"This snarky cozy is full of humor and British quirkiness. Agatha Christie meets Monty Python."
Yup. Nailed three of my teenage influences right there, if you include the implied Lewis Carroll reference. It's like she knows me.
Hmm. What if Agatha really did meet Monty Python . . .
"The Norwegian Blue prefers kipping on its back. Remarkable bird, innit, Squire? Beautiful plumage. It's probably pining for the fjords."
"Pining for the fjords? It's not pining, it's passed on. This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! He's expired and gone to meet his maker! He's a stiff! Bereft of life, he rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed him to the perch, he'd be pushing up the daisies! His metabolic processes are now history! He's off the twig! He's kicked the bucket, he's shuffled off his mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible! This . . . is an ex-par--"
Mr. Praline broke off as the door to the pet shop opened suddenly. Silhouetted in the doorway was a man whose erect stance and air of dignity made you instantly overlook his lack of height. The newcomer took a couple of paces forward, a slight limp now noticeable, until the harsh fluorescent lighting fully revealed the dandified neatness of his appearance, from his dapper shoes to the freshly brushed Homburg that crowned his egg-like head. His military moustache seemed to twitch as the odor of the dirty cages reached him, and he plucked irritably at sudden stray feather that had floated onto the impeccable cloth of his sleeve.
"One moment, mon ami," he cautioned, in an accent that the little Belgian knew would be mistaken for French once again. These cloth-eared English! "I put it to you, M'sieur Praline, that the parrot has not merely expired, as you put it. He was . . . murdered!"
"Murdered!" gasped the two men on either side of the counter.
"Murdered," confirmed the detective. "He was, 'ow you say, whack-ed. Rubbed out. Bumped off. Dispatched. Iced. Wasted, pasted, wetworked. He's been given a Chicago overcoat. He sleeps with the fishes. He was taken for a ride to the 'appy 'unting ground. He was made to walk the plank, with malice aforethought and extreme prejudice. Polished off and toe-tagged, he has bitten the dust while the fat lady sang. He said no to an offer he couldn't refuse. This . . . is a DOA parrot."
He took another dainty step forward. "Mais oui, mes amis," he continued, glaring at the remains of the blue parrot on the floor in front of his highly polished toecaps. "It is murder, certainment. Murder most foul!"