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.
The Poison Oracle is the second in a series of reprints of Peter Dickinson’s mysteries from Small Beer Press.
©1974 Peter Dickinson (P)2013 Audible, Inc.