A Dr. Bannerman Vet Mystery
by Philipp Schott
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Pub Date 19 Apr 2022 | Archive Date 01 Apr 2022
For readers of Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series comes a lighthearted mystery with an incredible sense of place.
A swine barn explodes near a lakeside Manitoba town, putting veterinarian Dr. Peter Bannerman on a collision course with murder and a startling conspiracy.
Peter is an odd duck, obsessed with logic and measurable facts, an obsession he puts to good use in his veterinary practice. When a murder is connected to the swine barn explosion and his friend Tom becomes the prime suspect, Peter feels compelled to put his reasoning skills, and his dog Pippin’s remarkable nose, to use to help clear him.
The situation darkens with a second murder and a series of break-ins, including at Peter’s house and clinic, but Peter has a hard time knowing when he is out of his depth, despite warnings from his brother-in-law Kevin, an RCMP officer. It becomes increasingly clear that something extraordinary is behind all this, possibly international in scope.
Ultimately Peter finds himself out in the middle of frozen Lake Winnipeg during a blizzard, fighting for his life and confronting a horrifying realization he had been blind to all along.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 32 members
Dr. Peter Bannerman is a rational and methodical, mathematically-minded vet in a small Canadian town who often helps his police-officer brother-in-law to solve crimes. The death of fifty-four pigs in an explosion in a farmer’s barn takes on a sinister turn when a human jawbone is found amongst the porcine carnage, and Peter can’t resist investigating in Philipp Schott’s joyously enjoyable mystery novel, “Fifty-Four Pigs”.
The book is a cozy-ish (there is some strong language) mystery and is really quite excellent. The story is very easy to read with an engaging and quirky lead character; often funny and deliciously offbeat, it is a joy to follow Peter as he doggedly uncovers the truth with the help of his remarkable sniffer dog, Pippin. The town’s various inhabitants are vividly brought to life and we learn much about its colourful history, a favourite subject of Peter’s. The story has plenty of twists and turns and will keep you gripped until the nail biting finale.
What a breath of fresh air this book is! Funny, charming and original, “Fifty-Four Pigs” is irresistible and truly unputdownable. A preview of the next title in the series, “Six Ostriches”, is included at the back of the book, which, on the basis of Philipp Schott‘s superb opener, I am eagerly looking forward to.
Hooked on this one at the end of chapter 2. Although I've been hooked on Philipp Schott books since reading Willow Wren (somewhat based on true story from WWII, a view you don't really consider). Then after reading Willow Wren I read Philipp Schott's previously released The Accidental Veterinarian and subsequent How to Examine a Wolverine.
In my opinion this book is closer to All Things Bright and Beautiful veterinarian turned quasi-detective with trusty dog Pippin (than a correlation to No. 1 Detective Agency, although I never really got into that series). Philipp Schott weaves in many of his veterinarian animal clinic clients into 54 Pigs; because the author has been a veterinarian for decades I love how this adds to the life of the main character Peter Bannerman. After reading the author's other books, I see the author as the main character and keep thinking of the main character as Peter/Philipp.
The main character's wife is constantly knitting interesting things and her brother is the police investigator, so there are some interesting dynamics. I like the dry sense of humor that prevails as well from Peter/Philipp, reminds me in a way of Robert B. Parker.
Additionally, I love the authors description of setting in small-town Manitoba Canada.
Thank you NetGalley and Philipp Schott the author and ECW Press the publisher for the opportunity to review the advance read copy in exchange for an honest review. Publication date is 19 Apr 2022.