chez_jae: (Books)
Stayed up late last night to finish reading Cat Trick by Sofie Kelly. It's the fourth book in her "Magical Cats" mystery series.

The residents and businesses of Mayville Heights are hoping to convince Legacy Tours to add their town to its listing of vacation packages. It should be a lock, considering local-boy-turned-big-city-big-shot, Mike Glazer, is back in Mayville, representing Legacy. However, he's no longer the affable young man he used to be. Instead, Glazer is abrasive, and it seems everyone in town has a run-in with him. It's shocking, but not surprising, when Glazer turns up dead.

This time around, Kathleen promises herself, and her beau, Detective Marcus Gordon, that she will not interfere in the murder investigation. However, Kathleen finds herself drawn into the middle of it when both of her cats begin nosing around, and some local residents ask her to "look into it". Working at the library puts Kathleen in a position where she can subtly ask people about their dealings with Glazer and what he was like before he left town years before. All she finds out is that he used to be well-liked, but that almost everyone had a bone to pick with him over his recent dealings. Kathleen can't help but think there's something she's missing, and it may not be tied to the town of Mayville Heights at all. In the meantime, her meddling strains her relationship with Marcus, leaving Kathleen to wonder if she should renew her contract with the library when it's up, or if she should just return home to Boston.

The book was engrossing, and the pace moved along. I always enjoy reading about Kathleen's day to day life, in conjunction with her sleuthing. Her cats are utterly adorable, and it was nice to reconnect with familiar characters. My only complaint is that I don't feel I (as the reader) was given a fair chance to figure out who the murderer was.

Favorite line: "Could we just keep the doors locked and maybe stay here and eat muffins all morning?"
That gets my vote!

Very good story, with likable characters. Five stars:

*****
chez_jae: (Books)
Was up until almost midnight last night, finishing Copycat Killing by Sofie Kelly. It's the third installment in the "Magical Cats" mystery series, featuring librarian Kathleen and her talented cats, Owen and Hercules.

After days of torrential rain, everyone in the town of Mayville Heights are sick of the weather. The library's parking lot is flooded, which means Kathleen can't work. She keeps busy helping her friend Maggie move items from the art studio's ground floor to the second level. On one such excursion, they find a body in the flooded basement. Jaeger Merrill was making a nuisance of himself, and someone may have silenced him for good. When another artist recognizes him as a former forger who was arrested and did his time, Kathleen can't help but think Merrill's past caught up with him. Fortunately, police officer Marcus is on the case.

When Kathleen and Marcus go out to feed feral cats at the rundown Wisteria Hill manor, Kathleen is drawn to the creek bank. The wet ground gives way beneath her feet, unearthing skeletal remains. Now, it seems that the local police have two crimes to solve, and Kathleen is right in the middle of both of them. With a little help from her cats, she starts working to unearth the clues that can lead to not one, but two killers.

I'm not sure I've read a mystery with two such different cases before. I couldn't help but think they must be connected. I like this verse and the town and its characters, so it was fun to revisit. Kathleen's attraction to Marcus moves along at a snail's pace, but I find that refreshing for a change.

Favorite lines:
♣ Not only do cats not get sarcasm, they don't get shameless bids for sympathy either.
♣ Even cats know stupid when they hear it.


Very good, four stars:

****
chez_jae: (Books)
On Thursday, I finished reading Sleight of Paw by Sofie Kelly. It's the second book in her "Magical Cats" mystery series.

It's the height of winter in Mayville Heights, and everyone is getting ready for Winterfest. When an old woman is run down in an alley and left to die, One of Kathleen's young friends is initially tabbed as a suspect. Kathleen knows Ruby wouldn't harm anyone, least of all Agatha, whom Ruby shared a rapport with.

Aided by her cats, Owen and Hercules, Kathleen starts doing some investigating of her own, in spite of police officer Marcus Gordon's warnings to keep her nose out of it. As Kathleen begins questioning the people she'd seen in heated discussions with Agatha, she discovers some surprising secrets about her new friends and neighbors, but nothing that seems worth killing for. Intent on uncovering the truth, Kathleen involves others in her investigation, and her cats are keen to help, too.

This was a delightful story. It didn't simply focus on the crime and the ensuing investigation; it also touched on Kathleen's daily life, from her job at the library, to her tai chi classes, to her socializing with her friends. She even talks to her cats like I do! I did figure out the killer early, but the author threw some red herrings out that made me waffle a bit in my conviction.

Favorite line: Sulking went a lot better with some chocolate.

Fantastic read, five stars!

*****
chez_jae: (Books)
Today, I finished reading Curiosity Thrilled the Cat by Sofie Kelly. It's the first book in her series about librarian Kathleen Paulson and her two cats, Owen and Hercules.

The Mayville Heights library is in the midst of renovations, and the computer room is not yet ready. This fact vexes the eccentric musician and conductor who is in town to lend his talents to their local music festival. He and Kathleen have words, although Kathleen mollifies the man and sends him on his way. The following morning, she goes to the theater early in hopes of finding a local carpenter to ask him to help out with the renovations. Instead, Kathleen finds Gregor Easton, dead at the piano.

Kathleen is now a "person of interest" in the crime, meaning she must field questions from Detective Gordon. In the meantime, she has come to the realization that her cats are not simple house cats. Owen can become invisible, and Herc has the ability to walk through doors, leaving Kathleen wondering about her own sanity. On top of making inquiries of her own into Easton's life and death, Kathleen still has to deal with the renovations, which seem to be moving at a turtle's pace.

The book was fun, but I just could not shake the feeling that I've read it before. I always, ALWAYS put my initials inside a book I've finished reading, even if I plan to give it away, and yet...it was so darned familiar. I even went back through all of my book reviews posted here, but I didn't find it. I'm still not convinced I didn't already read this one. Nevertheless, it counts towards books read for the year, even if it was a re-read.

Favorite line:Plus, I had my big flashlight, my pepper spray, a cat, and six brownies.

Looking forward to reading more. Four stars:

****

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