Books

Great Rescues: a 16-month calendar and gift book

Great Rescues calendar and gift book

I’m a big fan of animal artist and writer Bernadette Kazmarski. Her photographs and cat paintings capture the essence of cats in ways that only a small handful of artists are able to do. Bernadette is a multi-faceted creative spirit:  artist, writer, graphic designer, painter, animal advocate, environmentalist.  From commissioned pet portraits to animal inspired merchandise ranging from prints to textiles to greeting cards, looking around Bernadette’s websites are a feast for the senses. 

Great Rescues is a 16-month desk calendar and gift book featuring 16 portraits of rescued cats Bernadette has been commissioned to paint in the 20 years she has been an animal portrait artist. This sixteen-month calendar and gift book is a labor of love.

“While the portraits are lovely and I’m proud of my body of work, the stories of these cats, and the people who rescued them, were what compelled me to share them,” says Bernadette. “Each of the stories tells of cats from shelters and cats abandoned and saved, cats found inside car engines and cats reluctantly surrendered by people who could no longer care for them, but each one has a happy ending as a cherished companion in a loving home.”

Peaches by animal artist Bernadette Kazmarski

I’m particularly thrilled that “Peaches” made it into the calendar. I commissioned this painting as a Christmas gift for a friend last year. The original was absolutely stunning. It’s always difficult to tell when you have an artist paint someone else’s cat whether they truly captured the animal’s spirit. I think that’s something only the pet’s person can truly judge. My friend burst into tears when she opened her gift – that probably speaks volumes, especially since she’s not someone who cries easily. The painting not only captured Peaches’ spirit, it also brought a tremendous amount of peace to my friend. Peaches, at this writing, is 19 years old, and my friend is well aware that time is short. She says the painting will help her keep a part of Peaches with her forever, in a very tangible way.

This is one of the most beautiful cat calendars I’ve seen. The paintings are stunningly beautiful, and the stories are heart touching.  And it’s so much more than just a calendar. It also includes a comprehensive resource section covering feline wellness, health concerns, household toxins and poisons, fun cat facts, and more. The spiral bound book also contains a generous amount of blank pages (with a beautiful faint cat design in the background) for notes, or journaling.

Great Rescues calendar and gift book Bernadette Kazmarski 

The calendar runs from September 2011 through December 2012. You can order the calendar directly through Benadette’s website for the incredibly low price of $19.99 plus shipping. Even though it’s only July, it’s never to early to order Christmas presents – Great Rescues makes a purrfect gift for the cat lovers on your list.

I’m giving away one personalized, autographed copy to one lucky winner. To enter, leave a comment telling me why you would like to win the calendar. Tweet about this giveaway or share it on Facebook for an extra chance to win. This giveaway ends Friday, August 12.

You can learn more about Bernadette Kazmarski and enjoy samples of her gorgeous art and photographs on her website and on her blog.

You may also enjoy reading:

An interview with animal artist Bernadette Kazmarski

2011 Petties Best Cat Blog Best Overall Pet Blog

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Book review and giveaway: I am Tama, Lucky Cat

I am Tama, Lucky Cat

I am Tama, Lucky Cat by Wendy Henrichs, with illustrations by Yoshiko Jaeggi, is based on one of the versions of the Japanese legend of Maneki Neko, which literally translated means Beckoning Cat. Maneki Neko is also known as Lucky Cat, Welcoming Cat, or Fortune Cat. 

From the publisher:

Under the shadows of the white-capped mountains of Japan, a white cat with unusual markings arrives at the door of a rundown temple. With little more than a few grains of rice to share, a kind and gentle monk take him in and names him Tama, after the river of the monk’s boyhood memories. As Tama gets accustomed to life in the temple, he promises he will bring good fortune to his new master and the worshippers who come to pray. One afternoon, a mighty spring storm gives Tama the chance to do just that, and he earns the nickname “Lucky Cat.”

Heinrich’s almost lyrical style of telling the story, combined with Jaeggi’s absolutely charming illustrations, create a special magic. I found myself pausing at each page, absorbing the words, and losing myself in the pictures. The drawings of the cat capture feline body language and emotion purrfectly and make you feel like you want to reach out and touch Tama.  

In addition to telling Tama’s story, the book also provides a glimpse into Japanese culture and the teachings of the Buddha. When Tama first arrives at the temple, he realizes that his monk “never considered his own hunger, but looked with compassion upon the hollow cheeks of his people…It was for me and the temple worshippers that he wanted more food…more warmth…more comfort.”

