Monday, June 27, 2016

Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday

Welcome to this week's edition of Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday!

We hope you enjoy our choices.

The Black Cat Knocks on Wood (A Bad Luck Cat Mystery) by Kay Finch

From the publisher: Sabrina finds it difficult to work on her latest suspense novel when her Aunt Rowe’s antics keep tying up her thoughts. This time Rowe and her fun-loving friends have decided to compete in the upcoming Texas Hill Country Senior Pro Rodeo. The problem is these women have little to no experience with lassos, bulls, or even horseback riding. 

Before Sabrina can keep the stubborn seniors from mounting their steeds, she’s sidetracked by a bigger problem. An uppity local business owner is found dead in an accident—right after a black cat was seen in her office. While the townsfolk think the bad luck cat has struck again, Sabrina suspects there might be something more murderous afoot. With a twisted killer on the loose, she’ll have to round up clues quickly before she or her aunt are steered straight into the path of danger...

Tortie Shorties Review: Hitchcock is back for his second adventure, and that little cutie is anything but a Bad Luck Cat!!!

Sabrina is horrified when her Aunt Rowe and her lady friends plan to compete in the Texas Hill Country Senior Pro Rodeo...not exactly a wise decision for a group of septuagenarian with no experience. Hilarity is certain to ensue. One of Rowe's friends, Pearl, is planning to buy the property next door to expand her store and feels that she's been cheated realtor Crystal Devlin. She asks to "borrow" sweet little Hitchcock to bring Crystal a little bad luck. Sabrina is horrified and refuses, but bad luck finds Crystal anyways when she's crushed under a pile of bricks in the aforementioned storefront. Everyone knows Pearl and the victim were feuding, which makes her the prime suspect.

As much as I loved the first book in this series, I enjoyed this one even more. Sabrina's writing career is really taking off...if only she had the time to write! Along with her crime solving duties, she's planning an event with veterinarian Magnolia Jensen called Love-a-Black-Cat adoption weekend. The rodeo scenes are a lot of fun, and Sabrina winds up finding herself in more than one dangerous situation. Thank goodness Hitchcock has taken it upon himself to be her chief protector! He's a total scene stealer and a purr-fect ambassador for black cats everywhere.

From the publisher: With her rent rising faster than her pie crust, bakery owner Winnie Johnson had hoped to be rescued by an inheritance from her wealthy friend and neighbor Gertrude Redenbacher. Instead all she inherits is the widow’s hostile hissing tabby, Lovey, and a vintage ambulance, restored by Gertrude’s late husband. As her dream crumbles, Winnie makes her final delivery—a peach pie to an elderly widower. But she finds Bart Wagner lying on his kitchen floor, smothered by a pillow.

To comfort her frightened and grieving neighbors, Winnie comes to the rescue with her baked goods—and an idea is born: dessert delivery via her ambulance and a new business called the Emergency Dessert Squad. When she’s not speeding to the scenes of dessert emergencies, Winnie is also racing to track down Bart’s killer—before she needs to call a real ambulance for the next victim...

Tortie Shorties Review: This is one of the most clever concepts for a cozy series that I've seen yet!

Winnie Johnson is on the brink of losing her beloved bakery and her only hope is an inheritance from her dearly departed friend Gertrude. She doesn't inherit the money she so desperately needs though. She returns home with a hissy tabby named Lovey and an old ambulance. Attempting to turn lemons into lemonade she decides to turn the ambulance into a dessert delivery service with an "emergency" theme: the Emergency Dessert Squad. It's hard to keep her mind solely on growing her new business though, with the murder of her elderly neighbor Bart weighing on her and the feelings she's developing for her very first customer, handsome business professor Jay.

This first book in the series is a pure delight. Our protagonist Winnie is a character I immediately was drawn to: more comfortable with the older generation than her own, and focused on pursing her passion for baking. Her elderly friends and neighbors are such a delight, especially busybody Bridget and hard of hearing Mr. Nelson. Those two had me in stitches on more than one occasion. The mystery flows seamlessly and although I had a few suspicions I didn't piece everything together until Winnie revealed the truth.

Even though this isn't technically a cat mystery, Lovey plays a huge role throughout the book. I love how she rides shotgun on the ambulance and look forward to watching her develop a relationship with Winnie. Just what makes Lovey so grumpy, anyways???

Disclaimer: I received free copies of these books from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.


Anonymous said...

The second one sounds really good (I'm not a fan of western-style themes!)

The Menagerie Mom said...

We always love your choice of books, Mudpie and Melissa! But these two sound especially fun and exciting to me. There goes my "to read" list again! Purrs, and thank you for more great reviews!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Melissa (and Mudpie)!

Dragonheart, Merlin, Devi, and Chloe said...

Thanks for the book reviews! Our mom will have to check them out.

Laura Bradford said...

Thank you, Melissa!! Just what I needed today. So glad you enjoyed Éclair and Present Danger!

Anonymous said...

Well Mudpie those are pawsum reviews as always.

Luv ya'

Dezi and Raena

pilch92 said...

Great reviews, these both sound good.

The Island Cats said...

We like black cats so we bet the mom would like that first book.

Unknown said...

"Emergency Dessert Squad"--love it! That one has to go on my list. And I love black cats, so I guess the Bad Luck Cat series will get added, too :)

Three Chatty Cats said...

More great reviews, thank you!