Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The Case of the Ill-Gotten Goat

The Case of the Ill-Gotten Goat (2008) by Claudia Bishop

Milk inspector Melvin Staples isn't too popular at the Tre Sorrelle Dairy, especially with Doucetta Capretti, the 94-year-old domineering owner. She doesn't like anyone messing with her business and she particularly doesn't like too-good-looking-for-their-own-good young busybodies like Staples who keep telling her the white blood cell counts in her goats' milk is too high. But did she dislike him enough to smack him upside the head with her heavy cane and dump him in a vat of milk to drown? And if not who did? Maybe his wife got tired of his taking up with other women. Maybe one of Capretti's large family decided to to protect the family's interest. Or maybe Neville Brandsetter, DVM and member of the local university's veterinary sciences department, wanted to get rid of his wife's lover. But why choose the Capretti's milk vat as the final resting place? Dr. Austin McKenzie, local vet and private detective, and his band of investigators (including his wife Madeline) set out to help the police get to the bottom of  it all.

Dr. McKenzie is an unusual detective to say the least...not that I haven't run across vets as amateur sleuths before, because I have. But he is not only a veterinarian, but a private detective as well. He and his clinic assistants and his wife make up the Cases Closed sleuthing team. Somehow I find doctors, vets, schoolteachers, and whatever other profession more acceptable as straight up amateur sleuths than I do imagining them operating per usual in their every day occupation AND running a detective agency on the side. That part of the story didn't work so well for me. However, Dr. McKenzie and company are delightful characters and I did enjoy watching them track down clues--solving not only the mystery of excess white blood cells but identifying the killer as well. 

A fun little cozy mystery. ★★

Deaths= 2 (one hit on head; one drowned)
Calendar of Crime = March (something green [grass] on cover)


Kate said...

Had to take a look at this review, given the particular animal focus. A vet as a private detective certainly sounds odd, and I think I agree with your notion that such professionals are best as amateurs.

Bev Hankins said...

It did seem odd to me...I could "just" imagine a former vet (who had incredible detective skills) setting up as a private detective...but doing both at the same time? No.

Kate said...

I know! I can't see how he has the time to do both.