This beautiful book is aimed at children ages 4-8, but I think adults will enjoy it equally as much.

I’m giving away one copy of this book. To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment and let me know why you’d like to win the book. For an additional chance to win, share this giveaway on Twitter or Facebook and share the link in a separate comment. This giveaway ends Friday, August 5.

July 26 update: Wendy Heinrichs generously offered a second copy for this giveaway, and she’ll even personalize and autograph it for the lucky winner!

This book was sent to me by the publisher.

2011 Petties Best Cat Blog Best Overall Pet Blog

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Book review: Grace Interrupted by Julie Hyzy

Grace Interrupted Julie Hyzy

I first came to know Julie Hyzy through her White House Chef Mystery Series featuring the immensely likeable Olivia (Ollie) Paras. I thoroughly enjoyed all four books in the series, but there’s not a single cat in any of them. Neither was there a cat in Grace Under Pressure, the first in Hyzy’s Manor House Mystery Series, although that, too, was a delightful read. When I saw the cover of Grace Interrupted, the second in the series, I was thrilled to see the adorable little kitten on the cover.

If I hadn’t alrady liked Julie Hyzy, I would have become a fan for sure after reading the dedication for Grace Interrupted: “For anyone who has ever opened heart and home to a stray.” It turns out that Bootsie, as the kitten is named in the book, is modeled after Julie’s newest family member.

The book’s cover is actually one of the most descriptive covers I’ve seen in a while, as it covers all elements of the story: the kitten, the elegant manor setting, and Civil War re-enactments.

From the publisher:

Civil war re-enactors have set up camp on the grounds of Marshfield Manor. The group is very believable, especially when the unrest spills out of the barracks and inside the sumptuous mansion. Grace manages to settle a minor squabble, but loses the war when actor Zachary Kincade is found stabbed to death.

Jack Embers, the groundskeeper, falls under suspicion when he’s linked to the death of Zachary’s brother years ago. But there were others out for Zachary, actors who can be very convincing when the coveted role of “General” is on the line. Grace feels responsible for finding the murderer…and for the sweet tuxedo kitten found on her doorstep, Bootsie. Can she come to the rescue of her friends without putting herself in danger’s way?

This is an all-around wonderful cozy mystery, filled with likeable, well-developed characters. The setting is fascinating. I’m not a Civil War buff, but I enjoyed learning about what motivates re-enactors. And of course, there’s Bootsie, the tuxedo kitten that Grace takes in on a rainy night, fully intending to find it’s rightful owner, which added to my enjoyment of this book.

Treat yourself to this well-plotted, entertaining and thorougly engrossing mystery – you won’t be disappointed.

Julie Hyzy cat on wood floorJulie Hyzy is the national bestselling author of the White House Chef Mysteries and the Manor House Mysteries. She won the Barry and Anthony Awards for Best Paperback Original for State of the Onion in 2009, and several other awards for her novels and short stories. Her first Manor House Mystery, Grace Under Pressure, earned a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly. Julie loves to read, eat out, and watch old movies and TV shows with her husband and three daughters. They live near Chicago with two rambunctious cats, Kitka and Violet. For more information about Julie, please visit her website. Kitka, of course, was the inspiration for Bootsie. And isn’t she a cutie?  

I purchased this book.

2011 Petties Best Cat Blog Best Overall Pet Blog

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Book review: Derv & Co: A Life Among Felines by T.J. Banks

“Basically, the cats have our number. And our address. And a map.”

So begins Derv & Co., a collection of stories and poems about some of the cats who’ve come into the hearts and home of T.J. Banks. We meet Derv (short for Dervish), the orange and white patriarch of the clan, and Star, the Siamese whose introduction into the household is described by Banks as “General Sherman marching through Georgia during the Civil War. ” In addition to many others, we also get introduced to Zorro the Reiki cat, who taught the author about healing and energy, and Phoebe, the office cat, who will guest blog right here on The Conscious Cat next week.

T.J. Banks knows and understands cats, and her appreciation and love for each individual cat shines through in  her sensitive and beautiful prose. You may recognize some of your own cats in the stories, and you’ll find yourself nodding your head in recognition of a particular feline trait, or laughing as something in one of the stories will awaken a long-forgotten memory of one of your own long lost cats.

