Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tourquai by Tim Davys

In Tourquai, Oswald Vulture has his head cut-off and the police, namely superintendent Larry Bloodhound, is determined to find out who did it. There are plenty of suspects, including: Vulture's secretary, Emanuelle Cobra; his mistress, Jasmine Squirrel; and Igor Panda, a degenerate gambler. Besides looking for the culprit, Bloodhound is also really intent on finding the head. Because if he can do that, it can be reattached and he can discover once and for all what happened. Reattached? Yep. Did I forget to mention that all of the characters in the book are stuffed animals?

Tourquai is a neighbourhood along with Amberville, Lanceheim, Yok. Together, they make up Mollisan Town. All of the "people" who live there are stuffed animals. They are pretty much like us (humans), with just a few differences. This book is the third in the quartet, but the first one I've read. Amberville and Lanceheim have already been published. The final book Yok is upcoming.

I really enjoyed this book. It read like an old time detective novel or police procedural that offered an honest inside look at police work. There wasn't a lot of action that a thriller might contain, but I didn't miss that at all. The story was expertly written to reveal clues and background information at just the right time. I couldn't wait to find out how it was going to play out. Just because the characters were stuffed animals, it doesn't mean that the story was flighty or cutsie. It was definitely an edgy and hardnosed story where the characters displayed their flaws and had vices just as human characters would. There were plenty of times I forgot I was reading about stuffed animals. That is, until someone puts a paw on a desk or they discuss reattaching the head.

I loved all of the characters, including Anna Lynx and Falcon √ącu, but my favourite was Larry Bloodhound. With only his pet budgie for company, he was all alone. His eating and drug use were out of control. I really felt sorry for him and just wanted to give him a hug.

There were a few conversations amongst the characters regarding free will and fate. I didn't find them particularly insightful. I'm not even sure they fit all that well with the story. I'm wondering if something got lost in the translation or if maybe it was a cultural thing.

This book has been translated from Swedish. Tim Davys is a pseudonym.

Highly recommended for those looking for an unusual detective story. I'm going to keep an eye out for the first two books in the series as well as the fourth when it comes out.

For more information about this book or to browse inside, please visit the HarperCollins website.

I'd like to thank those nice people at HarperCollins for this review copy.

Tourquai by Tim Davys, HarperCollins, ©2011. ISBN 9780061992193(Uncorrected Proof), 325p.

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