chez_jae: (Books)
This afternoon, I finished reading Crime and Catnip by TC LoTempio. It's the third installment in her "Nick & Nora" mystery series, featuring former investigative reporter Nora Charles and her cat Nick.

As the owner/operator of the Hot Bread sandwich shop, Nora is thrilled to land a catering gig at a gala museum event. Days before the event occurs, one of the board members of the museum asks Nora to look into the disappearance of her niece Alexa. The case is of interest to Nora, because it is supposedly what her cat's former owner, PI Nick Atkins, was working on when he disappeared.

At the opening of the museum's latest exhibit, a collection of artifacts that are allegedly from the time of King Arthur, the most well-guarded piece is a grimoire that was supposed to have belonged to Morgan le Fay. The grimoire was the target of an attempted theft in London, and extra security is brought in to ensure its safety.

After checking into some leads, Nora can't help but think that the attempted theft is somehow tied in with the disappearance of both Alexa and Atkins. Her snooping lands her in danger, but she is reluctant to lay all of her cards on the table when asked to by both her FBI boyfriend Daniel and her former flame (and current cop) Lee. Nora wants more evidence first, and it may cost her.

The plot was convoluted, but in a cleverly crafted way that held my attention. I did figure some things out, but others surprised me. Situations which seemed to be interconnected were not, and others that seemed random turned out to be connected. It was so mysterious as to be almost vexing!

Favorite line: "One never owns a cat, dear. They own you..."

Exciting and enjoyable--five stars!

*****
chez_jae: (Books)
Last night, I finished the rest of Claws for Alarm, which is the second book in author TC LoTempio's cozy mystery series, "Nick & Nora".

Nora is tending her sandwich shop when her aunt calls in a panic. Seems Nora's sister Lacey has been arrested for murder. Lacey's art professor gave her such an appalling grade that she threatened to kill him i front of the entire class. Later that evening, she is found crouched over the professor's body and holding the murder weapon in her hand.

Nora knows her sister may be a hothead, but Lacey is no murderer. She begins looking into the matter, searching for other people who may have had a motive for killing the professor. Nora's investigation turns up several potential suspects. While chasing down leads, she encounters her old college rival-turned-one-night-stand, Lee Samms. He warns her to leave the investigation to the police.

Now, Nora has to search for clues, follow leads, AND avoid Samms. Fortunately for her, she has the help of her cat, Nick, who's pretty good at finding clues on his own.

Fun story with just enough potential suspects to keep me guessing, without overwhelming me. It was interesting to see how the past tied into the present in this one, too.

Favorite line: "Or did you borrow the cloak of invisibility from Harry Potter?"

Four of five:

****
chez_jae: (Books)
I finished reading Meow If It's Murder by TC LoTiempo, then went outside to feed my cats before coming in to report.

*grins*

So, the book is the first in a cozy mystery series, featuring Nora Charles and her cat Nick. Nora has recently "retired" from being an investigative reporter in Chicago to return to California to take over her mother's specialty sandwich shop. When one of her mother's friends dies under questionable circumstances, Nora can't resist dipping her toes back into investigation.

Nora's friend Chantal, a self-proclaimed psychic, insists that Nora is bumbling into danger. When a cat shows up at the sandwich shop and "adopts" Nora, she learns that his former owner disappeared while investigating the same case. Nora relies on sources both old and new as she delves into the investigation, including the handsome Detective Daniel Corleone.

This was a fun mystery. I began putting clues together before our intrepid heroine, but I didn't figure out whodunnit before she did, darn it. Ha ha! I enjoyed the book and will look for more in this series.

Four stars:

★★★★

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