A pregnant manatee is rare at any zoo, and a first for the Grove City Zoo in Ohio. Ankh is a delight to zoo patrons, a concern to its staff, and the unintentional victim of two con men. She has no idea how many human relationships, problems, and dreams tangle around her.
Jerry is a young developmentally disabled man who happily follows Ankh's pregnancy on the zoo's webcam. He has a shy crush on Janelle, a pretty college student who volunteers for his group home’s outings to the zoo.
Jerry's Aunt Vera also loves nature and runs an environmental retreat center. But all is not well, with Vera or the center. The center needs money and is under investigation as a cult.
Amid their college studies, Janelle and her friend Cecily try to help. Instead, Janelle re-awakens an old obsession in Vera when an innocent tarot reading hints at how the center might be saved.
Two bumbling con men are attempting to sabotage the region’s electrical grid as part of a lucrative scheme. But Jerry accidentally gets in their way and becomes their captive.
When the con men surprisingly succeed in bringing the grid down, it spells danger for Ankh, her unborn pup, and the many people tied to them both. With investigations of their own, Cecily and Janelle try to untangle it all to find Jerry, save a manatee’s life, and rescue Vera from herself.
"Tangled Ties to a Manatee" is a humorous crime thriller with environmental themes.
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Jerry, a mentally challenged man, who loves the manatee named Ankh. Jerry's Aunt Clara and Vera run the Environmental Retreat Center or ERC, a non-profit organization. Janelle and Cesily are all college students at Bisbee College where Mr. Steven Patterson teaches Environmental Studies. Stan and Craig are planning to make the city have a blackout while pinning the whole on the ERC and Gavin. Steven Patterson's ex-wife Leeanne is lead vet for the manatee Ankh and her unborn pup when Mascoff hires another vet to help her out. Sharon and Elise are both working undercover to investigate a local agency. Jerry is taking hostage by Stan and Craig while preparing for the blackout. Vera feels that there is something missing in the ERC but can't put her finger on it. Emmett, an ERC employee, is hiding something from everyone and Vera wonders what it is. Helen has just received some shocking news and is not sure what to do about it. Will Jerry escape? What will happen to Stan and Craig? Will Emmett come clean? What about Helen? What will Clara and Vera do? Your answers await you in Tangled Ties To A Manatee.
I was really excited about reading Tangled Ties to a Manatee. I pictured "Free Willy" in my mind (just substitute a manatee for a killer whale). Unfortunately, it was more tangled ties than manatee. The story had a very extended cast of characters that included the manatee, but it was relegated to a few cameo appearances. Having said that, the author was able to weave this cast of characters together to a satisfactory conclusion. I would have enjoyed this story more if there would have been fewer characters and more cohesiveness.