Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: February 1, 2023 by Crystal Uys


I’m a huge fan of Leann Sweeney’s Cats in Trouble mystery series. The series features cat quilter Jillian Hart and her three cats Merlot, Chablis and Chiraz, along with her human friends, who all live in the small town of Mercy, South Carolina.

The Cat, the Vagabond and the Victim is the latest in the series. When a cat travels 200 miles to come back home, only to find his guardian dead, the story makes national news. In order to remove the cat from the center of the chaos created by the media attention, Jillian agrees to foster the big orange tabby in hopes that his location can be kept a secret. When it turns out that the cat’s guardian was murdered, Jillian becomes embroiled in the investigation. As she gets closer to identifying the killer, she realizes that her foster cat may be in danger of becoming the next victim.

As is the case with all of the books in the series, this installment keeps moving at a fast pace. Sweeney’s writing style is engaging and humorous, and it’s clear that she knows and loves cats. The cats play a dominant role not just in Jillian’s life, but in the story line, which makes this well-crafted mystery even more enjoyable for cat lovers.

If you haven’t read any of the books in the series, this is a wonderful introduction. It can be read on its own, but for me, one of the things I love about reading series mysteries is to be able to visit with the same cast of characters in each book. It’s like visiting with old friends, and when an author develops her characters, as well as Leann Sweeney, does, it really adds to the reading experience. So why not treat yourself to the entire series?

Four paws up for this latest installment  – I highly recommend adding this one to your summer reading list.

Leann Sweeney was born and raised in Niagara Falls and educated at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Lemoyne College in Syracuse, New York. She also has a degree in behavioral science from the University of Houston and has worked in psychiatry. A former registered nurse, she has been writing in the mystery genre for many years, and also writes the Yellow Rose Mystery series. For more information, please visit

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher. Receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. All book reviews will always reflect my honest and unbiased opinion.

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8 Comments on Review: The Cat, the Vagabond and the Victim by Leann Sweeney

  1. Thanks so much for your kind words about the book and the series, Ingrid. This particular fictional cat really stole my heart!

  2. Leann’s Cats in Trouble Mysteries are my favorite series. I have the first 5 books in the series on Kindle and in audio, and I revisit them when I want a great story with characters that seem like old friends – and of course, the cats are a big draw as well. I’m in the middle of this latest installment and I’m hooked. Leann has another winner here and I’ll be watching for it to come out in audio.

  3. Also thanks for the recommendation – I just bought the first one in the series (based on your comments on the overall series) so I can work my way through them all! I’m always on the lookout for cozy mysteries, cat mysteries or a combination of both. And by the way, we also have a little tortie girl – her name is Sassy and she definitely lives up to it. Keep up the good work!

  4. I love cat-themed books, and I really enjoy mysteries, so I’ll have to check out this series. I, too, enjoy reading series, getting to know characters over several books. It really does become like visiting with old friends; you really feel like you know all the characters after a while.

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