Catnapped (A Klepto Cat Mystery, Book 1)
By Patricia Fry
Publisher: Matilija Press (November 30, 2013)
Publication date: November 30, 2013
File size: 1241 KB
Print length: 252 pages
When Savannah Jordan agrees to help her aunt while she recovers from a broken foot, she doesn’t expect to walk into a mystery, become part of a not-quite-legal surveillance team, be kidnapped by a deranged stranger and meet a steaming hot veterinarian. Beloved neighborhood cats are missing—the community can only guess at their fate—and Aunt Margaret’s life is being threatened. Is it because she has a clue to the missing cats or is it something more sinister?
There comes a time when reviewer and editor clash, this is one of those times. It is also a time where my opinion and resume clash with the author’s resume.
I’m not saying I dislike this book. As a reader, I coasted through it. As an editor, I would offer a number of changes. But, I’m the reviewer who has to take both into consideration.
The concept follows right along the cozy mystery path until it feels more like a general fiction or romance that has an under-developed mystery backstory. There’s a comfortable simplistic mystery of missing cats and a cat who likes to “borrow” and hide items. I would have liked more Rags. The love story…two of them…are a tad fast. There is a jarring attempted rape, on-page, that is a bit much for the genre, in my opinion.
Predictable cozy mystery? Not quite.
Negatives? It has elements of being a bit long in telling with moments of rushing; however, this is the first book in the series and my understanding the first of fiction work by the author. I have book two in the series and have no qualms of giving it a read.
We all need time to find our groove. Plus, I now know what to expect.
For me, Catnapped had potential. You may mix better with it.
Cat-Eye Witness (A Klepto Cat Mystery Book 2)
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.