Cat lovers, especially those who live with multiple cats, will probably recognize their own homes in the chapter titled “Feline Chic.” We’ve all made decorating compromises to accommodate our feline family members, from flooring to furniture to wall color choices (Banks suggests butter yellow if  you have cats who spray!) Sticky Paws tape may just be a cat lover’s best friend when it comes to home decor.

All the stories touched my heart, but it was the poems that moved me deeply. “Storm’s Passing,” written after her cat Stormy died one June morning when his heart stopped unexpectedly, beautifully captures the grief we all feel after losing a beloved cat. “For Solstice” conveys the experience of a spirit visit by a beloved cat that is so magical and lyrical, it filled my heart with joy. “Dawnstar” is an enchanting ode to a soulmate cat.

This is a jewel of a book. It’s the kind of book you don’t read just once.  And it’s the kind of book you’re going to want to give to every cat lover in your life.

Derv & Co. is available directly from the author – if you’d like to purchase, please e-mail T.J. Banks.

T. J. Banks is the author of A Time for Shadows, Catsong, Souleiado, and Houdini, a novel for young adults which the late writer and activist Cleveland Amory enthusiastically branded “a winner.” Catsong, a collection of her best cat stories, was the winner of the 2007 Merial Human-Animal Bond Award. A Contributing Editor to laJoie, she has received writing awards from the Cat Writers’ Association (CWA), ByLine, and The Writing Self. Her writing has been widely anthologized, and she has worked as a columnist, a stringer for the Associated Press, and an instructor for the Writer’s Digest School. She is currently writing a blog called “Sketch People,” a  series of interviews with people who have stories worth telling. You can learn more about T.J. Banks on her blog, and through this interview.

I purchased this book.

You may also enjoy reading:

Book review: Catsong by T.J. Banks

Book review: Houdini by T.J. Banks

Book review: Curiosity Thrilled the Cat by Sofie Kelly

Curiosity Thrilled the Cat by Sofie Kelly

Curiosity Thrilled the Cat is the first in the brand new Magical Cats Mysteries series. Even if I didn’t already love cat-themed mysteries, the cover would have drawn me in for sure: cats and books, my two favorite things!

 From the publisher:

When librarian Kathleen Paulson moved to Mayville Heights, Minnesota, she had no idea that two strays would nuzzle their way into her life. Owen is a tabby with a catnip addiction and Hercules is a stocky tuxedo cat who shares Kathleen’s fondness for Barry Manilow. But beyond all the fur and purrs, there’s something more to these felines.

When murder interrupts Mayville’s Wild Rose Music Festival, Kathleen finds herself the prime suspect. More stunning is her realization that Owen and Hercules are magical-and she’s relying on their skills to solve a purr-fect murder.

I loved everything about this book. The character of Kathleen, a determined amateur sleuth whose boyfriend in Boston went on vacation and returned home married, which prompted her move to Minnesota, is extremely likeable. The small Minnesota town she moves to is home to a cast of enjoyable secondary characters ranging from interesting to slightly bizarre. But it’s the cats who steal the show in this mystery. Owen is addicted to his Fred the Funky Chicken catnip toys, and Hercules is a fan of Barry Manilow’s music, which is definitely one of the more unique character traits I’ve seen in a cat!

I prefer if cats don’t talk in cat-themed mysteries, and these two don’t, but they do help solve the mystery, and at times, overshadow the human characters. I had no problem with that! But what really endeared me to Owen and Hercules is the fact that they seem to have magical powers: they can appear and disappear at will. Okay, so far, nothing that your average pet cat can’t do, right? But Owen and Hercules appear to be able to walk through walls and other solid surfaces.

The murder mystery gets solved, with a lot of help from the cats, but the magical properties of the two cats are left up in the air. Some readers may be bothered by this, but I actually liked it – it makes me look forward to the next book in the series even more.

Curiosity Thrilled the Cat is a whimsical, funny, magical read for cat and mystery lovers.

Sofie Kelly is the pseudonym of young adult writer and mixed-media artist, Darlene Ryan. Sofie/Darlene lives on the east coast with her husband and daughter. In her spare time she practices Wu style tai chi and likes to prowl around thrift stores. And she admits to having a small crush on Matt Lauer. You can learn more about her on her website.

Book review: A Cat Like That by Wendy Wahman

A Cat Like That by Wendy Wahman

This delightful book for young readers aged 4-8 helps children (and their parents) understand how to interact with a cat. Wendy Wahman’s charming, whimsical, brightly colored illustrations accompany sound advice and will teach cat-loving kids some new facts, and perhaps empower nervous kids to make new feline friends.

