Carolyn Jourdan is the author of Medicine Men – Extreme Appalachian Doctoring. This is her first fiction, a delightful mystery set in the Smokey Mountains. It has some fun characters, and you get to learn a lot about myxomycetes. OK, you Philistines who don’t know what that is. It is slime molds. Yes, I said slime molds. They are a creature that is one-celled but works together with others. They used to be considered a fungi, but now that scientists are learning more about them, they are no longer in that category. They use spores to reproduce. Bet ya didn’t know any of that, did ya? Yeah, me neither. Well, since I knew absolutely zero about the dear things, I had to do a bunch of research. Because the book revolves around slime molds. And a missing student of mycology.
Here’s some slime mold for your edification and review:
Our protagonist, Phoebe McFarland, returns to her roots in the Smokey Mountains to work as a rural home healthcare nurse. She meets a Wildlife Rangers for the area, and it looks like we might have a match. Well, except for the pesky problems of people getting killed and almost killed…. and for what? For slime mold.
So Phoebe turns detective and working with Henry Matthews, the Forest Service hunk, the hunt is on, both for the missing chick and for some slime mold.
And there is also a guy who is a frog whisperer. He knows tons about frogs. Like bullfrogs are deaf, except to calls of other bullfrogs. That must be an odd world of selective silence
This is a delightful book because we get to learn a lot of some subjects we were ignorant about, the bodies turn out to be people we don’t that much about, and there are some other eccentric characters to brighten up our day, and a happy ending. I do so love happy endings.
Who was it that said we like our tragedies with a happy ending. And what’s wrong with that?