Books

Review: Lost and Found by Amy Shojai

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Don’t worry, my book reviews have not gone to the dogs. The front cover of Amy Shojai’s debut thriller Lost and Found is a bit misleading, which is why I’m showing the back cover as well. While Shadow, the dog featured on the cover, plays a central role in the book, Macy the Maine Coon makes important contributions to solving the mystery, even if she was relegated to the back cover.

Amy Shojai is a certified pet behaviorist and award-winning author of more than 24 non-fiction pet books. I was intensely curious about her first foray into fiction.

From the publisher:

Animal behaviorist September Day has lost everything—husband murdered, career in ruins, confidence shot—and flees to Texas to recover. She’s forced out of hibernation when her nephew Steven and his autism service dog Shadow disappear in a freak blizzard. When her sister trusts a maverick researcher’s promiseContinue Reading

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Review: Animals Welcome by Pet Kehret

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Animals Welcome: A Life of Reading, Writing and Rescue by Peg Kehret is a collection of stories of the animals in the author’s life. When Kehret and her husband moved to a log cabin near Mt. Rainier in Washington State, she was looking for a quiet place to write. A lifelong animal lover, she loved the abundance of wildlife in her backyard, and had her property designated as a wildlife sanctuary. Since the stray cats in the area can’t read, her home eventually also became a safe haven for stray cats.

From a mother cat and her kitten rescued after being shot with a pellet gun to a black bear living on her porch, Kehret  shares the joys of rescuing and caring for animals. She also writes about the heartbreak of losing Pete, the shelter-cat who co-authored three of her books. When her husband of 48 years died of a heart attack, Kehret found comfort in opening her home to foster cats.

This book is written from the heart while also providingContinue Reading

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A life in cats, real and fictional

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Written by Lucy Burdette

When Ingrid asked if I’d like to write a blog about cats in my life as models for the cats in my books, I couldn’t wait to get started!

As I was about to turn thirteen, awkward and shy and brimming with early teenage yearning, I wanted only two things for my birthday. One was a date with Micky Dolenz of the Monkees. Which I could never have handled even had it been possible.

My second wish was for a kitten. Unfortunately, my birthday is in January and we lived in frozen Michigan, so kittens were scarce. But my pet-loving mother searched the animal shelters within a fifty mile radius and tracked down an orange tiger kitten. He had already been returned by one family, and so came with a “no refund” receipt.

Tigger was a huge hit, Continue Reading

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Review: Solomon’s Tale by Sheila Jeffries

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Sheila Jeffries’ e-mail, asking me to review Solomon’s Tale: A Wise Cat Helps a Family in Crisis described the book as “a story about a healing cat who helps a family.” She went on to describe the book in greater detail, but she had me at “healing cat.”

We first meet Solomon in spirit form. He tells us that “in the spirit world, we cats are shining cats, and we live in a way that is impossible to live on earth. There is no meowing or yowling, but we do purr, and we communicate by telepathy. … There are shining people, too. There is no pollution, no illness, and no war.” Sounds like the kind of place you never want to leave. But when Solomon is asked to go back to earth to help Ellen, the human he loved the most, he readily agrees. He had been Ellen’s cat when she was a child. She is facing some major challenges, and Solomon takes on the assignment of helping her through them by reuniting with her.

Helping Ellen is not easy. Ellen’s husband is an alcoholic, her young son John is quite a handful, and Jessica, the resident cat, is not thrilled with the newcomer. Solomon helps the family face the repossession of the family home, relocation to a cramped caravan, Ellen’s illness, and a stint of trying to survive in the wild. It’s a lot for one small cat to deal with, but Solomon is up to the task.

I expected to like this book, but I did not expect Continue Reading

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Review and giveaway: Cat in a White Tie and Tails by Carole Nelson Douglas

Cat in a White Tie and Tails cover

Carole Nelson Douglas’ Midnight Louie series, featuring feline detective Louie and his human, public relations specialist Temple Barr, is probably one of the longest running and best known feline mystery series.

In Cat in a White Tie and Tails, the twenty-fourth book in the series, Louie accompanies Temple and her fiancé, rising media star and former priest Matt Devine, to Chicago so she can meet his family. Louie is catnapped right out of Matt’s mother’s living room. In a series of twists and turns, the kidnapping leads the reader back to Las Vegas. Meanwhile, Las Vegas homicide detective Molina has commissioned Temple’s former boyfriend, magician Max Kinsella, who suffers from amnesia following a recent attempt on his life, to help solve some old cold cases. In a series of wild twists and turns, involving Molina’s former boyfriend and father of her daughter as well as stonecold killer Kitty the Cutter who may have returned from the dead, Louie and his partner in crime and his daughter, Midnight Louise, have their paws full trying to tie up all the loose ends in a fast-paced, fun read that will leave the reader breathless.

If you’re a fan of the series, you will love Continue Reading

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Review: Corpse in the Crystal Ball by Kari Lee Townsend

Corpse in the Crystal Ball by Kary Lee Townsend

I was delighted to discover Corpse in the Crystal Ball, the second in Kari Lee Townsend’s Fortune Teller series. I’m not sure how I missed the first book in the series, Tempest in the Tea Leaves, because it, too, has a photo of the gorgeous white cat featured in the book on the cover, and I usually can’t pass up any book with a cat on the cover.

