Gnomus gardinia. Garden gnome. Field biologist Robyn Devara had never felt the urge to study this particular species...until now.
The Holbrook garden gnomes have come down with a case of itchy feet. Paris, Vienna, even the Serengeti; the gnomes have been vacationing everywhere, returning to their homes with photographs of their travels. But the gnomes aren't the only ones in need of a holiday.
Woodrow Consultants is in Holbrook to clean up an abandoned pesticide plant, a site scheduled to be converted into a toxic waste treatment facility. But with a fragile wetlands and heron colonies mere kilometres away, many of the town's residents oppose the project, including whoever's taking potshots at Robyn's co-workers with a .22.
Left out of the action because of a broken leg, Robyn has surreptitiously followed her co-workers (including the attractive but elusive Kelt Roberson) to Holbrook where she is to rest and recover. The local garden gnome-nappings may have started as a harmless prank, but they quickly take a darker turn when a missing gnome shows up alongside the brutally murdered body of Richard DeSantis, an environmentalist with family connections to the waste treatment facility.
Amidst looming controversy and long-buried secrets, Robyn begins to suspect everyone: a psychiatric patient with a history of violence, the victim's stepfather, a disturbed accountant, the faceless saboteur, even her best friend's mother. Physically vulnerable and emotionally torn, Robyn struggles to find the killer--or killers.
Too bad the gnomes aren't talking....
"Karen Dudley's first mystery with an ecological twist, Hoot to Kill, got her nominated for [an] Arthur Ellis Award. This one ... is better."
--The Globe and Mail
"Although Dudley deals with serious issues in this novel, she also has a light, humorous touch."
--The Mystery Review
Karen Dudley has worked in field biology, production art, photo research, palaeo-environmental studies and archaeology. She has written four environmental mysteries and a several wildlife biology books for kids. Her Epikurean Epics, including the Aurora-nominated Food for the Gods, are historical fantasy novels set in ancient Athens. Born in France, she now lives in Winnipeg.Website: www.karendudley.com