chez_jae: (Books)
This afternoon, I finished reading Telling Tails by Sofie Ryan. It's part of her "Second Chance Cat" mystery series.

Sarah's friend and employee, Rose, takes it upon herself to deliver a purchase to a customer. She ends up in the hospital, after being struck on the head and falling unconscious. When Sarah rushes to the hospital to visit her, Rose claims she saw their customer's dead body being dragged through his home before she was knocked out. It's an incredible tale, and Rose gets her dander up when she feels no one believes her. She enlists the aid of her fellow senior citizens to investigate. Sarah is dragged into the investigation once again, as is her rescue cat, Elvis. The man's wife claims he cleaned out their bank account and left her for another woman. Now the question is, did someone murder him, or did he fake his own death?

Characterizations were well done, even Elvis, and the plot was convoluted and interesting. I would have enjoyed the story more, however, if Rose hadn't acted like a petulant child. I guess the best way to indicate you're angry at your friends for wondering if you're a doddering old woman is to act like a spoiled brat by throwing them out of your hospital room and refusing to speak to them. I like feisty old ladies in stories, but not when they behave like precocious, sullen toddlers. I'm also not liking that the author seems to be waffling now on a love interest for Sarah.

Favorite line: "Sometimes people make a commitment and they mean it when they make it, but after awhile they find out they just don't have what it takes to keep it."

Still a little perturbed with Rose in this one, but I'll give it a four:

****
chez_jae: (Books)
Just finished reading A Whisker of Trouble, which is the third book in Sofie Ryan's "Second Chance Cat" mystery series.

When Sarah agrees to clean out the home of a hoarder, in search of items she can sell at her shop, she and her cat, Elvis, come across a dead body. The victim was hired to appraise the deceased homeowner's wine collection, which turned out to have been fake. The homeowner's sister hires the Angels, a group of sleuthing senior citizens whose base is in Sarah's shop, to solve the appraiser's murder so that the sale of her brother's house can go forward. While the police are focusing their investigation in one direction, the Angels hone in on the wine scam, certain that the murder and the con are connected.

These stories are fun. I appreciate that they don't focus exclusively on the mystery. Instead, Sarah was seen running her business, socializing after work hours, and taking care of her cat. Her stepbrother, Liam, is back in town, and she spends time with him, especially after he gets roped into helping the Angels with a con of their own. Ha ha! I was able to suss out the killer, but it was interesting to see how other threads of the story tied into it.

Favorite line: Who was I to judge my brother's social life when I was sitting at home talking to my cat on a Friday night?

Marvelous! Five stars:

*****
chez_jae: (Books)
I started this book "last year", and I finished it last night. It was Buy a Whisker, which is the second book in author Sofie Ryan's "Second Chance Cat" mystery series.

Sarah Grayson is enjoying her return to her home town of North Harbor, especially now that her secondhand shop is doing well. Winter is a slow season, however, with fewer tourists in town. A company wants to develop the waterfront of North Harbor, and most people in town are looking forward to an increase in tourists and revenue. The lone holdout is Lily Carter, who refuses to sell her bakery, even though she is the victim of harassment and pranks.

When Sarah goes to Lily's bakery early one morning, she finds Lily dead at the bottom of her stairs. Police soon rule the death a homicide, and Sarah's friend Liz is questioned in conjunction with the crime, because she and Lily had an argument. That's all the excuse that Sarah's other senior friends need to delve into investigating. While they're busy looking into financials, Sarah can't help but think that Lily's death had less to do with the development and more to do with the disappearance of her abusive boyfriend. His family never got closure, and they suspected that Lily knew more than she was telling them.

In addition to her own sleuthing, Sarah is busy with her shop, keeping up with friends, and juggling her attraction to two different men in her life.

Good story, enjoyable characters, and an interesting plot. Of course, I adored Sarah's cat, Elvis. He's quite the character on his own!

Favorite line: I was arguing with a cat. A cat! And who was I kidding? He was winning.

Four stars:

****
chez_jae: (Books)
After I logged off Wednesday night, I finished the book The Whole Cat and Caboodle by Sofie Ryan. It's the first in the author's "Second Chance Cat" mystery series. I have three or four of the books, so it was past time I started on it!

Sarah Grayson owns a shop in North Harbor, Maine, where she sells re-purposed and up-cycled items. She also has a rescued cat named Elvis. When Sarah and her older friend Charlotte go to check on their friend Maddie, they find her in her garden, along with a dead body. Now Maddie is the primary suspect in the death of the man, who was a philanderer. Of course, Sarah believes Maddie is innocent, and along with their other friends, Liz and Rose, they set out to find evidence to prove Maddie is not a murderer.

The story was fun all around. Sarah's friends are all contemporaries of her grandmother, who is "off-screen" on her honeymoon. They don't let their status as retired and/or senior citizens keep them out of the action, and Sarah is hard-pressed to keep them in line. I especially enjoyed old Mr Peterson, who wore his pants up to his armpits but was a top-notch computer hacker. Elvis insists on getting in on the action, too, and Sarah comes to suspect that her cat may be a feline lie-detector. They mystery was engrossing, as it is revealed that the victim had at least four wives and was fleecing other women of their money.

Sarah has a potential romantic interest in her childhood crush, Nick. He's not a cop, per se, but he is an investigator with the ME's office. Her friend Jess was a hoot, and it was touching to see Sarah reconnect with her childhood friend Michelle.

Favorite line: "We have coffee, bacon, chocolate and Fancy Feast...I think that covers the major food groups: sugar, salt, fat, caffeine and cat."

I hear ya, sister.

Four of five:

****

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