For readers of Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series comes a lighthearted mystery with an incredible sense of place.
A swine barn explodes near a lakeside Manitoba town, putting veterinarian Dr. Peter Bannerman on a collision course with murder and a startling conspiracy.
Peter is an odd duck, obsessed with logic and measurable facts, an obsession he puts to good use in his veterinary practice. When a murder is connected to the swine barn explosion and his friend Tom becomes the prime suspect, Peter feels compelled to put his reasoning skills, and his dog Pippin’s remarkable nose, to use to help clear him.
The situation darkens with a second murder and a series of break-ins, including at Peter’s house and clinic, but Peter has a hard time knowing when he is out of his depth, despite warnings from his brother-in-law Kevin, an RCMP officer. It becomes increasingly clear that something extraordinary is behind all this, possibly international in scope.
Ultimately Peter finds himself out in the middle of frozen Lake Winnipeg during a blizzard, fighting for his life and confronting a horrifying realization he had been blind to all along.
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Average rating from 8 members
Dr. Peter Bannerman is a rational and methodical, mathematically-minded vet in a small Canadian town who often helps his police-officer brother-in-law to solve crimes. The death of fifty-four pigs in an explosion in a farmer’s barn takes on a sinister turn when a human jawbone is found amongst the porcine carnage, and Peter can’t resist investigating in Philipp Schott’s joyously enjoyable mystery novel, “Fifty-Four Pigs”. The book is a cozy-ish (there is some strong language) mystery and is really quite excellent. The story is very easy to read with an engaging and quirky lead character; often funny and deliciously offbeat, it is a joy to follow Peter as he doggedly uncovers the truth with the help of his remarkable sniffer dog, Pippin. The town’s various inhabitants are vividly brought to life and we learn much about its colourful history, a favourite subject of Peter’s. The story has plenty of twists and turns and will keep you gripped until the nail biting finale. What a breath of fresh air this book is! Funny, charming and original, “Fifty-Four Pigs” is irresistible and truly unputdownable. A preview of the next title in the series, “Six Ostriches”, is included at the back of the book, which, on the basis of Philipp Schott‘s superb opener, I am eagerly looking forward to.