Animal crimes investigator Kieran Yeats has 72 hours to pull off a miracle.
Twenty-six animals have disappeared from an upscale Vancouver Island neighborhood, stolen by shadowy animal thieves called bunchers. The animals’ destination? A university laboratory where they will become the unwilling test subjects for a new drug or medical procedure. Imagine giving your body to science while you’re still in it.
With the animals already missing for two days, the distraught pet owners hire Kieran. But bunchers typically hold stolen animals for only three to five days before they move them. So what chance does Kieran really have? And there are too many suspects -- pet sitters, poop scoopers, lawn cutters, housecleaners. Racing the clock, Kieran despairs. But suddenly she gets a break, brought about by the bunchers’ greed and stupidity. Rather than hold all the animals for delivery to the lab, one buncher decides to freelance. In an online ad, she offers two of the more valuable ones, two Bengal cats, for sale. When Kieran discovers this, she sets a trap intended to snare the buncher and lead her to the remaining animals . . . if only she can get there in time.
About the Author
Born in Ontario, she grew up in a military family, and spent part of her childhood in France. She studied English and Philosophy at Carleton University in Ottawa and at the University of Toronto. After a brief stint as a high school English teacher, she worked at the University of Toronto as an editor. But writing was always her first love, and she left U of T and moved to Victoria, British Columbia, and then to the United States, in pursuit of her dream of writing fiction. Along the way, she published dozens of short stories, several of which won awards including the Writers of the Future Award, and the Aeon Award: both for speculative fiction.
In the nineties, she received three California Arts Council Artist-in-Residence grants to teach short story writing to GATE students and won a California Association of Teachers of English Excellence Award for those classes. Writing as Lauren Wright Douglas, she won the Lambda Literary Award for Best Mystery in 1992 for the second book in her detective series. Publishers Weekly found that novel to be "enjoyable and thought-provoking", and the detective to be "irresistible: smart, independent, sexy, funny, and entirely human." However, that detective series is now out of date and of print. The Kieran Yeats series - Linda's new series - is set in the modern digital world (no one has to look for a pay phone!) and focuses on animal rights issues. Stolen is the first book in that series, and is Linda's eleventh published novel.
An animal advocate, and sometime activist, Linda has been involved in animal welfare for nearly 30 years. In 1990, she founded the rescue organization The Cat People, and served as its first President. Since then, she has served on the Boards of several animal welfare organizations and has been a consultant to dozens of animal rescue/welfare groups. In 1999 she was part of the team that rescued Keiko the orca (the real Free Willy) and rehabilitated him in Newport, Oregon, setting him free off Iceland. She continues to advocate for animals through her writing.
Linda J Wright now lives in Oregon, where she shares her life with her partner and their spoiled rotten cat.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Meet Kieran Yeats. After working within the law she decided that she would rather intervene in behalf of a living animal than to argue in court for justice of a dead one. She is now an animals crime investigator.. an advocate, if you will. Multiple animals have gone missing lately from one neighborhood .... 26 dogs and cats. In one case, 11 Bengal cats were stolen from a locked room. The alarm had not gone off. The cat-sitter had headphones on and didn't hear a sound. So who is taking the animals? Why? A neighborhood group reveals many other cats and dogs that have mysteriously disappeared and Kieran agrees to search for them. What she doesn't tell them is why she thinks they were all stolen. There are unscrupulous research labs that prefer stealing the animals. With the help of a friend in law enforcement, she sets out to find the animals and return them to their heartbroken owners. The author has handled this very disturbing issue about as well as anyone could. It helps that she, herself, is an animal rights advocate involved in animal welfare for many years. She founded a rescue organization in 1990 ... the Cat People. Of particular note... she was part of the team that rescued Keiki the Orca (better known as the real Free Willy). There are areas in the book that are particularly unsettling, especially if you are an animal lover. Most of what you read are in general terms as far as injuries and treatment go. As I said, she did a good job of handling this disquieting issue. Many thanks to the author / Cats Paw Books / Netgalley. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
Reviewed by Ruth Castleberry for Readers' Favorite Stolen by Linda J. Wright offers a unique perspective on crimes against animals as Kieran Yeats investigates the theft of eleven Bengal cats from a cattery, along with several missing pets (cats and dogs) in the Oak Bay neighborhood. Jen, Kieran’s goddaughter, is taking care of the Bengals at Wild at Heart while the owner is attending a cat show out of town. When Jen checks up on the cats, she finds they are gone, but all the doors are locked and the alarm system is still armed. Panicked, she wakes Kieran up and asks for help. Contacting Oak Bay Police Detective Alexander MacLeish (Mac) to help Jen report the stolen cats, Kieran discovers there has been a rash of local pet thefts. As she begins her investigation, Kieran meets with the pet owners who want help finding their animals. Now, Kieran is working for both the cattery owner and the group of local pet owners, and according to experts she only has five days to locate the animals before they are shipped off to drug testing facilities. The mystery in this series debut, Stolen, is well conceived. Linda J. Wright provides interesting information about animal thefts committed by “bunchers”, underground pet thieves who kidnap pets or illegally trap stray animals for the illegitimate purpose of meeting the demand by pharma, universities and private labs for test animals. The characters are realistic, the dialogue genuine. The pace is steady, and red herrings distract. The exchanges between Kieran and her cat, Trey, are priceless and I laughed out loud a few times. For instance, imagine a cat who keeps track of the number of cat food cans in the pantry and apparently, when the stash falls below six cans, Trey acts out. Cozy mystery fans will enjoy this, especially those that follow series featuring feline sleuths.