Praise for Stolen: A Kieran Yeats Mystery
“A powerful tale of the rescue of pets stolen from an upscale Victoria, British Columbia neighborhood . . . the best animal book of this or any other year. A terrific rescue story!”
—Safe Haven Humane Society, Albany, Oregon
“Animal crimes investigator Kieran Yeats never expected to be woken up at 3:48 am by someone pounding on her front door, and her first instinct, was to grab her .38 before going down to see who it was. Jen, her god-daughter and friend, was outside looking cold and very stressed. The thirteen-year-old was cat-sitting for Norma Carruthers, the owner and proprietor of Wild at Heart, a cattery specializing in Bengal cats. Jen had locked up and made sure the alarm was set before going to sleep that night. When her instincts told her to check on the cats in the middle of the night, she was stunned to find them all gone. Jen figured that her life was just about over. Norma would blame her for being careless, and Jen had fallen in love with Wild Thing, the tiny Bengal kitten Norma had asked her to work with. Kieran was an experienced animal investigator who knew that those cats had a very short window for recovery. She would do everything possible to ensure they were found and returned to Norma before it was too late.
“Linda J Wright’s animal mystery, Stolen, will have readers who have animal companions exercising extra vigilance about their dogs’ and cats’ safety after reading this compelling and somewhat alarming tale. I know it had me considering how to best keep my two dogs safe and home. Wright’s plot is taut and well-constructed as Kieran and her colleagues track down clues to discover the whereabouts of the missing cats as well as a number of missing dogs and cats in the area. Wright’s characters, both human and animal, are finely drawn and credible, and her story is hard to put down. The story’s bucolic setting on Vancouver Island had me wistfully considering relocation. I’m looking forward to reading about Kieran Yeats’ other cases. Stolen: A Kieran Yeats Mystery is most highly recommended.”
—Jack Magnus, Readers’ Favorite Reviewer, BOOKLIFE, 5 STARS
If you have any interest in animals, or are just a mystery buff, you have got to read Linda J Wright’s newest novel, Stolen. Wright introduces Kieran Yeats, an animal crimes investigator convinced by her goddaughter to help find a cattery of Bengal cats that have mysteriously disappeared while in her care. Who took them? Where are they headed? And with all the doors and windows alarmed, how on earth did the perpetrators get inside the cattery? All the characters in this book are well-developed, and the story will keep your interest as Kieran slogs through the muddy waters (literally!) of pet kidnappings. Animal protection information . . . philosophy . . . poetry . . . it’s all there. A great read!
—Kathe Stander, Past President, Central Coast Humane Society, Newport, Oregon
“In Stolen: A Kieran Yeats Mystery, Linda J Wright takes us to Vancouver Island, off the west coast of Canada, where former crown prosecutor and poetry aficionado, Kieran Yeats now lives with her two cats, Trey and Vlad. A passionate animal lover disillusioned with the law, especially as it relates to animal cruelty matters, Kieran now operates as a private detective specializing in animal crime and animal cruelty issues. When her distraught, thirteen-year-old god-daughter, Jen, begs her to help find some stolen, very expensive Bengal cats she was sitting at a cattery, Kieran has to pull herself out from her annual funk and try to help her. What she discovers is that not only have the Bengal cats been stolen, but a whole raft of neighbourhood pets have also gone missing. Clearly it is the work of bunchers -- thieves who steal animals to order for research at universities, government laboratories and private labs. Kieran is determined to bring these bunchers to heel, but she is also weighed down by her own personal issues and the expectations of so many heartbroken neighbours mourning the loss of their beloved family members -- their pets.
This story was unique for me in that it focuses on an area I have read little about in the past. That in itself was interesting – who knew there were PIs specializing in animal cases? Linda J Wright is clearly as passionate and as concerned about animal rights and welfare issues as her fictional heroine Kieran Yeats and that passion shows through in her writing. Stolen: A Kieran Yeats Mystery was a wonderfully easy read and one I quickly got caught up in. The characters were all sharply defined and it was easy to identify, to empathize, and to root for all of them, especially the young child known only as Trouble. The author used the story to raise awareness of the need for more protection for animals under law in Canada, and I am always impressed, as a reader, when social issues are able to be promoted in fiction, without drawing away from the enjoyment of the story, and this author does it extremely well. I’m unsure if this was a debut novel by this author, but I am certain she has found a niche market for her books and especially her heroine, the flawed but good-hearted Kieran Yeats. I look forward to more adventures from her. This is a highly readable and fascinating story that I recommend to all.
