Monday, August 21, 2017

A Tale of Two Kitties (Magical Cats #9)

Author:  Sofie Kelly
Genre: Mystery

Hardcover; Audio CD; Digital Book
ISBN #:  9780399284572; 9781541453654
Berkley Publishing
336 Pages
$14.06; $29.99; $11.99 Amazon
September 5, 2017


With a well-placed paw on a keyboard or a pointed state, Kathleen's two cats, Hercules and Owen, have helped her to solve cases in the past - so she has learned to trust their instincts.  But she will need to rely on them more than ever when a twenty-year-old scandal leads to murder...

The arrival of the Janes brothers has the little town of Mayville Heights buzzing.  Everyone of a certain age remembers when Victor had an affair with Leo's wife, who then died in a car accident.

Now it seems the brothers are trying to reconcile, until Kathleen finds Leo dead.  The police set their sights on Leo's son and Kathleen's good friend Simon, who doesn't have much of an alibi.  To prove her friend innocent. Kathleen will have to dig deep into the town's history - and into her sardine cracker supply, because Owen and Hercules don't work for free...


Kathleen Paulson is head librarian at a small town in Minnesota.  She has two cats - Owen and Hercules - with a little magic in them.  Not only can Hercules walk through walls and Owen make himself invisible at will, they understand what their human (and others) is saying, and help her solve crimes.

The grandfather of one of her employees, Mia, has arrived in Mayville Heights for Thanksgiving.  While Mia is excited to see her grandpa, she's not as happy to find out her Grandpa Leo has asked his twin brother Victor to come as well.  The reason she's not happy is apparent to anyone who knew them back in back when Victor ran off with Leo's wife, depriving Leo's son Simon of a mother and eventually Mia of a grandmother she would never know.  But the tale gets sadder when shortly after leaving Leo's wife Meredith died in a car accident.

Now Leo is dead; murdered.  And with suspects aplenty, and the police thinking it had to be Simon, Kathleen takes it upon herself to find out who really killed Leo, and why.  But can she catch a killer before the police convict the wrong man and throw away the key?...

I love mysteries, and I love mysteries that have animals, especially cats.  This one was no different.  Kathleen's two magical kitties are indeed endearing; Hercules is quieter and Owen is feisty, but both do their part to help her any way they can.  While no one else is aware of their abilities, she depends on them for advice, and they never let her down.

The book had a very nice plot, and I enjoyed watching as Kathleen sifted through suspects one by one.  But unfortunately, I kept getting sidetracked by subplots that had absolutely nothing to do with the murder,.  (Marcus and Eddie going to Minneapolis, for one).  It's a quirk of mine, but I really don't care for subplots unless they actually connect to the main plot somehow - for example, if when Marcus returned he mentioned something the person they were going to see had said something - but no, nothing except to give Kathleen more time to investigate without police presence.

Aside from that, there were enough red herrings thrown in and enough suspects thrown around to confuse matters, and that's what a mystery is all about.  In the end, when we learn the identity of the killer and the reasons why, we knew there was no other way it could have ended; and that's what a mystery is all about.  Recommended.



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