Monkey Business

When the director of a Long Island zoo is murdered by snake venom, Kristy Farrell—former English teacher turned wildlife reporter—takes a personal interest in the case because her brother Tim, the zoo’s curator in charge of reptiles, is the leading suspect.

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Believing that the killer is one of her brother’s colleagues, Kristy investigates the internal politics and personal relationships at the zoo. As she delves into each suspect’s life, she uncovers weak alibis and powerful motives, including greed, blackmail, infidelity, and revenge. The trail leads her to a Greenwich Village pet store with a shady history, a radical animal rights group, a wildlife art exhibit on Long Island’s infamous “gold coast,” and a bizarre animal auction in rural Ohio where just about anything—dead or alive—can be purchased for the right price.

Meanwhile, the zoo is plagued with accidents, a second murder occurs, and then Kristy’s life is threatened. With everyone’s nerves on edge, Kristy races to find the truth… before the killer strikes again.

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Samfreene
August 10, 2021

Something Fishy: Lois Schmitt Entering an aquarium is an exhilarating experience that takes visitors inside the world filled with sharks cruising over your head, envision a multi-colored coral reef and other exotic creatures. Dolphins that jump up and say hi to you and enjoy the wonders that offer everyone excitement. Learning about the world of water, watching the aquatic creatures and their habitats and behavior provides a great real-life experience. Jelly fish, crabs and other creatures can help you escape the outside world and find yourself enveloped in the world of sea life. This will help you get ready for what is about to happen when you visit the Clam Cove Aquarium where Katie Chandler words as a sea-lion trainer. Katie’s is the executor of her grandmother’s will which specified that 12 million dollars be divided among three specific charities. Each to receive no more than 6 million dollars. She planned to donate 6 million this aquarium and hopefully the aquarium would raise the necessary needed funds above this amount to purchase the adjacent plot of land. The land would be used to build a rehab center for marine mammals as well as a research camp. But, not everything goes as planned and there are two others that do not want this to take place. Scams, greed, fraud and murder are at the heart of this novel as Sam’s employer is interested in the property but exactly where was he when Katie could not contact him? The novel begins with his disappearance and not too long after her co-worker and good friend Jack Patterson is found drowned in a local inlet. Katie is the executor of her grandmother’s will and now things get dangerous. As a sea-lion trainer working at the aquarium she hopes to raise enough money to purchase the 20 acres of land. However, there are others who have their eyes on this property and some hiding right in plain sight. Kristy Farrell is a reporter for the Animal Advocate and dives in headfirst to learn more about each of those involved in wanting the land. When Jack is killed she enlists the help of her daughter Abby and her boyfriend Jason to research and learn more about everyone employed at the aquarium and with Lucien Moray. The community is divided. But, when another body is found this time in the sea-snake tank Kristy is now more determined to find out who the murderer of two people is and are they connected? She investigates the murders, but Detective Wolfe is out to make her life miserable if she interferes with his investigation. The magazine where she works is in financial trouble, they might merge with another one causing layoff and worse. Her husband’s vet business is in financial trouble due to competition and her mother is dating someone she feels has a mysterious and suspicious background. Her mother announces that she is about to become engaged to Paul Andre things get tense, and now Kristy is out to learn more about him and stop the marriage before it is too late. Kristy asks to see more of the aquarium and is encouraged to try and swim with the sharks but who tampered with the tank? Was she supposed to be the next victim? The research that is shared about the different sharks, wildlife at the aquarium is quite interesting and since I love sharks learning more about the many different kinds held my interest. The suspects increase when Kristy decides to question Oscar the fish keeper in a supervisory position. He appears to know his work, but would he hamper the goals of the aquarium for his own purposes? Bradford Monroe is the new development fund officer and appears to have the skills to raise the money or trying to raise the money so that the aquarium can purchase the 20 acres of land. But at the time of the murder, he was drinking with the Mulgraves who were donating 100,000 dollars to the aquarium. Calvin Chandler would now oversee Katie’s, grandmother’s will and funds and he not intension of giving the money to the aquarium thinking Moray was in his back pocket for the future. Think again. There motives come to light and then Kristy is in danger as well as her mother who is dating a con artist but how will she prove it? Someone wants the acres for their own self-worth but who and what scheme is this person doing and how does Kristy come face to face with it? Interfering in the investigation and yet connecting with someone in fraud, spying on Paul and learning what his truth intensions are and then hoping her mother will figure what she learns. Added in Marcia is her mother’s best friend, and she wants to have a garage sale since she is selling her house just what role does Paul play and how does this bring Kristy closer to uncovering his plans?
Lives are at stake when someone set a fire at the aquarium and Captain West learns that Kristy was in the house that now belongs to the aquarium and one picture and one note speaks volumes. The ending is tense and the revelation as to how Jack’s murder, the land, the murder of the second person fit together will surprise you as the past comes into the present and lies and betrayals becomes known. Sam Wong is framed for the fire at the aquarium who set him up. An ending with scenes that are well crafted, tension filled and a final reveal you will not believe as author Lois Schmitt teaches readers the true meaning of Something Fishy.