—Grant Leishman, Readers’ Favorite Reviewer, BOOKLIFE, 5 STARS
“I really enjoyed the book Stolen by Linda J Wright. She has written an exciting mystery that will appeal to animal lovers (especially cats) and mystery lovers from young adults through all ages. In her writing, the reader seamlessly discovers some of the problems involved with using animals to test products for humans. In addition, she encompasses many of the conventions of good literature such as relevant quotations and allusions to important writings. I look forward to reading more of her books.”
—Sandy Calkins, Librarian, Yachats, OR
“Stolen, a mystery by Linda J Wright, introduces the character Kieran Yeats, an animal crimes investigator in Victoria, British Columbia. Kieran is wakened by a loud knock at the door and finds her goddaughter Jen desperately seeking her help. While house sitting and caring for a litter of Bengal cats, Jen discovered in the morning all the cats had disappeared. Jen persuades Kieran to take the case, and she quickly learns that other animals have disappeared from the neighborhood also. Consulting friends in the animal welfare community, Kieran concludes that bunchers are stealing animals to sell them for research. She wastes no time beginning to hunt them down and is soon put on the path of the thieves when a classified ad listing two of the Bengals for sale is discovered in an online publication. Kieran teams up with an ex-RCMP friend, and they trail the bunchers into the forest outside Victoria.
Linda J Wright gives us an inside look at the sickening treatment some animals endure in research facilities. As Kieran digs for answers and fights to bring the pets home, Wright explores the relationships between people and animals, giving an emotional and poignant look at a real problem. While the focus is primarily on these relationships, Kieran's human relationships also play a part in the retrieval of the animals. She relies on friends and new allies to investigate. She has a sweet relationship with Jen who maintains a strong belief in Kieran throughout, but it's a child named Trouble who really shines. Trouble provides a spark of innocence and light which serves as a counterpoint to the grim reality of bunchers and pet theft in the story.
Stolen is a mystery that explores animal rights and welfare by giving an honest look at the abuse animals endure for profit. While containing some hard moments, the story is uplifting, has a terrific ending, and is told through Kieran’s clear, passionate voice – that of investigator who fights to save animals.
—Liz Konkel, Readers’ Favorite Reviewer, BOOKLIFE, 5 STARS
“Stolen by Linda J. Wright offers a unique perspective on crimes against animals as Kieran Yeats investigates the theft of eleven Bengal cats from a cattery, along with numerous missing pets (cats and dogs) in the Oak Bay neighborhood of Victoria, B.C. Jen, Kieran’s goddaughter, is taking care of the Bengals at Wild at Heart while the owner is attending a cat show out of town. When Jen checks up on the cats, she finds they are gone, but all the doors are locked and the alarm system is still armed. Panicked, she wakes Kieran up and asks for help. Contacting Oak Bay Police Detective Alexander MacLeish (Mac) to help, Jen report the stolen cats, Kieran discovers there has been a rash of local pet thefts. As she begins her investigation, Kieran meets with the pet owners who want help finding their animals. Now, Kieran is working for both the cattery owner and the group of local pet owners, and according to experts she only has five days to locate the animals before they are shipped off to drug testing facilities.
The mystery in this series debut, Stolen, is well conceived. Linda J. Wright provides interesting information about animal thefts committed by “bunchers”, underground pet thieves who kidnap pets or illegally trap stray animals for the illegitimate purpose of meeting the demand by pharma, universities and private labs for test animals. The characters are realistic, the dialogue genuine. The pace is steady, and red herrings abound. The exchanges between Kieran and her cat, Trey, are priceless and I laughed out loud a few times. Mystery fans will enjoy this book.”
—Ruth Castelberry, Readers’ Choice Reviewer, BOOKLIFE, 4 Stars