By Patricia Fry
Publisher: Matilija Press (March 4, 2014)
Paperback: 339 pages
Publisher: Matilija Press (October 7, 2013)
Publication date: October 7, 2013
Savannah and Aunt Margaret open the old Forster home to the Hammond Cat Alliance for a fundraiser to help rehabilitate the abused horses rescued months earlier from the catnappers. Before the afternoon is over, the collected funds go missing and someone is murdered in an upstairs bedroom.
Suspicion surrounds Iris, a local waitress and Savannah’s new best friend. The only witness to the murder is Rags, Savannah’s cat. With the assistance of a cat psychic and Rags’s good friend, Charlotte (the young girl with Downs), the cat helps to “paw” the killer…but not before an attempt is made on Rags’s life. The case is solved only after Rags comes face-to-face with the killer for the second time.
Detective Craig Sledge is new to this book, as is Damon, Iris’s errant son. Sledge finds this to be one of the muddiest cases he has ever worked, with inconsistent clues and no apparent motive. He’s constantly surprised, perplexed and impressed by the cat’s uncanny ability to come up with clues he has missed. His fascination with the attractive Iris Clampton also mystifies the detective.
In this story, one of the rescued horses goes into labor and there’s a night of high drama at the ole corral as veterinarians Savannah and Michael work to save the foal. This experience renews Savannah’s deep interest in horses and riding, which ultimately serves to help her bond with a very important surprise character who finds his way into her life and Michael’s just as they prepare to say their wedding vows.
While Rags is the animal star, he isn’t the only animal featured in this story. Layla is back in all of her tangerine beauty. And Rags makes friends with Buffy, a perky almost Himalayan and the inseparable duo, Walter, an all black cat and his sidekick, Lexie, a charming afghan mix. Savannah’s new ride, Peaches, also debuts in this story. An incident with this mare adds another dimension to Savannah’s and Michael’s relationship. Can he hold her with open arms?
Some say this is a love story with a mystery in the background. And it’s a story of family and friendship as newlyweds Margaret and Max continue to be a meaningful part of Savannah’s and Michael’s world.
There is a consistency in author voice in this second Klepto Cat Mystery from book one. The author is finding her voice and I found a steadier story style than book one. Those who enjoyed book one will enjoy Cat-Eye Witness.
Unfortunately, I’m not mixing with this series. I wish there was more Rags and mystery and less community story. And this is where I would classify the series…a visit with a group of characters and their community where the mystery is secondary. In this manner, the series works…for me. As I’m writing this review, I have a cooking contest show on in the background and am hearing the phrase…less is more. I would have preferred less of the surrounding story in this telling.
Those who enjoy a cozy community drama reads may find the Klepto Cat Mystery series a fit for them.
I need to comment on the character of Charlotte, a young lady born with Downs. There is no disrespect in the writing of this character. I take her lisp speech as just that, the character has a lisp, and not a generalization of the syndrome. Charlotte is quite a sweet character.
Again, I wish I mixed better with this series. Please let me know if you do.