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angiesue
June 28, 2021

I absolutely loved this book! Something Fishy is the first book that I have read by author, Lois Schmitt. It is the second book in the Kristy Farrell Mystery series. I did not get the opportunity to read the first book. I will have to definitely check it out! But I was not lost at all. I loved the way the author made everyone look suspicious. I love it when I cannot figure out who the “bad guy” is. Louis Scmitt has a wonderful way of writing to make you feel like you are right there with the characters. I could easily imagine everything. I loved Kristy Farrell! She is a lovable character and her daughter, Katie is very likable as well. I really enjoyed the way there was more than one mystery to solve in this book. You can tell the author took her time writing this and planned everything out, just so. There are clues sprinkled throughout the book and it all plays out perfectly. No loose ends in this book! ☆☆☆☆☆/5 stars from me! I highly recommend this book to all of you cozy mystery lovers. If you want to go on a mystery adventure, let this book take you away!

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Debbie Rozier
June 24, 2021

This is the second book in the series and even though this book refers back to Kristy’s first dip into the amateur sleuth world, I read it perfectly fine as a stand alone. I thought this was a well written and very enjoyable cozy mystery. I like the mystery itself and thought that the author did a beautiful job of having just the right amount of suspects. The book had an interesting plot line but was straightforward enough that I never felt confused. I liked the characters and the animal loving vibe of the book. Kristy writes for a magazine focusing on animals, Kristy’s husband and daughter are both vets, her brother is a reptile curator at a zoo (which is the setting of the first book), and the setting of the current murder is at an aquarium. With all that animal love, we get some interesting animal facts tossed into the book which I appreciated!

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J. Weiss
June 17, 2021

Something Fishy by Lois Schmitt is the first book in the Kristy Farrell Mystery series and held my interest throughout. There are multiple murders, scams, thefts, lies, and a whole lot more all set in Clam Cove, Long Island. Ms. Schmitt writes with depth to the story with many twists and turns, clues, cops, and other law enforcement and, as a reporter, Kristy Farrell, tries to solve the cases. There’s a lot of action and reaction along with information and misinformation as the story unfolds. The detective she keeps crossing paths with would like nothing better than to arrest her and see her behind bars. He was a hard person to like. Ms. Schmitt vividly depicted the aquarium, Katie’s home, the horse farm, and the waterfront area. The aquarium was involved in much of the story and many varieties of fish and other marine life and lots of facts were depicted. I liked Kristy’s family and how her daughter and her boyfriend helped with research and pulled together the clues. Kristy’s husband was supportive of her sleuthing but always cautioned her to be careful. The pets were a nice addition to the story as well. Finally, there was a nice closure with the cases dramatically solved and a happily ever in the offing for one of the characters. Ms. Schmitt is a new to me author, and with her splendid writing style and a solid mystery, I can honestly say I look forward to reading more of her books.

