Monday, March 14, 2016

Book Tour: The Case of the Clever Secret Code by Cindy Vincent

Genre: Fiction, Suspense, Mystery, Children's
Publisher: Whodunit Press
Publication date: October 14, 2015
Number of pages: 223

​Buckley and Bogey, Cat Detectives, find their next big case with the Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective Agency to be their most difficult yet. It all starts one hot summer day, when the boys are sitting in the front window of their Mom’s antique store. That’s when they see a big, black limo crawling up the street and going right through downtown St. Gertrude. So who is in that long, black car? None other than famous movie star, Steele Bronson! And his surprise arrival sends the entire town into a tizzy! Especially when he announces his plans to shoot his next movie right there at the St. Gertrude Library, housed in a historic four-story mansion. And wouldn’t you know it, but it all happens just Gracie, the boys’ human sister, is a finalist in the town’s Fourth of July essay contest. Holy Catnip!

But it isn’t long before Buckley and Bogey realize there is something very wrong with the whole picture . . . including the one that Steele Bronson is filming. Because it soon becomes very clear that the guy is after much more than just an Academy Award. And when the drama turns to danger for the boys and their family, that’s when Buckley and Bogey jump into the scene. Because this is one case that has it all — from Fourth of July festivities to tales of the American Revolution, and from a secret code to a hidden key! And unless Buckley and Bogey want to see this movie turn into a tragedy, it’ll be up to them to crack the case . . . as well as the secret code . . . Holy Mackerel! ​

About the author: Cindy Vincent, M.A. Ed., was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and has lived all around the US and Canada. She is the creator of the Mysteries by Vincent murder mystery party games and the Daisy Diamond Detective Series games for girls. She is also the award-winning author of the Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective Caper novels, and the Daisy Diamond Detective book series. She lives in Houston, TX with her husband and an assortment of fantastic felines. Cindy is a self-professed “Christmas-a-holic,” and starts planning and preparing for her ever-expanding, “extreme” Christmas lights display every year, sometime in the early Spring . . .

10 Behind the Scenes Facts About the Book:

1.  Two of my real life cats, Buckley and Bogey, were the inspiration for this book and for the series.  We had adopted Bogey from a local animal shelter when he was a kitten, and he joined our household of three much older female cats.  Of course, Bogey wanted to play 24/7, but the older girls had no intention of playing with him.  And Bogey, having come from a litter of five boys, liked to wrestle and roughhouse.  So it wasn’t long before we realized that Bogey needed a brother.  After a little searching for the right cat, we adopted Buckley from another animal rescue agency, and the two boys became best friends within five minutes of meeting each other.  They’ve been inseparable ever since.

Shortly after we brought them together, I noticed they explored our house every night in sort of a pattern, almost like security guards making their rounds.  My husband and I joked about them "running surveillance," to make sure the place was secure.  That's when the idea hit me — Buckley and Bogey Cat Detectives.

The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea.  Especially when I realized how very different the boys were.  While they're both black cats with gold eyes, Bogey is sleek and wiry, whereas Buckley is huge and fluffy.  Bogey is laid back and fearless, and Buckley is anxious about pretty much everything.  Bogey is the expert and Buckley is the rookie.  Together their personalities play off each other beautifully, much like Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.  Or Archie Goodwin and Nero Wolfe.  Only at a children's level, and well, at a really adorable level, as both boys are such a joy, and happy to cuddle and purr at a moment's notice.

2.  So many people have asked me about the exercise wheel that Buckley and Bogey use in a chase scene in the book, and if there might be a “real life” story behind it.  Well, the answer is yes, there is.  My husband once had a week off work and decided to build an exercise wheel for the cats.  He had visions of them running in it every day, getting lots of good exercise and having a great time.  And while he’s pretty good with woodworking, he’d never made a wheel before.  So he went to the lumber store, got supplies and then got to work.  Before long, I could see the outline of a nice wheel starting to take shape.

But getting the wheel to actually turn on a base was another ballgame.  Pretty soon this project required a daily trip to the store, (they actually know him by name now), and more and more adjustments and, well, more and more added materials.

Finally, in the end, we had a working wheel that turned on its base.  At least, it did for a few revolutions.  Unfortunately, the wheel was just slightly lopsided and one side was about a quarter of an inch longer than the other.  As it turns out, (no pun intended) in the world of cat exercise wheels, a quarter of an inch might as well have been five feet.  For when that wheel ran along its base, it quickly started to wobble and went rolling off and right onto the floor.  Every single time, no matter how much he tried to adjust it.  On top of that, with all the added materials, the whole thing weighed a ton — much more than any cat could ever manage to get started and keep rolling.  So . . . the wheel turned out to be a wonderful, thoughtful idea that never quite worked out.

Still, it gave me a fantastic idea for an addition to a Buckley and Bogey book.  So if nothing else, it served as the basis for some pretty funny scenes.  The wheel now sits on my side of the garage, just in front of the place where I park my car, and it rolls slowly back and forth, as though it has a mind of its own.  (This after trying to donate it to two different places that refused to take it . . .)  In any case, I’d rather be married to a man who attempts to do something nice for the feline members of the household, even if it didn’t quite go the way he planned.  The cats all know they have a wonderful dad, with or without a wheel.

