Harper, Feb 15 2011, $19.99
Renowned venture capitalist Oswald Vulture's head is missing. Mollison Town Inspector Bloodhound and his subordinate Detective Anna Lynx and Falcon Ecu investigate what appears to be a locked room mystery as there is only one entrance/exit in and out of the room and no stuffed animal has entered or exited. Private sleuth Philip Mouse assists the cops.
The three cops quickly find suspects that have the threads of the police ripping apart. Sexy secretary Emmanuelle Cobra, art connoisseur and hooligan Igor Panda, Oleg Earwig the inventor, and enigmatic Jasmine Squirrel all had motives though opportunity remains unclear. The inquiry fails to turn seamless as the detectives are unable to knit together the clues; instead, the case turns convoluted as forgeries, prostitution, and a traveling casino make the three sleuths want to pull out their threads.
The third Mollison Town stuffed animal polis procedural (see Amberville and Lanceheim) is a whimsical satire that is at its best when the personification lampoons human foibles. The whodunit is a fun locked room mystery but very linear and obvious. Still in spite of the cuteness of the premise the Mollison Town tales target adults who enjoy something different in their investigative thrillers.