Written in classic detective (noir) story fashion, the five books in the Beastly Crime Chronicles each consist of a mystery case in the Far Woods — a generally peaceful and funny, yet at the same time noir-esque universe, where Starobinets places her woodland animal characters. There are imposing lawyer owls, an antsy coyote waiter Yote who runs the Tree Knot Tavern, an informant Magpie, a psychoanalyst Mouse, frogs exchanging information through croaks, and last but not least a worn out, elderly detective Badger and his young and brash assistant Badgercat, a cat going through an identity crisis. The laws of the Far Woods keep life in the Far Woods calm, safe and mutually trusting. It is strictly prohibited to kill or eat woodland animals. Then, one day, as Chief Inspector Badger and Badgercat eat rain-worm carpaccio with a glass of mothito (a numbingly sweet cocktail made from fermented house moths) in the old Tree Knot Tavern, the frogs croak some horrible news: a Rabbit was murdered. Now the woodland detectives must find and punish the killer.
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