Tuesday, November 4, 2014

No Mallets Intended by Victoria Hamilton: Guest Author, Review & Giveaway

No Mallets Intended

Independent Cats and Worried Owners 
By: Victoria Hamilton 

When I gave my Vintage Kitchen Mysteries protagonist Jaymie Leighton an intensely independent and standoffish cat, the crabby tabby Denver, I had no experience with the breed. Independent cats, I mean. I’ve always had loving, clingy lap cats, the kind who adore you and follow you around from room to room and stay inside most of the time. The day the first Vintage Kitchen Mystery, A Deadly Grind, came out, lost my beloved pet. He was a big orange love bug; he needed cuddles every morning to get his day started right. I still miss himfiercely. 

I waited a bit, then started looking for another cat to adopt. First I went to rescue agencies. I believe in them, but I had a bad experience with one. Gunshyturned to Kijiji. I know, I know… Kijiji?? However, I saw a cat there who appeared perfect. In the photo he was on a little boy’s lap, and he was adorable, an orange and white cutie. He had been found wandering in the local Walmart parking lot, scared and cold and wet. The sweet young woman who found him took him home but couldn’t keep him since she had a huge dog, bunnies, rats and a seven year old. Child, that is. It was American Thanksgiving 2012. I went, picked him up, took him home and he was easy going: no stress, no worries, no attitude. He honestly doesn’t have a mean bone in his body. Eventually I settled on Poodle as a name. 

But good lord is he restless! He whines and paces and whines and paces and whines and paces…. argh! You get the picture. No amount of play time is enough. No number of toys, or cat trees or whatever is enough. It’s truly distracting, since I work at home and as a writer I need to focus. 

Long story short… he goes outside and wanders the neighborhood. He climbs trees and has friends and visits the neighbor, who thinks he is the bomb. He hunts. Yes, he’s that cat, the one who hunts mice and chipmunks and mourning doves. He defends our yard from strays.  

He has all his shots, including the yearly rabies, and since he won’t keep a collar on – he lost three with personalized tags and more without - he is chipped. But I know that some day, he just might not come home. I’ve agonized over it. I was on the point of giving him to someone who I know would have taken good care of him, but he’d be inside. (Not really, though, because he is lightning fast and would have gotten out their door in two seconds.) When it came down to it, I just couldn’t do it to himHe’s completely happy. He won’t sit on my lap (unless I have yogurt) but he comes and goes as he pleases. I make sure he’s in every night, and he is HAPPY! He’s not the cat I wanted, but he has a good homeeverything he wants and we’re in a safe, not busy neighborhood where my neighbors let their cats out all day too. By the way, my neighbor three doors down had a cat who went every day outside and he just died at age twenty. It’s not ideal. I’d love it if he would calm down and stay inside, but it’s either let him out, or get rid of him, and I just can’t do that to the little dude. 

I think about it like this; I couldn’t live in a prison. I couldn’t be confined all day when I longed to be outside. If his life is shorter, it will be, honestly, the life he chose and what made him happy. He’s a different kind of cat than I’ve ever met but he’s a good boy, and he deserves that much. He’s no cuddle bug, but he’s a decent fellowI want what’s best for him. I believe I’m doing that. 

I honestly understand that many cat lovers won’t agree.

Victoria Hamilton is the author of three nationally bestselling series, the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and Merry Muffin Mysteries as Victoria, and the Teapot Collector Mysteries as Amanda Cooper. She is also the bestselling author of Regency and historical romance as Donna Lea Simpson. 

Victoria loves to cook and collects vintage kitchen paraphernalia, teacups and teapots, and almost anything that catches her fancy! She loves to read, especially mystery novels, and enjoys good tea and cheap wine, the company of friends, and has a newfound appreciation for opera. She enjoys crocheting and beading, but a good book can tempt her away from almost anything… except writing! 

Follow Victoria! 
Vintage Kitchen Mysteries on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/VintageKitchenMysteries 
Twitter: @MysteryVictoria 


Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Friday, November 7th for your chance to win a copy of No Mallets Intended. (US entries only, please.)

Blurb: The Queensville Heritage Society is restoring the once-grand Dumpe Manor. While Dumpe relatives and society members use the occasion to dust off old grudges, Jaymie Leighton prefers to adorn the kitchen with authentic Depression Era furnishings. A collection of vintage wooden mallets found in the house is a perfect addition to her display, but one also offers a late-night intruder the perfect weapon to knock Jaymie unconscious before escaping.

