Kristy must ferret out the murderer and discover the story behind Sam’s disappearance — Something Fishy by @schmittmysteryTweet
THE WORLD OF ANIMALS, CRIME, AND MURDER
By Lois Schmitt
My mystery series revolves around animals—my protagonist serves as a writer for a wildlife magazine. Friends often ask me: What kind of crimes involving animals are serious enough for a person to commit murder?
In the Middle East, the horns of endangered rhinos are used as daggers. An intricately carved horn can sell for more than $12,000. The powder in the horn is considered an aphrodisiac in Asia and sells for more than $450 an ounce. This means two pounds would cost nearly $15,000.
Whenever large amounts of money are involved, there is always MOTIVE TO MURDER. Poachers, wildlife smugglers, and black market dealers operate all over the world and command huge sums for their products.
Elephant ivory is another lucrative item for poachers and smugglers. Poachers often hack the tusks off live elephants, leaving the poor creatures to bleed to death. Ivory carvings can bring in big bucks. There are unscrupulous art dealers who pretend to be legitimate but sell these illegal items to a special clientele. To be “outed” would not only mean fines and jail time, but would ruin the professional reputation of these art dealers and their businesses—both the legitimate and illegal parts.
Then there is the illegal trade in live animals which Interpol claims is a ten billion dollar industry. Exotic animals have become trendy as pets. There are people who will pay high prices for an endangered species of a snake or lizard. Parrots and macaws are also in high demand. One of these birds can fetch more than $10,000 on the black market.
These live animals are often drugged and hidden in false compartments. Others are smuggled in plain sight—they are accompanied by forged documents saying they were bred in captivity through a legally sanctioned program. Parrot eggs from the Amazon are carried in “egg vests” worn by the smuggler. These eggs are then incubated and the hatchlings are sold. The smuggling of these animals is big business.
Most people know that the world of drug smuggling is DANGEROUS and DEADLY. But what do animals have to do with the drug trade? Drug cartels have discovered that animals can be implanted with drugs and then shipped to other parts of the world. Not too long ago, police in Columbia found six puppies with scars on their abdomen. An ultra-sound scan revealed bags of liquid heroin. These puppies had been surgically slit open, the heroin bags implanted, and the puppies sewn back up.
The use of puppies in smuggling drugs is rare. But the use of snakes is not. Drugs are sometimes hidden in false compartments of crates containing snakes. The reason this works is that there are few custom officials who want to open a crate labeled VENOMOUS SNAKES.
Drug dealers are ruthless. They wouldn’t think twice about murdering someone who gets in their way.
Another crime revolving around the animal world involves wildlife habitat. Land is a finite resource, and large wooded acreage or prime beachfront attracts developers who want to purchase the property to build condominiums and shopping centers. The monetary stakes are high, and the fight between developers and environmentalist can get ugly. In fact, this is the theme in my mystery, Something Fishy.
Finally, the world of “prize winning” animals is competitive and lucrative, providing a motive to kill. Would a dog owner commit murder to eliminate the competition in a dog show in order to come out “best in show?” Would a horse owner kill someone to cover up the illegal acquisition of semen from a prize winning race horse? Is it possible? It is for a mystery writer.
Illegal activities involving animals are thriving. The stakes are high. But are they enough to commit murder? Many of the perpetrators of these crimes are cruel and ruthless. Some are connected to organized crime. So, I’d have to say yes.
When attorney Samuel Wong goes missing. wildlife magazine reporter Kristy Farrell believes the disappearance is tied into her latest story concerning twenty acres of prime beachfront property that the Clam Shell Cove Aquarium hopes to purchase. Sam works for multi-millionaire land developer Lucien Moray who wants to buy the property for an upscale condominium. The waterfront community is divided on this issue like the Hatfields and McCoys with environmentalists siding with the aquarium and local business owners lining up behind Moray.
Meanwhile, a body is found in the bay. Kristy, aided by her veterinarian daughter, investigates and discovers deep secrets among the aquarium staff–secrets that point to one of them as a killer. Soon the aquarium is plagued with accidents, Kristy has a near death encounter with a nine foot bull shark, and a second murder occurs.
But ferreting out the murderer and discovering the story behind Sam’s disappearance aren’t Kristy’s only challenges. When her widowed septuagenarian mother announces her engagement, Kristy suspects her mom’s soon to be husband is not all he appears to be. As Kristy tries to find the truth before her mother ties the knot, she also races the clock to find the aquarium killer before this killer strikes again.
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Published by: Encircle Publications
Publication Date: July 15th 2019
Number of Pages: 244
ISBN: 1948338793 (ISBN13: 9781948338790)
Series: A Kristy Farrell Mystery #2 || Each is a Stand-Alone Novel
A mystery fan since she read her first Nancy Drew, Lois Schmitt combined a love of mysteries with a love of animals in her series featuring wildlife reporter Kristy Farrell. She is a member of several wildlife and humane organizations as well as Mystery Writers of America. Lois worked for many years as a freelance writer and is the author of Smart Spending, a consumer education book for young people. She previously worked as media spokesperson for a local consumer affairs agency and currently teaches at Nassau Community College on Long Island. Lois lives in Massapequa with her family which includes a 120 pound Bernese Mountain Dog. This dog bears a striking resemblance to Archie, a dog of many breeds who looks like a small bear, featured in her Kristy Farrell Mystery Series. Lois was 2nd runner up for the Killer Nashville Claymore Award for Something Fishy.
Catch Up With Our Author:
Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways! https://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=301443
06/01 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader
06/02 Guest post @ Novels Alive
06/02 Showcase @ Nesies Place
06/03 Review @ Margaret Yelton
06/04 Showcase @ Splashes of Joy
06/05 Showcase @ Im All About Books
06/06 Review @ Author Elena Taylors Blog
06/07 Showcase @ nanasbookreviews
06/08 Review @ sunny island breezes
06/09 Showcase @ BooksChatter
06/10 Interview/showcase @ CMash Reads
06/10 Showcase @ Celticladys Reviews
06/11 Guest post @ The Book Divas Reads
06/12 Interview @ A Blue Million Books
06/13 Showcase @ EienCafe
06/14 Interview @ Quiet Fury Books
06/15 Review @ Pat Fayo reviews
06/15 Showcase @ Books, Ramblings, and Tea
06/16 Review @ Avonna Loves Genres
06/17 Review @ Novels Alive
06/17 Showcase @ The Reading Frenzy
06/18 Showcase @ Brooke Blogs
06/19 Guest post @ I Read What You Write
06/20 Review @ Scrapping&Playing
06/21 Showcase @ The Pulp and Mystery Shelf
06/24 Review @ rozierreadsandwine
06/29 Review @ A Room Without Books is Empty
06/30 Showcase @ 411 ON BOOKS, AUTHORS, AND PUBLISHING NEWS
08/10 Interview @ Blogtalk Radio
08/10 Review @ Just Reviews