Available from Amazon Kindle as an E-Book – $2.99 or via Kindle Unlimited – or as a paperback for $11.50
Le Cochon Volant: The Flying Pig
An oil and gas pipeline company is laying a pipeline from Wyoming to San Diego. The construction crew for the pipeline is nearly all French-speaking Cajuns who have been pipeliners for years. Many of them have worked all around the world but call southern Louisiana home.
The pipeline traverses portions of the Mojave Desert that are habitat for the endangered desert tortoise. A portion of the pipeline crosses the Clark Mountains of southern California near the Nevada state line. The pipeline company has a permit that allows for the accidental death of up to five tortoises. They have killed three. Sean O’Flaithearta and his team of biological consultants have come in to monitor desert tortoises and prevent any more mortalities.
Sean O’Flaithearta is testing a new system for identifying flying bats by simultaneously recording their ultrasonic call and their picture. He sets up his equipment at an isolated desert spring where bats drink. Along with the calls of bats, Sean’s system records ultrasonic squeals made by the brakes of vehicles stopping near the spring. The acoustic signal of the brake noise is unique to each vehicle. Sean sets up his bat monitoring system in the pipeline’s equipment yard and records one of the same brake squeals about an hour before his equipment records it at the spring. Sean’s curiosity is piqued. Why is some vehicle leaving the pipeline yard and then appearing at the spring? Sean’s equipment records two brake squeals and gunshots at the spring the night before a heavy equipment operator’s body is discovered in the hole he was digging. Who murdered the operator and why?
Amazon Reviews –
April 30, 2019
The book by Fenton Kay is so creative it seems to create a new class of mysteries. Read it and see.
The characters are interesting, smart and funny. You will want to meet them again and again.
The plot is brilliant and keeps you interested without becoming absurd. (I wish more writers had the talent to do this.) This book is more like the product of a good writer in his/her prime than a first novel
I bought the book instead of borrowing it; I never want to have to return it for another freebie.
May 4, 2019
I love the book, I like mysteries, the fact that I know where these places are is awesome, I lived out at Cima for a while when my kids were toddlers. Are you doing a sequel? I would recommend the book to my family and friends.
June 26, 2019
Who could believe that the lowly desert tortoise, migrating Monarch butterflies, night flying bats, and an oil pipeline could be mixed with desert ecology scientists, U.S. Marshalls, Bureau of Land Management and Fish and Wildlife cops, south-of-the-border drug cartel thugs, and barrel cactus rustlers to create a“scientist-adventure-mystery” reminiscent of Clive Cussler.
I love all things nature so the details about desert ecology lured me right in.
I love technology and gadgets too, so the longish, science fiction style descriptions of the technology set the hook.
And who can pass up a good murder mystery that keeps you guessing right to the end?
I was impressed with the author’s ability to handle three dialects simultaneously: Spanish, Cajun French, and Scientist jargon/schmooze talk.
I got a kick from the “out of the box” solution to making desert tortoises more visible at dawn, dusk, and night to minimize their getting run over on the road: “racing stripes” made from glow in the dark tape stuck on their carapaces-temporary, harmless, but effective. Great fun!
And the science beat goes on!
I was doubly intrigued by the idea of using bat sonar to trigger a camera that could capture an image of a bat in flight. I Googled it and the darn thing actually exists. It’s called an Anabat ultrasonic call detector and if you pair it with a starlight camera, voila! A night-time photo of a bat in flight paired with a recording of its own species-unique call. What role does it play in the story? That would be telling and you’ll enjoy finding the answer yourself.
I had a great time with “the flying pig” and found myself picking it up every chance I got to see what happened next.
Now available in paperback at Amazon – $11.50