schott and is the first in the Dr. Peter Bannerman Vet Mysteries. Dr. Schott has many years of experience as a veterinarian and is now chief of staff at a large animal hospital in Winnipeg. He has written a couple of books featuring essays and anecdotes about his experiences in his clinical practice. I was pleased to learn there will be a second book featuring Dr. Bannerman and his mysteries. 

 The setting is a small town on the shoreline of Lake Winnipeg with its extremely chilling winter temperatures. The book got off to a slow start, establishing the area's history where Dr. Bannerman lives and practices. The earliest settlers were Icelanders, followed by Finns. Then came an assorted mix of other nationalities. 

 Dr. Bannerman is a proficient, capable, and caring vet, well respected and liked by pet owners. He is a veterinarian not only to pets but also to farm animals. To many in the small Manitoba town, he is considered odd. It is apparent that he has obsessive-compulsive issues and some aspects of autism. He has difficulty socializing and reading people. He does feel emotions but submerges them with rational, logical thinking. He is obsessed with order, numbers, puzzles and lists. Because he has an eye for detail that others miss, he is inclined to use his spare time acting as an unofficial detective. He uses his reasoning skills to solve mysterious puzzles connected with crimes. His interference results in annoyance and anger from his brother-in-law, Kevin, an RCMP officer. Dr. Bannerman's wife usually agrees with her brother, fearing that her husband's obsessions and intrusions into crime-solving will end in danger. Dr. Peter Bannerman's wife has a thriving knitting business at home, with logos on her products catering to fans of Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, etc.

 I found the beginning of the story quite disturbing. An explosive device has been detonated at Tom's farm. All 54 pigs were killed in the resulting fire. Peter considers Tom a friend but has barely socialized with him lately. He feels fondly towards Tom for protecting him from bullies when they were schoolmates. 

 RCMP officer, Kevin, plans to arrest Tom for starting the fire. This is crucial because a dead person's body is found amongst the remains of the pigs. There are mysterious break-ins where meat is stolen from freezers but little else of value. Dr. Peter Bannerman is determined to use his reasoning skills and his intelligent and lovable sniffer-dog, Pippin, to prove Tom's innocence. Tom has vanished from the community. Peter's home and vet clinic have been broken into and those of others. Peter has seen a mysterious figure lurking at his yard's darkened and wooded edge. There has been another murder. Is Tom hiding from the law or from the killer, or has he been murdered? What is the killer/or killers looking for, and why is meat being stolen? What is the meaning of a coded note written in Korean? 

 Both Dr. Bannerman's wife and her Mountie brother have been correct in warning him of danger, but he is determined to find Tom or his body. This takes Dr. Bannerman and Pippin out on the ice in search of answers. He is in extreme danger, followed, chased, shot at, knocked out, and tied up in a freezing ice fishing shack. He now knows the answers for the criminal activity, but will he live long enough to reveal them? He realizes that the many theories that he and Kevin bantered about in the beginning were wrong and how little he understands other people.

 This book has been considered a cozy mystery, but it has complex, international implications. It vividly describes the sub-zero temperatures of the area, the blizzards, and the ways the people cope with the brutal winters. I am looking forward to reading the second book in the series, 'Six Ostriches.'
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I really enjoyed this "cozy" small town mystery. Peter Bannerman is the veterinarian in a tiny town in Manitoba. Married to the sister of a policeman and slightly OCD in nature, with an amazing dog companion, Pete has had some minor success as an on-the-side detective. So when his friend's swine barn explodes, killing all 54 hogs inside, Pete decides to conduct his own investigation. I loved the little town, the people, certain turns of phrase made me laugh out loud. Just a nice easy mystery!
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Hooked on this one at the end of chapter 2.  Although I've been hooked on Philipp Schott books since reading Willow Wren (somewhat based on true story from WWII, a view you don't really consider).  Then after reading Willow Wren I read Philipp Schott's previously released The Accidental Veterinarian and subsequent How to Examine a Wolverine.

In my opinion this book is closer to All Things Bright and Beautiful veterinarian turned quasi-detective with trusty dog Pippin (than a correlation to No. 1 Detective Agency, although I never really got into that series).  Philipp Schott weaves in many of his veterinarian animal clinic clients into 54 Pigs; because the author has been a veterinarian for decades I love how this adds to the life of the main character Peter Bannerman.  After reading the author's other books, I see the author as the main character and keep thinking of the main character as Peter/Philipp.

The main character's wife is constantly knitting interesting things and her brother is the police investigator, so there are some interesting dynamics.  I like the dry sense of humor that prevails as well from Peter/Philipp, reminds me in a way of Robert B. Parker.

Additionally, I love the authors description of setting in small-town Manitoba Canada.

Thank you NetGalley and Philipp Schott the author and ECW Press the publisher for the opportunity to review the advance read copy in exchange for an honest review.  Publication date is 19 Apr 2022.
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A charming, curious, and intriguing mystery. With a well written plot and characters, which made this an enjoyable read. The story would blend in well as a movie, it is so cleverly written that you feel as if you are in the story. Even though this is part of a series, it reads well  as a stand-alone. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a great new read. 

Thank you to the publisher, Philipp Schott, and Netgalley for the chance to read and review this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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