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Unnatural Selection:
Lessons of Life and Death on the Paper Trail


The Santa Narcissa Zoo is under duress: dwindling staff, budget cuts, panda preparations, accreditation inspections, a vengeful graphic designer—and a deceased docent. Claude Hopper had it all: looks, money, a storied career as the creator of wonder drug Povenda, and, after he turns up dead under strange circumstances, a legacy that would haunt the Zoo. Who would have reason to kill him? The spurning girlfriend who doesn’t believe in marriage? An animal keeper with a grudge? The estranged son with whom he recently reconnected? An ardent animal rights activist? Or the philandering City Councilman who loves him? It’s up to disillusioned primatologist, behavioral researcher, and former private investigator turned horticulturist Sandy Lohm to unravel the red tape in order to find the killer.

Rosana Dumas has whipped up a fanciful murder mystery that romps recklessly along the  fault line where life and death, nature and culture, comedy and tragedy collide.

—José Chung, author of José Chung’s From Outer Space and A Lapful of Severed Tongues

This sassy zoo-done-it made me laugh and cry by turns as it probes our skewed relationship with nature and culture.

—Paul Sheldon, Santa Narcissa Mirror


A beastly book that gnaws with gusto at the red tape that holds civilization together. —Paternoster Review

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