Tag: cats

Book Review: Furbidden Fatality, by Deborah Blake

Image belongs to Berkley.

TitleFurbidden Fatality
AuthorDeborah Blake
Genre:  Cozy mystery
Rating:  4.0 out of 5

Kari Stuart’s life is going nowhere–until she unexpectedly wins the lottery. The twenty-nine-year-old instant multimillionaire is still mulling plans for her winnings when trying to rescue a bossy black kitten leads her to a semiabandoned animal shelter. They need the cash–Kari needs a purpose.

But the dilapidated rescue is literally going to the dogs with a pending lawsuit, hard to adopt animals, and too much suspicious attention from the town’s dog warden. When the warden turns up dead outside the shelter’s dog kennels, Kari finds herself up a creek without a pooper-scooper.

With the help of some dedicated volunteers, a cute vet, and a kitten who mysteriously shows up just when she needs it, Kari must prove her innocence all while trying to save a dog on death row. Now she just needs to hope that her string of unexpected luck isn’t about to run out.

This was a cute cozy mystery to start off a new series. There were several moments I thought the main characters was a little too naïve or oblivious—I’m sorry, but if I knew there were bears around, I would not go wandering around at night unarmed and alone when the dogs started barking, nor would I ever venture outside at night alone after finding a dead body and repeated vandalism. So, no, she’s not the brightest light in the room, but she’s likable enough, and the background characters are quirky and fun. The hint of romance isn’t overdone, either, so that/s nice. I’d definitely read more of this series.

Deborah Blake lives in New York. Furbidden Fatality is her newest novel.

(Galley courtesy of Berkley in exchange for an honest review.)

Book Review: Undercover Kitty, by Sofie Ryan

Image belongs to Berkley.

Title:  Undercover Kitty
Author:  Sofie Ryan
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Rating:  4 out of 5

Sarah and Elvis can always be found at a charming secondhand shop in the village of North Harbor, Maine. Despite the small-town setting, the daring duo often find themselves wrapped up in murder, but luckily they have help–a quirky group of senior citizens runs an amateur detective agency called Charlotte’s Angels out of the store.

The Angels are hired to look into who is sabotaging cat shows in the state, and they decide the best way to do that is to send Elvis the cat undercover as a contestant. But then one of the cat show volunteers is murdered just before the latest competition, and Sarah and the Angels have to catch a killer in two shakes of a cat’s tail!

This is the eighth book in the Second Chance Cat Mystery series. I haven’t read any of the other books in the series, but that wasn’t a problem. (That being said, having read the other seven books probably would have given this some more depth.)

This was a quick, fun read with some moments that made me laugh. I didn’t think the culprit was totally unexpected, but it wasn’t glaringly obvious, either. This is well-written and quirky—and I honestly had no idea that cat shows were such a thing. (And I say that as a cat owner!)

Sofie Ryan lives on the east coast. Undercover Kitty is her newest novel.

(Galley courtesy of Berkley in exchange for an honest review.)

Book Review: Murder is a Must, by Marty Wingate

Image belongs to Berkley.

Title: Murder is a Must       
Author: Marty Wingate
Genre: Cozy mystery
Rating: 4 out of 5

Hayley Burke, curator of Lady Fowling’s collection of first edition mysteries, is settling into her position at the First Edition Library in Middlebank House. She’s even made progress with Lady Fowling’s former secretary, the ornery Miss Woolgar. The women are busily preparing for an exhibition that will showcase Lady Fowling’s life and letters. Hayley knows the exhibition is a huge undertaking and decides, against her better judgement, to hire Oona Atherton, her former boss from the Jane Austen Centre to help with the planning.

Oona is known for being difficult, but all seems to be going swimmingly until she and Hayley uncover a one-page letter that alludes to a priceless edition of MURDER MUST ADVERTISE signed by several Golden Age of Mystery authors. Oona feels this book could be the focal point of the exhibition and becomes obsessed with finding it.

When they find clues that appear to point to the book being somewhere in the First Edition Library, Oona is certain she’s unraveled the mystery and texts Hayley the good news, but upon arriving back at Middlebank, Hayley finds her old boss dead at the bottom of the stairs. Did her discovery of the rare book get her killed or was it some angry shadow from her past? Hayley must read between the lines to catch a malicious murderer.

I hadn’t read the first book in this series, but that wasn’t a problem. This was a solid cozy mystery read, but not a surprising one. I’ll admit the over-the-top character in the teal suit was a bit eccentric, but there really had to be one colorful character in this novel, didn’t there? This was an entertaining and fun read.

Marty Wingate is a bestselling author. Murder is a Must is her newest novel.

(Galley courtesy of Berkley in exchange for an honest review.)

Book Review: The Traveling Cat Chronicles, by Hiro Arikawa

the traveling cat chronicles
Image belongs to Berkley Publishing.

Title:   The Traveling Cat Chronicles
Author:   Hiro Arikawa
Genre:   Fiction
Rating:   4.5 out of 5

Nana is a proud stray cat who doesn’t need an owner, but he doesn’t mind the crunchies nice Satoru puts out for him. When Nana is hit by a car, he knows Satoru is the only one who can help him. One visit to a vet and a healed broken leg later, and Nana decides staying with Satoru isn’t so bad.

Life is good until Satoru tries to give him away. But Nana is smart and thwarts the exchange. Satisfied, Nana thinks all is good—until Satoru tries to give him away again. Soon the two are  traveling across the country in a silver van as Satoru visits scenes from his childhood—and soon Nana realizes there’s more going on that a cross-country vacation.

This is a charming, heartwarming book, and I ugly-cried at the end. True story. It’s hard to do a book written from an animal’s point-of-view well, and this one is so well done! Nana’s attitude—and his essential catness—is vividly drawn, and he’s one of the best narrators I’ve ever read.

Hiro Arikawa is an award-winning author. The Traveling Cat Chronicles is her newest novel.

(Galley provided by Berkley in exchange for an honest review.)