Monday, December 5, 2016

Book Review/Interview: Crime and Catnip by TC LoTempio

While catering a gala for the Cruz Museum, Nora Charles agrees to look into the disappearance of director Violet Crenshaw’s niece, a case previously undertaken by her frisky feline friend Nick’s former owner, a private eye whose whereabouts are also currently unknown.

As Nora and her curious cat Nick pull at the string of clues, they begin to unravel a twisted tale of coded messages, theft, false identities, murder, and international espionage. Nora dares to hope that the labyrinth of leads will not only help them locate the missing young woman, but also solve the disappearance of the detective. That’s if Nora can stay alive long enough to find him...

Over the past two books in this series Nick and Nora have proven themselves to be a crime-solving team to be reckoned with, and with this third and final book everything comes to a head as our questions are finally answered.

The central theme of the series has been the unknown fate of Nick's original owner, PI Nick Atkins. Now museum director Violet Crenshaw has asked Nora to look into the disappearance of her niece, the last case Nick was known to be involved in. Then another mystery presents itself when the event planner for the museum gala Nora is catering is found dead following interesting altercations with a variety of people, and with everyone in costume things become even more complicated.

Why would someone want the young woman dead? Why is Nick (or someone posing as Nick) sending cryptic postcards? And will Nick (the feline PI) be able to save the day once again and break his former owner's secret code? This book is a real brain twister and while it isn't your typical cozy thanks to international intrigue cryptic codes, it's a must read for anyone who has followed Nick and Nora's story from the beginning...and if you haven't, what are you waiting for???

Since Angel Truffles got to interview Nick a couple years ago, Mudpie decided to have a little chat with the real-life cat that inspired the character of Nick, kitty blogger Rocco!

Welcome, Rocco! Thank you so much for chatting with me today. Could you start be telling us a little about yourself and how you came to live with your human?

Meow, thanks for having me, Mudpie! Well, I was a feisty little kitty in a foster home when my human, Toni (TC) Lotempio saw my photo on Pet Finder. She was looking for a male companion for her recent rescue, MAXX, and thought I would be purr-fect! As it turned out, she was a good judge of kitty character, merow. As she tells it, I was the boss the moment I stepped out of the carrier and raised my paw....

How did you get into blogging?

The Human (as I lovingly refer to TC) thought a blog might be a nice idea, as she'd just self-published some paranormal suspense novels. She thought that a cat doing the interviewing was a different "hook" and, of course, I displayed a natural talent in that area. I like to think of myself as a sort of feline Barbara Walters, but I have heard some folk refer to me as a "ham".

What's your favorite and least favorite part of being a kitty blogger?

My most favorite part is all the wonderful authors I and the human have met over the years. We love them all, and we are constantly looking to promote new authors. (we're still trying to get Nora Roberts and Mary Higgens Clark, too!). Least favorite part? When someone misses a deadline. Fortunately, that doesn't happen too often, merow.

You're the inspiration behind the feline character of Nick in your author's Nick and Nora mystery series. How much of the character is fictionalized and how much is really you?

I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you, meow! Seriously, about the only thing fictionalized is the Scrabble tile thingy, although I have no doubt that I could spell out words if I had to. I am a rotund sort of fellow, just like Nick, and I do enjoy a good meal - and a good mystery, too!

Tell us about the latest book in the series, Crime and Catnip.

Crime and Catnip is the third in the Nick and Nora series. Nora is asked by the Cruz Museum director to look into the disappearance of her niece, and after doing so, discovers that the niece's disappearance might be tied to another one - that of Nick the cat's former owner, missing PI Nick Atkins. There's missing jewels, Interpol, hidden identities - we've pulled out all the stops on this one.

What's your author working on now?

Right now the human is busy working on her new series for Crooked Lane, the Cat Rescue series. Unfortunately, I'm not the main cat in this one but I understand it's pretty good anyway, LOL. This series centers around Sydney McCall, who left a cushy job in advertising to come back to her hometown of Deer Park North Carolina and help her sister run the local animal shelter First time out while planning a fundraiser, one of the shopkeepers who opposed the idea is found murdered and the local Homicide Detective, who just happens to be Syd's High School crush, suspects Syds sister Kat. Syd gets help from an orange tabby named Toby to solve this one!

In closing, anything else you'd like your legions of fans to know about you?

I myself am always available for interviews, merow! and we cordially invite everyone to check out my blog, where you will find lots of author interviews, giveaways, and news on the Human's latest projects!

We will also be auctioning off an ARC of Purr M for Murder, the first Cat Rescue mystery, this month on Ebay. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the charity, KIDS NEED TO READ, for which I am an honorary spokescat!

About the author: While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic. She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – and in Spring 2017, the new CAT RESCUE mysteries from Crooked Lane! She, Rocco and company make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York. Catch up with them at and

Purchase Links:

Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Friday, December 9th for your chance to win a papaerback copy of Crime and Catnip. (US entries only please).

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tashi costa said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Stormi said...

I have listened to the first one and can't wait to get to the next one, this one sounds like it's a good one too.

The Menagerie Mom said...

This sounds like such a fun read full of intrigue! Kitty Nick sounds like he makes a purrfect PI. And that was a fantastic interview, Mudpie and Rocco! Thank you for sharing yet another great read, and of course interview, with us!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Melissa and Mudpie!

pilch92 said...

Great review as always Miss Mudpie.


Thank you so much for hosting us, Melissa and Mudpie!


Thanks very much! We try :)


Yes, sometimes it's hard to tell who's the bigger ham, Nick or ROCCO!


and of course thanks for the kind review!

Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat said...

You always do the best interviews, Mudpie. Another series to add to the list (and we fell in love with Rocco, so we HAVE to read the books now!).

diannekc said...

What an interesting interview, Mudpie! I follow your blog and also Rocco's blog and love both of them. This is a great series and I'm really looking forward to reading "Crime and Catnip". Keep up the good work Mudpie and you too, Rocco. Have a great holiday season.

diannekc said...

What an interesting interview, Mudpie! I follow your blog and also Rocco's blog and love both of them. This is a great series and I'm really looking forward to reading "Crime and Catnip". Keep up the good work Mudpie and you too, Rocco. Have a great holiday season.

Anonymous said...

Great review/innerview Mudpie. Big hugs to ya'll

Luv ya'

Dezi and Raena

Noodle Cat said...

This sounds like a great read.
Thanks for the heads up...

Noodle and crew

Marla Bradeen/Paige Sleuth, Mystery Author said...

Rocco and Mudpie, two accomplished kitties. Much more ambitious than my two!

Three Chatty Cats said...

This sounds like a great series! I will have to add it to my list!

Jana Leah B said...

Enjoyed Mudpie's & Rocco's interview!