What does a cat want in a best friend? Someone who knows just where to scratch. Someone who can read the many moods of a cat’s tail. Someone who knows when to play, and when to stay away.

My absolute favorite part of the book is this:

“I’d send a kiss with my eyes by blinking slowly…and hope I got one back.”

This book is purrfect for kids who are about to adopt a cat or meet a cat for the first time – especially for the overeager ones!

Check out this cute video about A Cat Like That:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80WcGcwpvaI&feature=youtu.be

Wendy Wahman has won many awards for illustration, but her greatest joy is loving the two-, three-, and four-legged animals she has known. She is also the author of Don’t Lick the Dog: Making Friends with Dogs. She lives in Washington State. You can learn more about Wendy and her work on her website.

This book was sent to me by the publisher.

A day in the life of an author’s cat

Fred, Lorna Barrett's cat

Guest post by Fred, owner of
New York Times bestselling author Lorna Barrett

Hello, my name is Fred. I’m a Tuxedo. That means I’m black and white. And very handsome. I know, because my author told me so.

Yes, I own an author. She wasn’t always an author, but when I came to live with her, her luck changed. Who says black cats are unlucky! She started selling lots of books. She has lots of author names: Lorna Barrett, Lorraine Bartlett, and L.L. Bartlett.

Why do people think black cats are unlucky? Okay, I do have some white fur, too, but I’m mostly a black cat. (Unless I lie on my back, and then my mapmaker—that’s the husband of my author—says I’m mostly white. Go figure!)

As an author-owner, I lead a pretty busy life. My day often starts at 3 or 4 in the morning. Sometimes I get restless and like to walk around the house talking to the cupboard. It holds lots of cans of cat food and kitty treats. I tell it to feed me, but it doesn’t listen well. So I walk around the house and talk to the furniture and the walls. Sometimes I talk (and scratch on) the bedroom closet door. For some reason when that happens, water comes squirting off of the mapmaker’s bedside table. Go figure!

I like to go back to bed about half an hour before everybody else gets up. Then I like to have a lie-in while my author and mapmaker play on their computers before breakfast.

I show up for breakfast every morning, but sometimes I don’t like what’s on the menu. I refuse to sit up and then I walk away. (But I sneak back when no one is looking. Hey, I gotta eat ya know.)

After breakfast, I like to jump on my author’s lap to take make sure she is correctly answering her email. Then I take a long nap on my mapmaker’s extra office chair. Sometimes I go sit under his 200 watt light bulb in my kitty bed. It’s too small for me, so sometimes I have to hang over the edges.

At lunchtime, I like to go see what my author is having. Sometimes she cuts up onions and celery and that means tuna will happen, and I get to drink the tuna water. I like that. (Doesn’t happen enough, though.)

After lunch, it’s nap time. I need to stay well rested because, like I said, I get up at 3 or 4 in the morning to talk to the walls and furniture. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

My favorite part of the day is Happy Hour. My author and mapmaker like to read (and my author often edits her work in progress at this time of day). Sometimes cheese happens. Yum! Chester (their other black cat) is good about telling them that WE NEED CAT TREATS NOW! Sometimes Betsy (one of the two sisters that live here—I like to chase or LOOK AT HER and make her SCREAM) leaves her treats. I’m fast. I clean up her leftovers.

During happy hour, I like to run around the house and pretend I’m a bullet train. (Only I can jump over chairs and knock over tables. It’s fun!) I have kitty OCD which makes my skin ripple and makes me run fast. The only thing that calms me down is my author petting me and telling me I’m a good and handsome boy. (I am!)

In the evening, I like to walk around the house and let everybody know that I’m in charge. (Chester doesn’t believe it.) I like to jump on the back of my author’s office chair and purr in her ear. She seems to like it.

If my author stays up too late, I have to remind her that it’s my bedtime. I start talking to the walls and furniture in her office until she says, “Alright already! Bedtime!” I sleep at the bottom of my author’s bed. I have an afghan my people-grandma made me and I have a little pillow, too. I like to rest my head on the pillow.

When I’m not doing all these things, I bring my author lots of luck to sell her books. That’s why she calls me her little prince (and her tiny son). She loves me a lot.

That’s my happy life. I hope your life is happy, too!

