If you’re a fan of Lillian Jackson, Rita Mae Brown or Carole Nelson Douglas, and mysteries featuring feline detectives, you’ve probably already discovered Shirley Rousseau Murphy’s series starring feline P.I. Joe Grey. Joe Grey investigates murders, solves crimes, and protects his humans at all costs. The series also features Kit, a longhaired tortoiseshell cat.
In Cat Bearing Gifts, the most recent in the series, Joe Grey and his four-legged cohorts are plunged into a nightmarish mystery involving a series of strange events that endangers them and the humans they love.
If you’re not familiar with the series, right now is a great time to check it out! Continue Reading
I’ve been enjoying the Cats in Trouble series, featuring cat quilter Jillian Hart, who settled in the small town of Grace, South Carolina with her three cats, since the very first book. The latest in the series, The Cat, The Mill and the Murder, was just released yesterday.
In this installment in the delightful series, Jillian volunteers to help a local animal shelter relocate a colony of feral cats living in an abandoned textile mill. She never expects to find a woman living there, too. The woman, who went missing from Mercy, South Carolina, a decade ago, refuses to leave the mill or abandon Boots, her cat who died years ago. After the woman is hurt in an accident and is taken away, those who’ve come to town to help repurpose the mill make a terrible discovery, and Jillian tries to unearth a long-kept and dark secret with the help of a mysterious new feline friend.
Look for a review of The Cat, The Mill and The Murder on The Conscious Cat soon.Continue Reading
It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Clea Simon’s cat-centric murder mysteries. I knew I would enjoy Parrots Prove Deadly, the third in Simon’s Pet Noir series featuring pet behaviorist and psychic Pru Marlowe – I just didn’t realize just how much I would love it.
Pru is hired to retrain the parrot of a woman who has died in a retirement home. The parrot needs a new home, but isn’t likely to find one with the vocabulary of swear words he seems to have acquired, and the dead woman’s family is hoping that Pru can help. As Pru starts working with the bird, she is wondering whether some of the parrot’s words are a replay of the woman’s death, and whether that death could have possibly been a murder. The only other possible witnesses are a blind neighbor, her seeing-eye dog, and a non-commital health care aide. Pru can’t help herself: she begins to look into the woman’s death, and she gets drawn into a tangled web of family dynamics, possible land fraud, and a potential rabies outbreak.
Midnight Louie is delighted that I was invited to write about him for the Conscious Cat and pleased to see photos of attractive torties on the site. (Frankly, like any hard-boiled PI, he can’t resist a female of any species.) And that may be mutual, much as I hate to encourage him. He looks gorgeously dapper on the cover of his latest release, Cat in a White Tie and Tails.
We have a tortie at home, rescued off the neighbor’s roof at 6 a.m. She’s called Amberleigh because she has green eyes and (some) red hair, like the Irish heroine of my first book of that name.
Midnight Louie was a rescue cat before he became a literary lion. Actually, he would deny he had needed “rescuing.” He was a motel cat. Continue Reading
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.
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.
Why is it that humans can’t leave well enough alone? We could all live long and happy lives if they’d act more like cats.
Hello, my name is Miss Marple, and I dominate a woman named Tricia Miles. She has provided me with everything a cat needs. A lovely home, a purpose and a place to work everyday, and sees to all my worldly needs: food, toys, catnip.
But recently when she goes out, she often comes homes smelling of DOG. One dog in particular. An incredibly self-satisfied bichon frise named (of all things) Sarge. Perhaps he is aptly named, though, as he tends to come charging into a room barking orders like a drill sergeant.
This DOG keeps arriving in our store, usually in a big pink purse being carried by Tricia’s sister. Continue Reading
How to Moon a Cat, the third book in Rebecca Hale’s Cats and Curios series, featuring a protagonist also named Rebecca, who has inherited her uncle’s antique shop, and her two cats, Rupert and Isabella, is not your average cat cozy.
From the publisher:
When Rupert the cat sniffs out a dusty green vase with a toy bear hidden inside, his owner has no doubt this is another of her Uncle Oscar’s infamous clues to one of his valuable hidden treasures. Eager to put together the pieces of the puzzle, she’s soon heading to Nevada City, accompanied by her two cats, having no idea that this road trip will put her life in danger.
This summary doesn’t do the book justice. I’m not even sure I would classify this book as a cozy, because it’s so much more. Continue Reading
I’d been looking forward to The Cat, The Wife and The Weapon. I love reading cozy mystery series, especially when they feature cats. To me, reading books that are part of a series is like having a joyful reunion with old friends that you only get to see once a year.
This fourth book in Leann Sweeney’s Cats in Trouble series once again 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 first thing I did, as I do with most books, was read the plot summary on the back cover:
When quilter Jillian Hart returns to her lake house in Mercy, South Carolina, she discovered her friend, Tom, is missing-and his estranged half-brother has moved into Tom’s house. Jillian doesn’t trust the guy, especially since he allowed Tom’s diabetic cat to escape. When police officers find Tom’s wrecked car with a dead stranger inside, Jillian is determined to find out what happened to Tom-before someone else turns up dead.
I’m a huge fan of Clea Simon, and was eagerly awaiting this fourth book in the Dulcie Schwartz mystery series, featuring the Harvard graduate student, along with her new kitten Esme, and the spirit of her departed cat, Mr. Grey. When my review copy of Grey Expectations arrived, I cleared time in my schedule, because I was pretty sure that once I started, I wouldn’t be able to put it down. I was right.
In this book, we find Dulcie in a happy place. She’s settled in with her boyfriend Chris, a computer programmer, and her relationship with her new kitten, Esme, is deepening. Mr. Grey’s spirit is still around, providing his wise, if sometimes cryptic, counsel not just to Dulcie, but also to Esme, and, much to Dulcie’s delight, to Chris. Dulcie is making progress on her thesis about an incomplete gothic novel written by an unknown author in the 18th centruy, The Ravages of Umbria. Dulcie is trying to uncover the identity of this author, and, in the process of her research, at times almost finds herself identifying with the, for her times, free-thinking and courageous woman, to the point where the mysterious author invades Dulcie’s dream.Continue Reading
I first discovered Blaize Clement’s Dixie Hemingway series when the cover of the first book in the series, Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter, caught my eye. Dixie Hemingway is a pet sitter who lives on one of the Florida keys – just based on those two pieces of information, I had a feeling I was going to thoroughly enjoy the series, and I wasn’t disappointed. I’ve since read the entire series, and I was eagerly awaiting The Cat Sitter’s Pajamas.
From the publisher:
Blaize’s beloved heroine Dixie Hemingway is back for another adventure, and she has her hands full when the worlds of celebrity hijinks, counterfeit fashion, and naughty cats collide.
Dixie Hemingway, no relation to you-know-who, accepts a job taking care of famous linebacker Cupcake Trillin’s cats, Elvis and Lucy, while he’s away. But what seems like an easy job turns scary when Dixie finds a celebrity fashion model in Cupcake’s house. The woman refuses to leave AND she also claims to be Cupcake’s wife. But Dixie has met Cupcake’s wife, and this woman certainly isn’t her.Continue Reading