Narrated by Miles Meili
Duration: 7 hours 2 minutes
This is a cozy-ish murder mystery set in Winnepeg, Canada. It begins with a barn full a pigs exploding. Authorities find the bodies of fifty-four pigs and one adult male. Vet Dr. Peter Bannerman has previous experience of helping out with police investigations, and when his friend Tom becomes the prime suspect, he feels compelled to get involved.
Peter is obsessed with logic and measurable facts, and I really enjoyed his methodical approach, which reminded me a lot of Poirot. I liked the fact that Peter is quite possibly a person with autism, but that the author didn’t feel the need to label him. His wife, Laura, is equally happy in her own company, and I liked their relationship.
This was a decent murder mystery story with lots of interesting details about animals. There are some lovely scenes in Peter’s surgery which add both interesting details and also a little comic relief. Schott knows his stuff when it comes to animals – he’s a vet himself – and I think that the novel could have absorbed even more of these scenes.
In the publicity information for this novel, it is suggested that this is for fans of Richard Osman’s Thursday Murder Club books. I’m not sure that this comparison really works; there isn’t as much humour in this book, nor is there a team of investigative senior citizens cracking the case – I think that the comparison stops at them both being cosy murder mystery. However, this novel is a good read in it’s own right, and animal lovers in particularly will really enjoy it.
Miles Meili narrates this audiobook in a suitably deadpan style. I appreciate that they have used a narrator who originates in the area where the novel is set, and this attention to detail helps bring the novel alive with authenticity.
Fifty-four Pigs available to download (and also in paper book) on 19th April 2022. Thank you to NetGalley UK, ECW Press Audio and Philipp Schott for this ARC in return for my honest review.