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Avonna
June 16, 2021

SOMETHING FISHY (A Kristy Farrell Mystery Book #2) by Lois Schmitt is an amateur sleuth cozy mystery featuring a female wildlife magazine feature writer who never stops asking questions. Even though this is the second book in this series, it is easily read as a standalone. Kristy Farrell is on assignment working on two articles for the magazine, both centered around the Long Island Clam Cove Aquarium. The first article revolves around the local fight over the use of twenty acres of prime Long Island beach front and the second is a feature on deadly sea animals. Environmentalists want the land to enlarge the scope of the aquarium’s facilities and a rich land developer and local business owners want the land for upscale beachfront condos. When a body is found floating in the local marina, Kristy and her veterinarian daughter, Abby work to discover the secrets of all the players involved in the race to raise the necessary money to buy the twenty acres. When a second murder occurs, Kristy needs to uncover the motive and killer before anyone else turns up dead and she needs to make her magazine’s deadline. This is an enjoyable cozy read with entertaining characters, a plot full of red herrings and interesting marine life information interwoven throughout. Besides the primary mystery, you also have personal family intrigue occurring at the same time with Kristy’s mother. Ms. Schmitt was able to bring many story threads together in a satisfying conclusion that had me continually guessing. I can recommend this amateur sleuth cozy mystery and I hope there are more to come.

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UmaF
June 15, 2021

This was my first book by this author and if I had realized it was a cozy mystery, I probably would not have picked it up to read. But it was actually pretty good. It wasn’t the sappy kind of mystery that bores you. The setting taking place in an aquarium for the book made a big difference as to the overall book. Not only did you read the book and try to figure out who the murders was, there were facts I also learned about aquariums. This is the second book in the series, and having not read the first, I can say it definitely can be read as a standalone (though now I do want to go back and read book #1️). Clues were given the throughout the book and some were easy to figure out but then some left you hanging a bit and I think the author did it on purpose to keep you intrigued. I actually felt exhausted at times for Kristy as she was a journalist trying to solve the murders but also trying to look out for her mother. Once her mom announced she was engaged, Kristy set out to see if her hunches were right that her mother fiancé was a scam artist. The author made sure the mystery was not clear cut as to who the murders was by giving motive and opportunity that it could be multiple people. Would definitely recommend.

There’s more than one something fishy in Clam Shell Cove. And it’s not all at the aquarium. Much to Detective Wolfe’s dismay, Kristy Farrell is in the midst of it all. She and her daughter Abby have their hands full trying to figure out why friends keep dying. Also, they need to prove Kristy’s mother’s boyfriend is a scam artist before the two up and marry. I was able to figure out who the murderer is, but went back and forth a bit before settling on my first choice. The why and even the how was hidden until nearly the end of the book. Thank you, Ms Schmitt, for this cozy mystery. I’m looking forward to more Kristy Farrell books. ***Book provided without charge by PICT.***

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Margaret Y.
June 3, 2021

Something Fishy by Lois Schmitt is the second book in the Kristy Farrell Mystery series, and even though this is a new author for me and I had not read the previous book I had no problems reading the book as a stand alone. From the first couple pages this book pulled me in, and kept me turning the pages to see what was going to happen next. I found the storyline to be an interesting one, and plenty of suspects that could have done the crime. The author certainly came up with a intriguing way to kill someone don’t believe I have every seen that one before. Having read this fun and interesting read, I am sure that I will go back and read the first book in the series and any other books this author may have written. I would definitely recommend this book to others. I received a copy of the book from the author and #partnersincrimevbt, and all opinions expressed here are my own.

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Joan N.
May 31, 2021

This is an enjoyable mystery with the unusual setting of an aquarium. I like the idea of the amateur sleuth, Kristy, being a magazine feature writer. That gives her good reason to be active in the murder investigation. Her character is well developed. I had to laugh at the characterization of the crabby police detective. He didn’t want Kristy involved but she showed him how to really uncover the murderer. The novel got off to a bit of a confusing start with a missing person, a situation I felt fell flat, having no real purpose. The plot did develop well after that with two murders. There is a good balance between the murder investigation by Kristy and her own personal life, including a troubling situation with her mother. I liked learning about marine life, like sharks. I appreciate the additional issue of commercial development of condos and big box stores verses aquarium expansion. This is a good novel to read for entertainment and for learning about marine animals and their care. Working for an aquarium can be a deadly occupation. I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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Michael P Brown
August 4, 2019

Enjoyed Kristy Farrell’s latest ”research” mystery adventure. The tangled net of all characters gets sorted out thru her persistence. Kristy becomes a pit-bull when getting to the truth, leaving no questions unanswered. I actually felt sorry for Detective Wolfe (not really) as she beats him to the punch every time. This great read will keep you guessing who done it. Love it taking place on Long Island!

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Jillian
August 1, 2019

Terrific story. Kept me intrigued from the very first page. Hope to see many more by this author.

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