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The Poison Oracle

“I think Peter Dickinson is hands down the best stylist as a writer and the most interesting storyteller in my genre.”
—Sara Paretsky, author of Breakdown

“Small Beer Press, a small publishing company in Massachusetts, is reprinting … Peter Dickinson’s books, which is a wonderful, wonderful gift to mystery readers who are yearning for that kind of old-fashioned British mystery where it doesn’t move quickly, you get engrossed in the time period.”—Nancy Pearl, NPR

Take a medieval Arab kingdom, add a ruler who wants to update the kingdom’s educational facilities, include a somewhat reserved English research psycholinguist (an Oxford classmate of the ruler) invited to pursue his work on animal communication, and then add a touch of chaos in the person of Dinah: a chimpanzee who has begun to learn to form coherent sentences with plastic symbols.

When a murder is committed in the oil-rich marshes, Dinah is the only witness, and Morris has to go into the marshes to discover the truth. The Poison Oracle is a novel of its time that uses the everyday language people use to expose humanity’s thinking and unthinking cruelties to one another and to the animals with whom we share this earth.

Includes an author interview between Peter Dickinson and Sara Paretsky.

Praise for The Poison Oracle:

“Dickinson’s crime novels are simply like no other; sophisticated, erudite, unexpected, intricate, English and deeply, wonderfully peculiar.”—Christopher Fowler, author of The Memory of Blood

“I have no idea if any of this talk and ac-tion is authentic, and I don’t care. Either way it’s marvellous.”—Rex Stout

“Intelligent, elegantly written . . . a thoroughly enjoyable read.”—Sunday Times

Praise for Peter Dickinson’s mysteries:

“He is the true original, a superb writer who revitalises the traditions of the mystery genre . . . incapable of writing a trite or inelegant sentence . . . a master.”—P. D. James

“Consummate storytelling skill.”—Peter Lovesey

Peter Dickinson has twice received the Crime Writers’ Association’s Gold Dagger. His novels include Death of a Unicorn,A Summer in the Twenties, and many more. He lives in England and is married to the novelist Robin McKinley.

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