The series features protagonist Sunny Meadows, a psychic  who lives in the idyllic town of Divinity, New York. The old Victorian house she bought after she moved there,which is reported to be haunted, came complete with a large white cat named Morty. Sunny bonded quickly with Morty, and she wisely accepted that he rules the roost. She also suspects that he might be the one doing the haunting in the old house.

The second book picks up after Sunny had just cleared her name as the prime suspect in a murder investigation. She’s looking forward to some peace and quietContinue Reading

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Julia’s Cats: Julia Child’s Life in the Company of Cats (2023 Review)

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A life without a cat is a life without sunshine. – Julia Child

I didn’t know Julia Child was a cat lover until I received Minette’s Feast: The Delicious Story of Julia Child and Her Cat from the publisher. I was utterly charmed by this beautifully illustrated book aimed at children ages 3 and up.

Julia’s Cats: Julia Child’s Life in the Company of Cats by Patricia Barey and Therese Burson brings this little known aspect of Julia Child’s life to light in an engaging and entertaining way. If you weren’t already a fan of Julia Child, you will be after reading this book.

From the book’s prologue: “A reporter once asked Julia Child what she might whip up for her creator when she got to heaven. Julia wasn’t a religious person – she believed heaven was right here on earth, in her own cozy kitchen, hovering over a skillet sizzling with shallots and butter, then sitting down to share a meal with people she loved, a cat wrapped around her ankles, meowing for treats.”

I was, of course, particularly delighted that Julia Child’s introduction to cats began with a tortoiseshell catContinue Reading

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Review: Animal Attraction by Anna David

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I recently got my first Kindle, and not surprisingly, the first few books I downloaded were all cat books. After downloading my own Buckley’s Story, which I had never seen on a Kindle, Animal Attraction was next. I had already started a wish list of books that were only available on Kindle even before I bought one, and David’s book was at the top of that list. The totally adorable cover alone would have sold me on it even before I read the description!

From the publisher:

Anna David never expected to end up a crazy cat lady. A successful author (Party Girl, Bought, Reality Matters, Falling For Me) and dating expert for numerous television shows (including The Today Show, The CBS Morning Show and G4’s Attack of the Show), David had every reason to imagine that at this point in her life, she’d be sharing her bed with a man and not two four-legged furballs. In Animal Attraction, the author that The New York Post credits with creating the subgenre “Chick Lit With a Message,” shares the unusual journey she took from fun-loving party gal to obsessive cat mom. The result is an uproarious, poignant, and painfully honest tribute that’s sure appeal to pet (and people) lovers everywhere.

I love stories in which cats change their humans’ life. Continue Reading

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Book review: Healing Animals and The Vision of One Health by Michael W. Fox

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Let me start this review by saying that Healing Animals and The Vision of One Health: Earth Care and Human Care is not a cat book. So why am I reviewing it here? Because it is an amazing book that touches on so many things that matter a great deal to me: conscious living, animal health, human health, the health of our planet, the health care crisis for both animals and humans, and the many pitfalls of commercial pet food, to name just a few.

Michael Fox is a veterinarian best known for his syndicated “Animal Doctor” column. Born in England, the former vice president of The Humane Society of the United States and the author of more than 40 adult and children’s books on animal care, animal behavior and bioethics, is a renowned advocate of animal rights and a sharp and eloquent critic of the biotechnology industry. As a professor, bioethicist and veterinarian, Dr. Fox has spearheaded the movement to foster the ethical treatment of animals and the environment since 1967.

His new book presents a vision of a worldContinue Reading

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Review and giveaway: Enchanting Lily by Anjali Banerjee

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The publicist’s e-mail asking me whether I’d be interested in reviewing Enchanting Lily read “Anjali Banerjee’s charming and whimsical women’s fiction novel is the story of a young widow whose eyes are opened to the magic and fortune all around her by the arrival of a special white cat.” I was hooked before I even had the book in my hands!

I enjoy well-written womens’ fiction, and of course, I love it even more when there’s a cat prominently featured as part of the story. In Enchanting Lily, we meet Lily Byrne, a young widow who is leaving Seattle and the memories of her life with her husband there to start over in a small town on an island in Puget Sound. Almost on a whim, she buys a charming cottage and decides to open a vintage clothing boutique. When a white cat arrives on her doorsteop, she has no intentions of keeping her. But the cat, and the universe, have other plans for Lily. The story follows Lily’s healing journey, which is intricately linked to the cat and the human inhabitants of this small community.

Told from both Lily’s and the cat’s perspective, Continue Reading

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Book review: Murder on the Half Shelf by Lorna Barrett

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Murder on the Half Shelf is the sixth in Lorna Barrett’s bestselling Booktown mystery series featuring Tricia Miles, the owner of the Haven’t Got a Clue mystery book store and her cat, Miss Marple.

The small town of Stoneham, New Hampshire may have its share of bookstores, but had been sadly lacking in Bed & Breakfasts. This is about to change when the Sheer Comfort Inn is ready to open its door. But first, they offer a free trial night to some local residents, including Tricia. What should have been a relaxing night quickly turns into a nightmare when Tricia discovers the murdered body of the inn’s owner.

The plot thickens when it turns out Continue Reading

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