Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Did Not Survive by Ann Littlewood

Book Description: Iris Oakley, pregnant and still recovering from her husband’s murder, wants only to carry on as a keeper at Finley Memorial Zoo in Vancouver, Washington. But she is confronted by a terrifying situation: alone and with no elephant expertise, she must rescue her boss, Kevin Wallace, from being mauled by a zoo elephant. Though she gets him to safety, he dies of his injuries. No one understands why reliable old Damrey attacked the foreman, and Iris inadvertently misdirects the investigation. As zoo staff descend into anxiety and animosity, the welfare of the animals is threatened, as well as the lives of keepers. Rattled coworkers nominate Iris to find out what’s going on. She finds a surprising number of motives to kill the foreman, but Damrey, the elephant, doesn’t have one. Despite the distraction of trying to construct her new life as a single mother, Iris discovers that the elephant keepers are locked in a bitter feud, the new veterinarian is keeping secrets, and an old flame still hates Wallace. New-born clouded leopard cubs cheer up the troubled staff, but even that has its dark side. Adding to the chaos, animal rights activists are picketing the zoo. They want the elephants sent to a sanctuary, but is that a better option for them than the improved exhibit that is on the drawing board? Why isn’t that exhibit under construction as planned? A new foreman shows up with alarming ideas, the police keep dropping by, and animals are disappearing into thin air… My Thoughts: This was a great book! Iris is at work, waiting on the arrival of some important cubs when she hears elephants having a 'time'. She goes to check it out and finds her boss, Director of the Zoo, face down and being 'mauled' by one of the elephants, Demrey and the other elephant wanting to get to him. As she gets him to safety, everyone is convinced the elephant did the harm, but Iris isn't so sure. She investigates, which is a bit difficult as she is pregnant, and it is complicated by protesters...then animals start disappearing! I loved Iris, the fact that she was pregnant didn't stop her investigation but it does make her stop and think of how to proceed for the safety of her child. This is the second book in the series and you find out her husband is killed in the first book and you feel sympathy for her in that. The feud between the two elephant keepers was interesting to me, the two completely different view points. I loved all the animals, and the mystery/suspense was great! I rate this a 5/5. Great mystery and I am going to buy the first in the series now! Thank you to the publisher for the review copy of this book. I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinion stated above is 100% mine.


  1. This sounds so different from the books I usually read, but your review has sparked my interest. I will look out for it at my library. Thanks for the review!