REVIEW: Feral Dust Bunnies (Offbeat Crimes Book 4) by Angel Martinez
Book four in the Offbeat Crimes series
An orphaned kitten may be the only witness to romance and the impossible.
Officer Alex Wolf responds to a lot of ‘paranormal’ calls that aren’t. Exotic pet birds aren’t monsters and unusual dog breeds aren’t aliens. It’s a good thing he likes the Animal Control officers, but he both yearns for and dreads those calls where he runs into ACO Jason Shen. Jason’s scent is so delicious that Wolf has a difficult time humaning around him.
Animal Control calls take a disturbing turn, though, when Wolf and his lizard-man partner, Krisk, discover the impossibly mummified bodies of rats and an unfortunate mother cat. The rescue of the cat’s sole surviving kitten not only gives Wolf more time with Jason, which is both perplexing and wonderful, but also leads to dangerous discoveries. Something inconceivable stalks the city and its officers of the law. Wolf has to figure out what it is before it can attack and drain the life from the people and the kitten he loves.
Dear Ms. Martinez,
I’ve been looking forward to this book as it was the first in the “Offbeat Crimes” series that I bought and it has a kitten! I’m all about the kitties and this one is a charmer – when she’s not a hissing ball of fluff.
Officer Alex Wolf is exactly that: a former wolf now cursed (so he and his adopted parents think) into human form. Alex finds “humaning” to be hard as subtle meanings, facial expressions and human behavior sometimes baffles him leaving him frustrated. The honchos at Paranormal State put him in the 77th Precinct – the one with all the other paranormal weirdos – and paired him with lizard man Krisk.
Responding to a call, they discover mummified remains of two animals and a lingering strange smell. Later Alex sees a commotion in an alley and finds three agitated dogs, a mummified mom cat and a spitting little kitten – along with the smell again. Calling for animal control, he meets up with handsome officer Jason who relieves Alex of the kitten and who might be … flirting with Alex?
The vet has no idea why the mother cat died as she did but the kitten is too little to wean yet and somehow Alex ends up with her. Jason gives Alex directions for Alex’s kitten – no, she’s not his kitten – for the kitten. Before Alex knows it, he’s looking up a name since not only Jason but Alex’s mother have categorically told him he can’t call her Kitten. A dinner date between Alex and Jason ends with a dog walk – well, Jason is an animal control officer – and Alex spotting a strange, malevolent man watching him.
Driving on patrol, Alex smells the odor again and this time he and Jason get an eyeful and experience of what might be causing the mummified animals. But with no idea what it is, they can only beat it off with the help of Krisk. Alex’s kitten – no, she’s not his kitten – the kitten is having some weird responses to something and Alex finally puts it all together and thinks he knows what’s the problem. He also discovers that his Lt. might speak “kitten.” Can Alex save his kitten – okay, he admits he’s hers now – and figure out dating Jason? It’s going to take all their bizarre paranormal powers to battle, track and defeat this monster.
This is the first book that spends time with Wolf and Krisk and I enjoyed seeing how similar they are – figuring out humans is hard for them both. They’ve worked together for four years and have the “partner” thing going. Learning about Alex’s background was interesting and his interactions with his adopted mom are sweet. The star for me though, is the kitten. She is Adorable x 10. Thinking back to when my cats were kittens, she acts like a kitten and just like one of mine, this kitten is fearless. Her name suits her well. She’s also very strong minded and determined to get her way. Which she usually does as well as charming the whole precinct.
The monster is another unusual one and just as menacing as the previous ones. A new wrinkle is being added to all the crimes we’ve seen so far and it appears that this will be explored in the last two books. I did feel the monster “take-down” was anti-climactic which was also a problem for me in book one and the romance ends on a HFN. It was nice to catch up with the previous characters and get a glimpse into what might have been bugging one of them. I look forward to seeing how all this will play out in the next book. B-