cozy mystery

Why Every Writer Needs a Cat


Guest post by Mary Kennedy

When I tell people I’m a mystery writer, they picture my life as glamorous and exciting, filled with an endless round of power lunches and research trips to exotic locales. What they forget is that ninety percent of my time is spent hunched in front of the computer, wrestling my characters and plots into submission. A writer’s life can be a surprisingly solitary one.

And that’s where my cats come in. I have eight rescued cats and they bring enormous joy to my life. They spend much of the day with me (when they’re not snoozing or just chilling on the glassed-in sun porch) and their quiet presence is comforting.Continue Reading

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


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.Continue Reading

Review and Giveaway: The Cat Sitter’s Nine Lives by Blaize and John Clement


The Cat Sitter mystery series, featuring Dixie Hemingway, a pet sitter who lives on one of the Florida keys, has been a favorite of mine ever since the first book in the series, Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter, came out seven years ago. The series was originally written by Blaize Clement. Her son, John Clement, continued the series after her death in 2011. Blaize had been collaborating on plots and characters for future novels with John.

In The Cat Sitter’s Nine Lives, Dixie witnesses a head-on collision on the main road that runs through her beach town. After pulling one of the drivers from his car just before it explodes, Dixie heads to the local bookstore, where she meets Cosmo the bookstore catContinue Reading

Review: Book Clubbed by Lorna Barrett


With each new installment of Lorna Barrett’s Booktown mystery series featuring mystery bookstore owner Tricia Miles and her cat Miss Marple, I look forward to visiting Stoneham, the small town in New Hampshire where the series is set. What’s not to love about a series set in a town filled with bookstores, and an adorable bookstore cat?

In Book Clubbed, Tricia and he sister Angelica are trying to find a killer who used a bookshelf as the murder weapon. While Tricia is trying to solve the murder, she not only discovers a disturbing secret from her own family history, but she must also deal with both her former husband and former boyfriend vying for her affections.Continue Reading

Review and Giveaway: Grey Howl by Clea Simon


Clea Simon’s Dulcie Schwartz mystery series, featuring the Harvard graduate student, along with her kitten Esme and the spirit of her departed cat, Mr. Grey, has become one of my favorite cat mysteries. In Grey Howl, the seventh installment of the series, we find Dulcie helping with preparations for a prestigious literature conference. Dulcie is in the final stages of her doctoral thesis about an obscure gothic novel by a mysterious author, and she is excited about presenting her paper at the conference. But as the visiting scholars arrive, things begin to go wrong, and Dulcie finds herself in the middle of a tangled web of academic rivalries. A presentation is sabotaged, a scholar disappears, and another is murdered. And to top it all off, Dulcie’s boyfriend Chris is acting strangely.Continue Reading

Review: Murder with Ganache by Lucy Burdette


Cats, Key West and mouth-watering food: I can’t think of a better way to escape the winter doldrums. Murder with Ganache, the fourth in Lucy Burdette’s Key West Food Critic mystery series, is not technically a cat mystery, but there are enough cats in the book to keep cat lovers happy.

From the publisher:

Hayley Snow, the food critic for Key Zest magazine, has her plate heaped high with restaurant reviews, doughnut and sticky bun tastings, and an article on the Hemingway cats. But this week she’s also in charge of her best friend’s wedding. And then someone adds a side of murder…Continue Reading

Review and Giveaway: The Cat Sitter’s Cradle by Blaize and John Clement


The Cat Sitter mystery series, featuring Dixie Hemingway, a pet sitter who lives on one of the Florida keys, has been a favorite of mine ever since the cover of the first book in the series, Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter, caught my eye.  The series was authored by Blaize Clement, and after she passed away in 2011, her son, John Clement, continued the series. Blaize had been collaborating on plots and characters for future novels with John.

The Cat Sitter’s Cradle is the latest in the series. Do covers get any more adorable than this one?

From the publisher:

No mission is impawsible for pet sitter Dixie Hemingway (no relation to you-know-who). Continue Reading

Review: One Hot Murder by Lorraine Bartlett

One Hot Murder Lorraine Bartlett

One Hot Murder is the third book in the charming Victoria Square mystery series by Lorraine Bartlett, but in the interest of full disclosure, despite the adorable cover, this is not a cat-themed book. The protagonist, Katie Bonner, shares her apartment with two cats, and they’re mentioned briefly here and there in the book. I will admit that the cute cover reeled me in at the bookstore, and despite the lack of cats in this book, I loved it, and wanted to share it with you. Additionally, I’m a big fan of Lorraine Bartlett, who, writing under the name Lorna Barrett, is also the author of the Booktown Mystery series, featuring Miss Marple the bookstore cat.

From the publisher:

Katie Bonner, the reluctant manager of Artisans Alley in the quaint shopping district of Victoria Square, is no stranger to ambivalence. Things have been going hot and heavy with pizza maker Andy Rust—so much so that Katie has moved in over his pizza parlor. Continue Reading

Review: What the Cat Saw by Carolyn Hart

What the Cat Saw Carolyn Hart

A protagonist who can understand the thoughts of cats when she looks into their eyes? How could I not be intrigued with What the Cat Saw by bestselling mystery author Carolyn Hart!

From the publisher:

Ever since the death of her fiancé, Nela Farley has found herself plagued by a sixth sense: she understands the thoughts of cats when she looks into their eyes. Nela knows that what she’s experiencing is completely irrational and tries to convince herself that she is simply transferring her own thoughts that she doesn’t want to face. When her adventurous sister, Chloe, goes on a trip and asks for a favor, Nela welcomes the distraction and agrees to substitute at Chloe’s job at a charitable foundation. Chloe has arranged a place for her sister to stay, but when Nela shows up, she encounters the previous tenant’s cat and gets a flash of thought:Continue Reading

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