tuxedo cat

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.

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Is There a Connection Between Cat Color and Temperament?

multiple cats

My recent article on “Tortitude – The Unique Personality of Tortoiseshell Cats” led me to wonder whether there’s a link between other cats’ coloring and their temperaments.  After all, both color and temperament can be inherited and genetically controlled, so it doesn’t seem to be too much of a leap to think that a cat’s coloring may be an indication of his or her personality.  It seems that there are, indeed, some commonalities between cat color and personality.  This is what I found:

Tabby Cats

Tabbies have a reputation for being laid back, calm and more sociable.  They’re also said to be very affectionate, and relaxed to the point of being lazy. 

Black Cats

Black cats can be stubborn and friendly at the same time.   They are said to be good hunters, but they can have a tendency to roam.  They’re good natured and sociable.

Ginger, Orange and Red Cats

Orange cats are usually males (only one out of five orange cats is female).  Cats with this coloring can be laid back and affectionate, but can also have a bit of a temper.  Females tend to be more laid back than males.

Black and White Cats

Black and white cats (some are known as tuxedo cats when their coat pattern resembles a tuxedo jacket) are said to be even tempered and placid, but they can also be wanderers.  They can be very loyal to their family, often to one person in particular, and can be real lap cats.

Blue, Cream, Gray and Lilac Cats

Cats that have lighter coat colors all carry the same gene, called the dilution gene.  I found conflicting information on this particular coloring – some say cats with this coloring can be mischievous and a bit frantic, while others say they are laid back and mellow.

I believe that each cat has a unique and special personality, and color is only one aspect of what may play into making kitty who she is.  Other factors, such as breed and environment also come into play.  And of course, our cats are also spiritual beings, and perhaps spirit plays the biggest part in determining personality.

Does your cat’s personality fit into one of these classifications based on coat color?