Lorraine Bartlett with Fred

Fred’s author is New York Times Bestselling author Lorna Barrett of the Booktown Mystery series. Sentenced To Death, #5 in the series, was relesed June 7th. Lorna also writes the Victoria Square Mysteries under the name Lorraine Bartlett and the Jeff Resnick Mysteries under the name L.L. Bartlett.

You may also enjoy reading:

An interview with Lorna Barrett

A mystery author and her cats

Book review: Sentenced to Death by Lorna Barrett

Sentenced to Death Lorna Barrett

Sentenced to Death is the fifth 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. I’ve come to love this series, but even if I didn’t know anything about it, I would have picked this one up just for its pretty cover. A cat, books, and a summery background – those are definitely a few of my favorite things! And the book lives up to its cover: this is a perfect summer read.

It’s Founder’s Day in Stoneham and the whole village has turned out to celebrate in the square, including Tricia’s friend and festivities organizer Deborah Black. As everyone watches Deborah give the opening speech, a small aircraft crashes into the village gazebo, killing both Deborah and the pilot. While the Sheriff’s Department is convinced that it was an accident, Tricia has a feeling that there’s more to the story.

Tricia gets suspicious when Deborah’s husband doesn’t seem to spend any time grieving the loss of his wife and doesn’t even hold a funeral for her. Instead, he quickly sells The Happy Domestic, the store Deborah owned, to Nigela Racita Associates, a company that appears to be on a mission to take over the small town.  A second death proves to Tricia that she is on to something, and she continues her investigation.

One of the most appealing aspects of reading a mystery series for me is the return of the same characters. To me, it’s like visiting with old friends in each new book. If you’ve read the previous four books, you already know and love Tricia, Miss Marple, Angelica, Tricia’s sister, cookbook author and owner of The Cookery, and captain Baker, Tricia’s love interest (or is he?). Miss Marple makes more frequent appearances in this book than she did in the previous ones, which added an additional element of reading pleasure for me. Even if you haven’t read the earlier books, you will like this one, but be forewarned: it’s going to almost certainly make you want to catch up and read the other four!

Sentenced to Death is a highly entertaining summer read with exciting plot twists, the most unique murder weapon of any cozy I’ve ever read, likeable characters, and a lovable feline. Pick up your copy (it will be released June 7), pour yourself a cold summer beverage of your choice, and enjoy this delightful cozy.

Lorna Barrett is a New York Times bestselling and Agatha Award nominated author. You can learn more about Lorna by visiting her website and her blog Dazed and Confused.

I received an ARC copy of this book from the author.

Coming Wednesday: A guest post by Fred, Lorna Barrett’s cat!

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Chapter and Hearse

Bookplate Special

Book review: The Complete Cat’s Meow by Darlene Arden

The Complete Cat's Meow Darlene Arden

When I look at cat care guides, I typically review them to see if they are something I would recommend to other cat owners. After almost three decades of either caring for cats, working with cats, or writing about cats, I don’t expect to find much that I haven’t read or heard about before. And yet, I bought The Complete Cat’s Meow: Everything You Need to Know About Caring for Your Cat, because I knew that a cat care guide written by Darlene Arden would be special. I wasn’t disappointed.

Darlene’s wealth of knowledge, thorough research, and engaging writing style come through on every page. But even more than that, it’s Darlene’s love for cats that makes this book special, beginning with the introduction’s closing phrase “The Complete Cat’s Meow will…help your feline companions live longer, healthier, happier lives. In return, you will reap a boundless bounty of love and affection” to passages such as “open your heart and your home to a kitty and watch the love flourish.” One only has to look at the photo of Darlene with her cat Aimee on the back cover to know that Darlene isn’t just an expert on all things cat, she truly loves cats.

Reading this book is like a conversation with a good friend who loves cats as much as you do, but knows more about them than you do. The book covers newborn kittens, how to choose the right cat for you, how to prepare your home for your new kitty, understanding cat behavior, nutrition and health care. Darlene presents an extensive list of feline health concerns ranging from urinary tract disease to cancer to dealing with emergencies and surgeries. The book also includes a listing of popular breeds with detailed descriptions of their appearance and personality.

