Today’s e-mail brought a note from author John Travis that Publishers Weekly had reviewed his mystery The Designated Coconut. Plus, they liked it! Hooray!
British author Travis’s quirky second Benji Spriteman whodunit (after 2010’s The Terror and the Tortoiseshell) offers a welcome return to a universe where, two years after an event known as the Terror, humans have been mostly wiped out. Abhoring a vacuum, nature has replaced humanity with animals, who have changed form — many walking upright and talking in human language. The altered creatures have filled the void in the workplace as well, taking over the occupations that used to employ people. Spriteman, a cat who has assumed the last name and business of his late human owner, is a 1950s-style hard-bitten PI. His latest exploit has an unlikely catalyst: “two female crime writers from overseas were coming to do a book tour.” Meanwhile, the magazine Dismemberment Monthly begins receiving threatening letters. Murder follows. Travis shows a deft hand for detail, as shown by the police using a flock of pigeons to mark the outline of a dead body with their droppings. (May)