Saturday, May 8, 2021

The Female Trackers

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The seventh entry of P.C. Hatter’s Kaiser Wrench Poached Parodies opens with the first-person tiger narrator finding himself drunk in a gutter, and having a spat with his German shepherd police ally Duke Barrow, with the tiger’s lynx secretary Velvet Black also having gone missing. Kaiser is hospitalized, finding that a fellow patient, the terrier Eddie Clyne, wants to talk to the tiger. The private investigator then visits the beaver Leo Granger, who tells of the deceased anticommunist lupine Senator Clifford Evens, whose widow Clara serves as a secondary love interest for Kaiser.

Kaiser then moves on to meet the horned owl Lucius Weathersby, with the firearm that had claimed several lives the tiger’s target. Kaiser afterward partners with the antediluvian squirrel Alloishous Trent to investigate Eddie’s apartment, finding that he had some involvement with Velvet. The tiger’s next target is an individual known as the Chimera, with a Nazi espionage agent, the ram Carl Stein, having had involvement with the deceased Senator. Kaiser ultimately has a violent confrontation with the Chimera, with Clara afterward tending to his injuries, and Velvet still missing in action.

All in all, this entry of the Kaiser Wrench series has plenty going for it, such as the anthropomorphic characters sure to appeal to members of the furry fandom, the general good central plotline with a few decent twists, some political themes that aren’t terribly ham-fisted, and the fact that the temporal investment isn’t excessive. However, it does have some serious issues such as the difficulty, as with its precursors, in keeping track of the species of the various characters, not to mention the gap between it and its immediate predecessor, and the surplus of editing errors. It’s certainly not a great novella, but it’s far from terrible, if a run-of-the-mill mystery.

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