Gatsby: I’m a handsome, smart and funny orange cat. Actually you’re pretty cute yourself. Are you named after the chocolate? I’ll bet you’re just as sweet.
Yoshi: Gatsby! Restrain yourself. Truffles is here to interview us, not be subjected to your cheap advances. If I may answer the question, I am a black cat who enjoys reading and napping. Our humans brought me home from a pet store eight years ago when I was a kitten. Gatsby?
Gatsby: I’m an orange cat who was born in the woods as a member of the Lightning Clan feral cats. I was declared their chosen one and am destined to rule over all –
Gatsby: OK, OK. Our family picked me up at the Pets without Parents animal shelter three years ago. Before that I was a street kitten. Which must be where I picked up my street smarts and roughish charm.
Truffles: I see that your stories are written by Robert J. Smith. Is Robert your daddy?
Yoshi: Daddy? Actually we think of Robert as more of an annoying roommate. In human years, I’m almost fifty years old; I’m hardly going to refer to him as ‘Daddy’.
Gatsby: But what about his wife? We call her Mommy, don’t we?
Yoshi: Well of course she’s Mommy, don’t be silly.
Gatsby: Rob’s very useful though. I can tell him about our cases and he’ll write them up and publish them for me.
Truffles: Why did you guys decide to be detectives?
Yoshi: We both find the life of a housecat to be a bit on the boring side and need the stimulation that detective work provides. I enjoy the mental aspects of the work while Gatsby craves the physical parts of the job.
Gatsby: Actually he sends me out to go out and do all the work while he sits at home and thinks about what I dig up. Yoshi’s definition of thinking consists of sleeping and reading books. Anyway, cat detectives are definitely needed where we live. We’re in a nice suburban neighborhood but you can’t imagine all the bad stuff that goes on in the animal community. Everything from extortion to attempted murder. But when a pet around here gets into trouble, they know who to call.
Truffles: Yoshi, I’ve heard that there’s prejudice against black cats. Have you experienced any of that?
Gatsby: Oh boy, here we go.
Yoshi: I’m glad you asked that. I’m sick of the human’s irrational, superstitious fear and loathing of black cats. It’s probably based on jealousy of our sleek, regal appearance. But no matter the cause, during the weeks preceding Halloween, I’m afraid to step a paw out of my house for fear that some demented human will harm me!
Truffles: But I understand that you never leave your house at any other time of the year.
Yoshi: Certainly not. I have food, books and a nice warm place to nap. Only someone with the subnormal intellect of a dog would leave the comfort of their home for any reason whatsoever.
Yoshi: That’s true. So Truffles, do you have any other questions?
Truffles: Let’s talk toys. Do you guys prefer catnip mice or a laser light?
Gatsby: Laser light. Catnip doesn’t have much of an effect on either of us but chasing something down is right up our alley.
Yoshi: Speak for yourself. I prefer a good book.
Truffles: Well Yoshi, this is a book friendly blog. What are you currently reading?
Yoshi: Right now I’m in the middle of the latest No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency novel, “The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon” by Alexander McCall Smith. I’m also reading “Hallucinations” by Dr. Oliver Sacks. It’s another of his fascinating examinations of the human brain.
Gatsby: Those sound incredibly boring. Look, let’s be honest. Nobody should read anything but Petectives books. They’re brilliant, they’re funny and I get a decent cut of the profits.
Truffles: Is there anything else that you guys want to say?
Gatsby: Buy our books! Buy five or six copies of each! I need treat money!
Yoshi: From now on, I‘ll be doing these interviews by myself.
Truffles: Thanks guys.
Blurb: It's the 4th of July and the Petectives are feeling the heat! In the midst of a sweltering heat wave, feline detectives Yoshi and Gatsby get word that an old enemy is back and running a protection racket in their neighborhood. When an attack lands Gatsby's girlfriend in the veterinary hospital, he gets hot under the collar but it may take Yoshi's cool logic to shut down a gang of animal criminals and clear a dog from a horrible accusation. The Petectives are back and there's going to be fireworks!
My Review: Each book in the Petectives mystery series has been more fun and adorable than the last, and Under Fire is the best one yet. A local Pomeranian, Sophie, has been viciously attacked in her own yard and Percy the pit bull has been blamed. On top of this, a ghost from the past has returned to Yoshi and Gatsby's neighborhood and is running a protection racket! When Gatsby's girlfriend Molasses gets caught in the crossfire, our crime-solving duo put their paws down, determined to solve their latest case.
The scene stealers for me in this book are Sophie's two neighbor cats, Willy and Sunshine. Willy spends every moment watching the world go by from his front window, but says he was eating when the attack took place and didn't see anything. (He admires Yoshi, Gatsby, and Dog Patrol leader Duke so much that he's made action figures of them!) Sunshine is a "hippie tortie" and amateur gardener who also points the finger at Percy. Willy and Sunshine are two of the best written feline characters you will ever meet.
You simply can't go wrong with any of the Petectives books. Each one is an absolute delight.
Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author with the request for a review.