Though the attack has everyone on edge, nothing is missing from the house. Perhaps it was merely a vagrant who thought the place was still abandoned. But when Dumpe Manor’s resident historian is murdered with a mallet from the same collection, it’s time for Jaymie to turn up the heat on the investigation before someone else becomes history.

Tortie Shorties
Book reviews that are short and sweet...just like Truffles!

The Vintage Kitchen Mystery series has been a favorite of mine from the beginning particularly for the fact that I see so much of myself in Jaymie Leighton. She's an old-fashioned girl living in a modern world, content to live her own life in spite of judgments from others, and dotes on her beloved rescue pets. In this fourth book in the series Queensville is getting ready to celebrate the holiday season's Dickens Days, and the restoration of Dumpe Manor is interrupted by the "murder by mallet" death of the historian hired to write a pamphlet documenting the Manor's history.

This is a book with a plethora of suspicious characters, and one of those mysteries that required me to read the final pages a few times in order to piece together everything that happened. At one point while trying to explain what went down Jaymie even says, "it's all kind of a jumbled mess."

A good deal of this book is also spent chronicling Jaymie's complicated love life, which I've been looking forward to ever since ending book 3, Freezer I'll Shoot. She's been in a love triangle of sorts with multi-millionaire software computer mogul Daniel and Detective Zach. I've had strong feelings about this, sensing much greater chemistry with Zach and disliking Daniel. Her relationships with each man takes a surprising turn, and the addition of a new character is about to make things very interesting!

This is a really good mystery, just make sure when you read it that you put your thinking cap on because it will require the use of every one of your "little grey cells".


Kaye Killgore said...

I love this series.


Michstjame said...

Wonderful series and I am very much looking forward to No Mallets intended! As for the cat situation--while I have always been a dog person, my parents "switched" to cats in their retirement and they have a cat who sounds very similar to yours. They had been adamant about their rescue cats being indoor only, but this silly tuxedo cat wanted out and was not shy about letting them no. He paced, yowled, and then sprayed. The spraying sent my mom to the vet, and he said she should start letting him out. She agonized a great deal before deciding to do just that, and now everyone is much happier--including the other two, indoor-only--kitties. She still agonizes, but it was the best solution for them, like it was for you, and she will be thrilled to read someone else going through the same situation.

Karen B said...

Love, love, love this series!
My first cat was so independent. Every summer she disappeared for a "2 week vacation" and came home pregnant. She terrorized the little dog across the street, fell into the wringer washer machine (not hurt), turned my confirmed cat-hater dad into a cat-lover, etc. Yes, we do love our cats!

skkorman said...

I would love to read this book—thanks for the opportunity to win copy!

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

Unknown said...

Love the title...thank you for the chance to win, hope to get a chance to read this series :)

holdenj said...

Can't believe it's already the fourth book! I have been rooting for someone other than Daniel too, will be interest to see how that plays out! Thanks! JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

Victoria Hamilton said...

I'm so relieved to hear others' stories about their independent cats! I did everything I could to make him happy in the house, but he just wasn't having it!

Victoria Hamilton said...

Well, Poodle is not getting any female in the family way, though his best friend is a little girl tuxedo cat two doors over!

NoraA said...

I own an ARC of Deadly Grind and paperbacks of the other two books in the series. I'd love to add this one to my collection.


kiki w said...

Wow looks like a great cozy mystery.

xzjh04@ gmail.com

petite said...

Delightful and intriguing. Thanks for this feature. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

traveler said...

This cozy is so wonderful. What a great series. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I have a tuxedo cat, Mr. Bubbles, who will NOT be confined. He was found, outdoors, as a kitten. (He will be 15, next spring.) My cats all have their shots (and are spayed/neutered) and Bubbles will come in, overnight, when it gets really cold, in winter. The rest of the time, he spends between my house and the neighbor, down the street. I'm lucky to live on a cul-de-sac and have a neighbor who loves cats, too.

Congrats, on your new book, Victoria!

patucker54 at aol dot com

Chèli said...

I enjoyed the first, looking forward to more!

Unknown said...

I have to chime in and say I love this series.......! Keep them coming. :-)

Deanna Stevens said...

"it's all kind of a jumbled mess." sounds like my kitchen LOL would love to read this one!
:) dkstevensne AT outlook DOTcom

Robin Coxon said...

