Clark's Eye on Books

Clark I reviews books and sometimes writes them!

Burn Out – An Animal Communicator Mystery – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat
Cap continued to dominate the physical space and Shirley’s attention, but Elizabeth watched Missy, too.  Missy was not happy with the attention Cap was getting.  She distinctly said, He is always first.  He’s always getting fussed over.  I deserve that too.  She stuck out lower lip and rolled her brown eyes.  She’s no fun.  She thinks she’s a princess.  She doesn’t know how to have fun.  If Elizabeth had any doubt the speaker was Cap, he removed it by prancing in place, raising his hoof and waving it.  “Okay.  I see what’s going on.”  “Yes?”  Shirley asked.  “It’s an ego thing.  Missy is pretty strait-laced and came from a show background that Cap is working hard to diminish from his high up status as a dressage horse.  Cap has a sense of humor.  He knows it makes her mad to bring it up, so he does.  He doesn’t necessarily really believe that, but she’s so easy to rile.  Then Missy gets mad and retaliates by biting and chasing him.  He comes off looking like the abused one, but it’s mutual.  Like siblings anywhere.”  “I see.  I can believe that.  I’ve had Cap over 20 years and Missy only one.  The other problem is Missy has started trying to do to me what she does to Cap.  Now I understand why she does it to him, but how can I get her to stop doing it to me?”  “We have to come up with a plan and stick to it.”
Yep, you guessed it.  Elizabeth Murphy is a “Doctor Doolittle” “Horse Whisperer,” call her what you want but she communicates with animals as well as a bug now and then.  Her “talking” to the animals isn’t something that she makes too public for fear that people will think for one that she needs to be in a loony bin and for another because her husband is a firefighter hoping to make captain.  But, when fires start happening for no apparent reason, talking to the animals at the scene comes in handy. 
While visiting her husband Tig at the training center one day, Elizabeth noticed an announcement for a part-time job entering data into the computer.  It was a short time job so she decided to give it a try.  After the job was underway, she started noticing “accidents” were occurring while fighting what were being called arson fires.  After doing more research she determined that the fire that had injured her best friend’s husband Terry wasn’t normal.  Someone had cut a hole in the concrete pad under the floor and dug a hole, covering it up before setting the fire.  Not knowing the hole was there, Terry fell through the burned wood injuring himself.  And when Tig was injured in a training fire, Elizabeth knew it had to be someone connected to the department.  But the Firefighters were like a big family.  Who would want to hurt their own?  With the help of the animals, Elizabeth was determined to find out.
Victoria Heckman had me guessing throughout the whole book on this one.  By page 187 I had my suspects narrowed down to 3.  By page 199 I had added another suspect to my list.  Turned out to be one of my weakest suspects! 
Burn Out was a joy to read.  I laughed at some of the “conversations” with the animals.  Victoria Heckman had me believing that people/animal conversations was quite normal.  All of her characters were very creatively created making them seem like people you actually knew.  This was a fun, humorous yet serious book to read.
242 pages
Revenge Publishing
ISBN# 978-0-9846098-1-9

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