chez_jae: (Books)
After supper, I finished reading The Cat, the Vagabond, and the Victim, which is part of author Leanne Sweeney's "Cats in Trouble" mystery series.

The small town of Mercy, SC, is descended on by the media when they discover a celebrity in their midst. The celebrity in question is Clyde, a large ginger cat who traveled 200 miles to return home to his beloved owner. When Clyde raised a ruckus, Norman Jeffrey's neighbors came to investigate, only to find the elderly man had passed away. With the local animal shelter at the center of the media storm, Jillian Hart is asked to foster Clyde in her home, in hopes that no one will discover the cat has been spirited away. Once it's revealed that Mr Jeffrey did not die of natural causes, and someone else is murdered in his home, Jillian has her hands full trying to dodge the media. Her home is broken into, and Clyde disappears again. Now, Jillian is determined to help solve the crime, if only so Clyde can get some peace in his life.

Police investigation, and Jillian's own questioning, reveal that Mr Jeffrey's family was fractured, with siblings and cousins not speaking to one another for years. Someone, however, must have known that Mr Jeffrey had amassed a small fortune, and now everyone is coming out of the woodwork, wanting a piece of the pie.

The identity of the killer caught me off guard, but I did figure several things out early. There were still plenty of twists and turns to the plot to surprise me, and it was certainly an entertaining read. Clyde was such a big moosh that I wanted to adopt him, too. Ha ha! One thing that bugged me was the break-in at Jillian's. I swear, in each of the books in this series, someone breaks into that woman's house. Really?! How many times is this going to happen?

Favorite line: "Like anyone can really possess a cat."

Good plot, solid read, and lots of cats! Five stars:

*****
chez_jae: (Books)
You know it's a good book when you read it all in one day! The book was The Cat, the Mill and the Murder, which is part of Leann Sweeney's "Cats in Trouble" mystery series.

Jillian accompanies her friend Shawn and an engineer to the old textile mill at the edge of town. The town is in a position to sell the property, but first, Shawn must deal with the population of feral cats, and Jillian has agreed to help him. Once there, however, they find a homeless woman living at the site. When they return to speak to her later, she has been injured and is taken to the hospital. The woman doesn't want to leave, because she insists it's a holy place, and she doesn't want to leave her cat behind.

Turns out, the woman disappeared from town a decade earlier, after her own daughter also vanished. When skeletal remains are found at the mill, the police suspect it's the remains of Jeannie's daughter. Now, everything at the mill must be put on hold, no matter that two factions are fighting over the rights to it. After Jillian is dispatched to speak to the main councilwoman in charge of the sale, she finds the woman dead in her home. Now, the police have a cold case to solve, as well as a recent murder, and speculation is that the two events are linked.

As if that's not crazy enough, Jillian realizes that Jeannie's cat, Boots, is following her around...the only problem is that Boots is dead, and only Jillian and Jeannie can see her.

What an exciting and fun story! So much going on, including the escalating romance between Jillian and Tom, as well as a potential love interest for Jillian's friend Candace. This is the first time a paranormal element has been added to the series, but Boots was a wonderful character, who brought comfort to both Jeannie and Jillian.

Favorite line: If I was losing my mind, I wanted to be the first and the last person to know.

Fantastic! Five stars!

*****
chez_jae: (Books)
Last night I finished reading The Cat, the Wife and the Weapon, which is part of author Leann Sweeney's "Cats in Trouble" mystery series.

When Jillian returns from a business trip, she discovers that Tom, her sorta-significant-other, is missing, and his brother has taken up residence in his house. Jillian takes an instant dislike to Bob, especially after he allows Tom's cat to slip out of the house. After learning that the local police have found Tom's wrecked car, with a dead man at the wheel, Jillian is concerned and determined to find out what's going on.

Once Tom returns, appearing worse for wear, Jillian learns he has a conniving ex-wife, as well as a beloved (former) stepson, who has disappeared from home. Jillian and Tom find Finn hitchhiking his way to their town, with his adorable Jack Russell terrier in tow. Finn has also been injured and can't remember what happened. Soon, Tom's ex is in town, as is Finn's father--a man he's never met before. Everyone seems concerned for his welfare, but Jillian begins to suspect there's something more going on.

I was piecing clues together throughout the story, and I did a good job of it, too. Hee! An enjoyable story, and one that kept me turning pages after my bedtime.

Favorite line: "Someone has to care for the strays in the moment of need."

Five of five:

****
chez_jae: (Books)
This evening, I polished off The Cat, the Lady, and the Liar, which is part of author Leann Sweeney's "Cats in Trouble" mystery series.

When the local shelter owner asks Jillian to speak personally to the owner of a gorgeous, black cat, Jillian finds herself involved in small-town secrets, family squabbles, and murder. The cat's owner, wealthy Ritaestelle Longworth, comes to Jillian for help, claiming that someone in her household has been drugging her. When Ritaestelle's assistant is murdered behind Jillian's house, Ritaestelle is tabbed as a suspect. Jillian refuses to believe the woman is a killer, and she can't resist when Ritaestelle asks for help in clearing her name and finding out who the real murderer is.

Together with her PI companion Tom, her police officer friend Candace, and her journalist stepdaughter Kara, Jillian begins piecing together clues. When another person is attacked, Jillian feels the pressure to solve the case before anyone else gets hurt, including her own precious cats.

The story line was quite interesting. I kinda/sorta figured out who the murderer was, but the author was skilled in making me doubt myself several times. Ha ha!

Favorite line: "Why do cats act like they had no part of an embarrassing situation?"

Enjoyable read, five of five:

♦♦♦♦♦
chez_jae: (Books)
Tonight, I finished reading The Cat, the Professor, and the Poison, which is the second book in Leann Sweeney's "Cats in Trouble" mystery series.

When Jillian goes with her police officer friend Candace to investigate the disappearance of a cow from a local woman's farm, Jillian follows a stray cat to a neighboring farm and discovers dozens of cats in cages. Alarmed, she calls for help from the local animal shelter. Before anyone can look into the matter, however, a former professor is found dead inside the home, the victim of an apparent poisoning, and most of the cats have vanished.

Jillian is convinced the cats are at the heart of the matter, and when an intruder threatens her and tells her to stop nosing around, even the police begin to take notice. Candace is assigned to watch over Jillian, and an unexpected visit from Jillian's stepdaughter adds a new wrinkle to the investigation. Kara is a journalist who's recently out of a job, but she becomes curious enough about the case to begin asking some questions of her own.

The story clipped along at a good pace and kept my interest. It also kept me guessing as to who the killer was. A little romance, a little danger, some craziness, and lots of cats, and this was a book I really enjoyed.

Four stars:

♦♦♦♦
chez_jae: (Books)
This afternoon, I finished reading The Cat, the Quilt and the Corpse by Leann Sweeney. It's the first book in her "Cats in Trouble" series.

The main character, Jillian Hart, is recently widowed. She takes comfort in her three rescue cats and in her business of creating and selling quilts for cats. When Jillian's house is broken into, one of her cats turns up missing. She doesn't know whether he was stolen or simply escaped. Jillian's search for her missing cat leads her to discover the body of an eccentric man, whom she suspected of having something to do with the break-in.

While the police investigate various leads, Jillian is convinced the crime involved cats. She pursues that angle, to the consternation of the local police chief. Along the way, Jillian makes new friends and one potential enemy.

This was a cozy mystery with a likable heroine. I enjoyed many of the other characters introduced by the author, and I am looking forward to reading other books in the series.

Four stars

★★★★

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