3.  I always include three of my other cats in the Buckley and Bogey books, too — Miss Mokie, aka The Wise One;  Libby, aka Lil Bits;  and Lexie, aka Princess Alexandra.  I wrote them into the first three books in the series, and sadly, not long after I’d started this fourth book, Miss Mokie and Libby passed away within a month and a half of each other.  They were 21 and 20 years old, which is remarkably old for cats.  Funny, but somehow I had the idea that losing an older cat might be easier, considering they’d had a nice long life and weren’t in the best shape near the end anyway.  But oddly enough, I found it was even harder to lose a couple of feline friends who’d been part of my life for a couple of decades.  I went through a very rough grieving process.  And even though they’re gone, I decided to write them into this fourth book and all subsequent books anyway.  Hence, it was bittersweet as I tearfully wrote their scenes and immortalized my two precious kitties within the pages of my books. 

4.  I sometimes write friends’ cats into my books as well.  For instance, Ranger, a Tonkinese kitty who is in two of the books, belongs to my friend who spends most of the year traveling in an RV with her husband, and takes Ranger with them.  She once sent me a picture of Ranger going nose-to-nose with an Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park, so Ranger quickly became an adventurer in the books.  And Luke, the church cat in one book and mentioned in another, is the late cat of an online friend who plays piano at her church.  His real name was Ebony, and he is also forever immortalized in my books.

5.  The fictitious Mom in the books, Abigail Abernathy, owns an antique store, which is an offshoot of my love of history and antiques.  My husband and I often spend time browsing through antique stores or flea markets.  The junkier the better.  There’s nothing like spotting that “one hidden treasure” is a sea of less interesting items.  I collect vintage glassware, including black amethyst glass and ultramarine swirl glass from 1937.

6.  I write on a desk that was made in the late 1930s or early 1940s.  It’s gorgeous.  Made of mahogany and with a glass top, it has curved legs and a curved cutout in the back.  I feel such a sense of mystery every time I write on it.

7.  When you read this book, you’ll note that much of the action takes place in a very old library.  I’ve always thought libraries were sort of magical places, especially those housed in old buildings.  And I decided to make the St. Gertrude library a four-story building, after a friend of mine told me how she and her sister would get dropped off at the library every Saturday when they were kids, while their mom went grocery shopping.  Apparently the fourth floor of that building was dark and full of musty old books.  It was the perfect place for a child’s imagination to run wild.  And of course, her story made my imagination run wild, too, so I decided to include something similar in my book.

8.  Most of my cats nap in my home office while I write.  I usually have one on my lap, one in a chair and a few on the floor.  It makes for such a cozy atmosphere.  And Buckley, who is the narrator of the series, frequently sits on my desk.  Considering that he’s a huge, Maine Coon Cat, this can make things a bit challenging, especially when he wants to lie on top of the keyboard . . .

9.  Each one of the Buckley and Bogey books features an adoption scene where a homeless cat is given a forever home.  In one episode it was a cat who needed to be rescued from a bad situation, and another time two, “special needs” cats were adopted.  I always get a little emotional when I write this little sideline to my stories, yet my real goal here is to encourage people to adopt cats who need a home, especially shelter cats.

10.  The Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective Capers are set in a fictitious town called St. Gertrude.  Why St. Gertrude?  Because the real St. Gertrude of Nivelles, who lived in the seventh century, was known as the Patron Saint of Cats.

If you're on the hunt for a fun series to get kids into reading mysteries, look no further than the Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective Caper series. Narrated by Buckley who is learning everything he needs to know about being a cat detective by head sleuth Bogey, these two black cats are hot on the case when a famous movie star's arrival in town means nothing but trouble for their beloved family. Buckley is coming into his own as a furry sleuth, but his confusion over common everyday sayings had me chuckling on more than one occasion. 

A wild adventure through a four-story library, a history lesson, a moral dilemma, a mysterious code...this book has it all, plus two adorable cats. This is the fourth book of a series certain to appeal to cat lovers of all ages.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Singing Librarian Books in exchange for an honest review.

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Tour Schedule:


Cats Herd You said...

What adorable behind-the-scenes photos!

Unknown said...

This sounds like a really fun series, and I love the trailer!

Anonymous said...

Buckley and Bogey are awesome! Loved the cute video.

pilch92 said...

Great giveaway. Such cute kitties :)

Three Chatty Cats said...

What a cute trailer! Looks like they had a case of the zoomies while on the search for the jewels.

Fur Everywhere said...

Sounds like a cool book! I'll have to tell my sister about these for my nephews when they get a little older (they can't read yet)!

The Menagerie Mom said...

Buckley and Bogey sound like they go on such fun adventures! I love that the author uses her real-life kitties as inspiration, and I love all of the fun facts she shared here. Thank you for sharing this with us, Mudpie and Melissa!

Unknown said...

Holy Catnip! That sure was nice of you, Mudpie, to review my new book! Thank you so much for taking time out of your obviously busy schedule to help out a couple of fellow felines. Bogey and I think you'd make a fine addition to the BBCDA. You've got that sultry (and sneaky) femme fatale look about you!

Cindy Vincent said...

Thank you so much, Melissa and Miss Mudpie, for hosting us here today and for the book review! So thoughtful of you. I always love your site, and what a beautifully-presented post. The way you've interspersed the pictures and the text is a work of art! And . . . speaking of works of art . . . little Miss Mudpie is as gorgeous as they get! I'm guessing she's a real "character," much like our new calico kitten, Amelia. Life with a tortie/calico is never dull. :)

In any case, I appreciate all that you do in promoting the good care and adoption of kitties! Thanks again, and all the best!

Pamela Woodfield said...

What a fun series! I love to read books meant for younger folks. It's awesome that they encourages animal adoption!