Another TBR by Victoria Hamilton. The owner of a beautiful black cat named Romeo Luigi has been a new experience for me. He is not just any black cat, he is part Siamese and has decided I am his and only his. lol! I wouldn't know what to do without him.

Ellie Wright said...

This is one of my favorite series and I look forward to reading this newest addition.

Unknown said...

Does he need a fur companion to play and chat with all day?

Sunny Dreamer said...

My cat Egypt is a cross between your two cats. When he was younger, he loved to roam and be outside, but now that he's older he prefers the indoors and loves to snuggle. He even gets mad at me when I go on business trips and refuses to have anything to do with me until bedtime. Then he hops up onto our bed and gets right in my face or snuggle on my pillow.

Debbie S said...

I have two cats that are opposite, one will lay in your lap forever if you let him, the other is constantly roaming and checking everything out, He has the 5 second rule, I am permitted to pick him up and hold him for 5 seconds then that's it he's out of here, but he's a goofy lovable character.
momzillasteel at gmail dot com

Carol N Wong said...

I love your series. I am a dog, cat and bird person!!! I had one completely black cat who wanted to stay instead all the time and another, her sister, Happy Day, was a big game hunter. She even brought home a rabbit.


CatInTheFridge said...

Tortie Shorties are great little reviews! Perfect for those of us short on time. - Crepes.

Ann Summerville said...

Love the title. Cats can be so different. Mine was somewhat aloof until my dog died and now she wants to be by my side every minute of the day (and under my feet).

Ann Summerville said...

Oops forgot to leave my e-mail

noodlecat said...

Sounds like a great book!

Noodle and crew

M.A.D. said...

Mary DeBorde
Victoria, loving hugs & much commiseration on the loss of your big orange beloved furbaby <3 <3 <3
I know what you mean about the indoor vs outdoor debate. It's something I struggle/worry about, and I think these beautiful creatures deserve their freedom as much as any living thing. I keep mine inside for their own safety and other factors, but the strays I try to feed & keep an eye out for as they go about their daily wanderings/territory/etc. Wish I had a slew of money to buy land for them to roam & be safe, giving them the best of both worlds <3 Wishing you ALL the best & tons of love with your new *Poodle* lol

pilch92 said...

I love the tortie shorties, that is a great idea.

Sue said...

Cat can have such distinct personalities---my big kitty thinks he's a dog. He will come to a command better than my dogs will. Love books with cats in them.

servedogmom said...

Unfortunately due to severe cat allergies I am a dog person! Butm that said, I love mysteries that involve cats (and dogs). Our daughters believe we should move to a village that permits out door cats. Can't wait to read this addition to the series. servedogmom@yahoo.com

Chatting About Cozies said...

I love all Cozies that have pets! I'd love to read No Mallets Intended. Thanks!

Meg C. said...

This is a great series and I have been looking forward to this latest book for some time now. Thanks for the chance to win.

I get the whole indoor vs outdoor debate because I've had two cats in my lifetime and have done both. My first cat did both indoor and outdoor. The second is an indoor only. I guess it all just depends on the cat and the circumstances that surround them and the ones they own. As long as they're taken care of, as safe as you can make them and have everyone be as content as they can be, I'm not sure it really matters where they spend most of their time.


samantha.1020 said...

This sounds like a great read!!! I love a good cozy mystery and this sounds like an author that I should definitely check out. Thanks for sharing!!

bookwomen said...

Love this seris. Glad to see the new one

gibsonbk at hiwaay dot net

Marty the Manx said...

Victoria thanks for your note on yourself and your cats :) Truffles and Mom thanks for the review. I will put these books on my "want to read" list!
Marty's Mom

Vicki said...

Another book for the tabby cat lover in me. And a namesake to have written it to boot! I can't wait to read it it. Sounds terrific.

Carol M said...

I'd love to read this! It sounds like a book I would really enjoy! Thank you

Tonette Joyce said...

I understand,Victoria. Lats year I took in a cat who someone had apparently dumped.She IS temperamental, but there is no excuse.She once had a home; she was spayed and declawed, but no one was looking for her. She doesn't fit in with my other cats, who were not raised together but were very close. She wants to be outside.I never let my other ones out, but she does not travel far and comes in and out.She comes when I call...most of the time.My sons,(who no longer lives here), are very affectionate with cats but this one spits and slaps at them in the house, but is she gets purry and rubs against them outside; she is a little better with me inside, but will be at my side all the time I am out. It worries me when she is out, but, you seem to have the same feelings I do. Bets wished for your kitty!