Hey everybody, it's Truffles! Today I'm interviewing Nick, the feline detective from T. C. LoTempio's first Nick & Nora mystery, Meow If It's Murder. Nick is based on the author's cat Rocco, and he's a cat blogger just like me! Following the interview you'll find our Tortie Shorties review by a surprise guest reviewer, and a giveaway too :)
Welcome, Nick! Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you came to live with Nora?
Thank you for having me! Well, I was only a stray kitten when this fellow, Nick Atkins, found me in the alley in back of his apartment and brought me home. Nick’s a PI and a pretty good guy – he always kept my food bowl filled, and he liked to talk out theories of cases as I’d sprawl across his desk. I learned all I know about PI work from him. He also taught me how to spell with my Scrabble tiles, something that’s come in pretty handy lately. When he disappeared suddenly, I found myself in the market for a new home. Is it trite to say Fate led me to Nora’s door, meow?
I'm pretty sure I know why Nora named you Nick. What do you know about the *other* Nick & Nora?
Actually, naming me Nick was Chantal’s idea – and yes, it’s after that famous fictional detective Nick Charles. (At that time, they didn’t know Nick was the name of my former human as well. ) I have watched the movies, curled up on the sofa with Nora, and I must say, we are a lot alike – handsome, dashing, debonair, brilliant sleuths….except I’ll take a saucer of milk over a martini any day.
What is a typical day like for you?
Well, first I pounce on Nora to wake her up – if that doesn’t work, I deliver a few wet kisses – works every time. I usually hang around the kitchen at Hot Bread, watching Nora prepare her special of the day and hoping for a few stray bits to fall my way, meow! If Nora’s working on a story for NOIR or a case, I’ll most certainly lend a paw! Otherwise, I like to take long naps in front of the refrigerator – I needs my beauty sleep! Of course, if Chantal comes over with more of those collars she’s been making – I have various hiding places that I cannot reveal! Unless, of course, a photo op is involved…..I do photograph well, MA-ROW!
What kinds of trouble do you and Nora get into in your first adventure, Meow If It's Murder?
Oh, my, what DOESN’T Nora get into? That girl is a trouble magnet – and a body magnet, too! Being a former investigative reporter, she’s inclined to be a bit of a snoop… unfortunately, she doesn’t have the benefit of my nine lives! She often throws caution to the wind, because she’s used to being in dangerous situations, but suffice it to say that there are several instances where moi comes to the rescue – including an incident at gunpoint. I consider my rescue of her quite thrilling, indeed. I just don’t know what that woman would do without me, purrrrr.
Do you have any special talents that you use to help Nora solve the murder?
As I’ve mentioned, I learned quite a bit about detective work from my former human, so I certainly call upon those skills helping Nora. I have a very logical mind, if I do say so myself, so I know how to put two and two together and come up with nine J And if Nora can’t see the forest for the trees, it’s my pleasure to gently guide her in the right direction any way I can – short of talking, which would definitely help, but I manage to get my point across! Even though I cannot speak, I have a pretty good vocabulary- so that definitely helps when I have to spell out a clue for her with my Scrabble tiles.
Cat to cat, do you have favorite nap spots, toys and treats? (Other than your Scrabble tiles, of course)
My very favorite nap spot is cuddling right against Nora’s side at night, and my second favorite is in front of her refrigerator in the store kitchen. I love the sound of the motor – it PURRS. Aside from my tiles, I do love a good catnip mouse, and a ball! My former owner and I used to play “fetch” – I shall have to indoctrinate Miss Nora! Treats? Are you kidding? Anything edible – and maybe a few that aren’t. My rule is, anything on the floor is fair game.
Can you tell us anything about your upcoming adventures?
Well, this person T. C. Lotempio who’s telling our story would probably take away my Scrabble tiles if I give away too much, meow! But what I can say about book 2 is this: the mystery surrounding Nick Atkins disappearance deepens, Nora’s sister Lacey gets in a spot of trouble (actually a bit more than a spot) so that Nora and I have to go to her rescue, and a person from Nora’s past – male- pops up during all this. Got your interest??????
Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Friday, December 5th for your chance to win a copy of Meow If It's Murder. (US entries only, please.)
About the book: Nora Charles doesn’t believe in fate, even if she is a crime reporter who shares a name with a character from The Thin Man. In fact, she’s moving back to Cruz, California, to have a quieter life. But after finding an online magazine eager for material, and a stray cat named Nick with a talent for detection, Nora’s not just reporting crimes again. She’s uncovering them…
Back in her hometown, Nora reconnects with old friends and makes some new ones, like Nick, the charming feline who seems determined to be her cat. But not everything about Cruz is friendly. Writing for a local online magazine, Nora investigates the curious death of socialite Lola Grainger. Though it was deemed an accident, Nora suspects foul play. And it seems that her cat does too.
Apparently, Nick used to belong to a P.I. who disappeared while investigating Lola Grainger’s death. The coincidence is spooky, but not as spooky as the clues Nick spells out for her with Scrabble letters—clues that lead her down an increasingly dangerous path. Whether fate put her on this case or not, solving it will take all of Nora’s wits, and maybe a few of Nick’s nine lives.
Book reviews that are short and sweet...just like Truffles!
Hey everybody! Surprise! It's me, Truffles, writing our review of Meow If It's Murder! I asked Mommy if I could take the lead on this one and she said yes...after all, the character of Nick is based on a purr-sonal friend of mine, fellow cat blogger Rocco. He even featured me on his blog earlier this year! It seems like I've been waiting fur-ever to get my paws on this book, but it was definitely worth the wait...
Here's the scoop: Former investigative reporter Nora Charles has returned home to Cruz, California, following her mother's death to run the family sandwich shop, Hot Bread. She's also working part-time for the online magazine Noir, where she hopes to write a regular feature about unsolved mysteries. One falls right into her lap when a cat shows up at her door who belonged to a private investigator who went missing while investigating the suspicious death of socialite Lola Grainger. Lola was also a good friend and client of her mother's, and the circumstances surrounding her so-called "accidental" death just don't add up. Nora's reporter instincts kick in and before she knows it she's pulled into a very dangerous world where no one is who they appear to be.
Nick is a shining new star among feline detectives. Living with a P.I. has taught Nick a lot about detective work, and since he can't talk he reveals key clues to Nora with the help of his favorite toy, Scrabble tiles. Nora is a wonderful new human for Nick. (I hope she keeps trying to figure out what happened to his original owner!) He's got it pretty good spending time in a sandwich shop and eating all kinds of yummy snacks. Now if only Nora's friend Chantal would only stop trying to dress him up in her fancy kitty collars! (Geez...why can't humans let us cats wear our fur coats and nothing else like Cod intended???)
In closing, Meow If It's Murder gets a "meow" of approval from me, and four paws up too! Now if you'll 'scuse me, I just heard Mommy open a can of tuna fish to make The Thin Man Tuna Melt, and I'm pretty sure if I put on my super cute face (do I have another?) I can get her to share it with me!