The two sections that really stood out for me are the ones on new kittens, and on how to choose the right cat for you. In the kitten section, Arden goes into great detail on how a responsible breeder raises kittens. At fist, I was a little skeptical about the emphasis on breeders in this section, because I’m not someone who would ever purchase a kitten, (nor does the author advocate this as the only way to bring a kitten into your life). I quickly realized that the author uses the example of how a responsible breeder raises a litter of kittens to illustrate how kittens are raised in ideal circumstances, such as being handled and socialized from a very early age, and not being separated from their mother until they’re at least 12 weeks old. In the section on how to determine which cat is right for you, the author carefully reviews all aspects that should be considered, from age to breed to coat length. I have not seen these two aspects of cat care covered this thoroughly in any other cat care guide I’ve read, and I read a lot of them!

This is not to say that the other sections aren’t covered with the same level of depth and attention to detail. Every section in this book provides excellent information. In addition, the book is beautifully illustrated throughout with black and white photos and some absolutely stunning full color photographs in the middle. It also features an exceptional resource guide.

If you’re only going to buy one cat guide, this is the one to get. The Complete Cat’s Meow is not only a great book for those who are new to sharing their lives with cats, it really belongs in every cat owners library.

Darlene Arden with cat AimeeDarlene Arden is an award-winning writer, lecturer and Certified Animal Behavior Consultant. She is the author of numerous books on pet care and  hundreds of articles and columns for all of the major cat and dog publications, as well as for newspapers and general interest publications. Darlene is passionate about helping animals live longer and better lives. For more information about Darlene, please visit her website.


I purchased this book.

Buckley’s Story honored as Finalist in the 2011 International Book Awards

Buckley's Story: Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher

I am very excited to share the news that Buckley’s Story is an Award-Winning Finalist in the “Animals/Pets: General” category of the 2011 International Book Awards!

The International Book Awards honor knowledge, creativity, wisdom and global cooperation through the written word. Over 300 winners and finalists were announced in 140 categories. “The 2011 results represent a phenomenal mix of books from a wide array of publishers throughout the world,” says Jeffrey Keen, President and CEO of JPX Media Group. “Finalists and winners were chosen by a distinguished panel of industry judges who bring to the table their extensive editorial, PR, marketing, and design expertise.”

What makes awards like this one, and the 2010 Merial Human Animal Bond Award, which was awarded to Buckley’s Story last November by the International Cat Writers Association, so special is not just the recognition of all the hard work that went into writing the book.

It also means that even more people will hear about my little cat, and the way she changed my life in ways I never could have imagined. It means that her lessons will be shared with an even wider audience. It means that perhaps, somewhere out there, someone will find comfort in reading about my personal story of navigating through the devastating grief that comes with losing a beloved cat.

The spirit that was Buckley was endless love and joy. I can feel my little cat smiling now.

Book review: The Cat, the Lady and the Liar by Leann Sweeney

Reading The Cat, the Lady and the Liar, the third in Leann Sweeney’s Cats in Trouble series, was like visiting with old friends. I came to know and like cat quilter Jillian Hart, who settled in the small town of Grace, South Carolina, in The Cat, the Quilt and the Corpse and in The Cat, the Professor and the Poison. Jillian’s best friend, Deputy Candace Carson, step daughter Kara, and new boyfriend Tom round out the cast of human characters, and they’re joined by Jillian’s three cats Merlot, Chablis and Syrah.

When Jillian tries to track down the owner of a gorgeous black stray cat who was found by the local animal shelter, she turns out to be none other than Ritaestelle Longworth, the fabulously wealthy owner of a large estate in a neighboring town. Something seems amiss with Rita. Her live-in relatives claim that she’s been stealing from local stores. Rita herself fears that she’s been drugged.

When Ritaestelle shows up at Jillian’s home one night, and a body is found in the lake on Jillian’s property that same night, Ritaestelle becomes a suspect in the murder. Jillian’s instincts tell her that Ritaestelle is innocent, and, with the help of her three cats, she sets out to solve the mystery. As Jillian and her boyfriend Tom, a former cop and PI,  begin investigating, they uncover a tangled web of old family feuds. The cats, in their own way, provide clues along the way.

Tightly plotted, with likeable characters, and filled with cat trivia, this entertaining mystery will become a favorite for cozy and cat lovers alike. I’m already looking forward to the next book in the series.

The Cat, the Lady and the Liar book trailer:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mY3pFCGyL98

Leann Sweeney, a former nurse, has been writing full time since 1980. She lives in Texas with her husband, her three cats Agatha Christie, Archie Goodwin and Indigo, and Rosie, her labradoodle. You can find out more about her and her books on her website.

The author sent me an ARC copy of this book.

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Book review: The Cat, the Professor and the Poison