Monday, February 12, 2018

Death By A Whisker by T.C. LoTempio: Blog Tour & Book Review

Getting used to life back home in Deer Park, North Carolina, Sydney McCall and her right-hand tabby, Toby, are helping her sister Kat run the local animal shelter. Syd and Kat are all excited about the prospect of the shelter’s newest fundraiser: shopping channel queen Ulla Townsend. Shelter admin Maggie Shayne vehemently refuses to have anything to do with the woman, but the fundraiser ensues as planned. That is, until Ulla turns up dead in the middle of the event.

The cause of death is determined to be an allergic reaction, but Syd and Toby are sniffing out something fishy. When Syd met Ulla, it was clear she was distasteful and rude. And right before the event, Syd spotted some behind-the-scenes drama between Ulla and her manager. As they begin to investigate, they realize there is no shortage of suspects, and Maggie is at the top of the list.

Now Syd and Toby must claw their way to the truth before everything goes paws up at their animal shelter.

Preparations are underway for Friendly Paws Animal Shelter's next fundraiser, but when the original celebrity guest is injured in a car accident, shopping channel host and former Deer Park resident Ulla Townsend is pegged to appear. Those who knew her back when don't have a whole lot of good things to say, but she loves cats and has agreed to donate a percentage of her book sales to the shelter. On the day of the big event Ulla has a lot going on in her life besides the book signing, and before the day is done she's dead from anaphylactic shock. She hadn't eaten anything, and no one seems to know what she was allergic to, but suspicion falls on shelter assistant Maggie who had such horrid memories of Ulla in high school that she refused to attend the fundraiser, but then is spotted in video of the chaotic scene.

I figured out the how (but not the who) of Ulla's death long before Syd did, and I loved the role that precious tabby Toby and his adoptable kitty friend Annie Reilly (named after a historical figure!) played in solving the case. The opening scene alone will pull cat loving mystery readers right into the book as Syd discovers yet another headless Melvin the Marvelous Mouse toy on the kitchen floor and she threatens to stop buying the expensive toy for Toby if he doesn't stop mutilating them! Syd and Toby are an unbeatable crime-solving team and I'm looking forward to their many more adventures together.

Character Guest Post
Toby: Cat Rescue Mysteries

Hello, my name is Toby. Up until a little while ago I was a resident at Friendly Paws Animal Shelter in Deer Park, North Carolina. I liked it there, but I yearned for the day when I’d find my perfect human – the yin to my yang, so to speak. I think that’s the main reason I developed a knack for being able to slip out of my cage and out of the shelter and wander around the streets of Deer Park at night. I’ve always considered myself a pretty independent fellow, but let’s face it, there’s a lot to be said for a nice soft fleece bed, toys to play with and three squares a day! I’d pretty much given up on finding that perfect human to share my catly life with…and then Syd walked into my life!

Syd is Sydney McCall. She’s the sister of Katherine “Kat” McCall, the director of Friendly Paws. The shelter was in trouble, and Kat called upon her sister who’d recently left her j ob in NY, to help. Syd has a lot of savvy marketing experience that Kat thought would come in handy with fundraising. The minute Syd looked at me, hunkered down in my cage, I just knew…and so did she.

The fact that we share a love of mysteries doesn’t hurt, either. I admit to having a yen to be like other feline detectives, Nick and Midnight Louie for example. And Syd’s been a closet detective since she read her first Nancy Drew! So when she and Kat stumbled across that dead body, I couldn’t help but toss her a clue…or two. It was the beginning of a beautiful partnership.

Our mystery solving relationship continues in our latest adventure, DEATH BY A WHISKER. When shopping channel queen Ulla Townsend comes to Deer Park to do a benefit, Syd and I can’t help but sense trouble, particularly when Maggie Shayne, who’d never hurt a fly, pitches a fit and flat out refuses to help! The plot thickens when Ulla has an attack at the signing and drops dead. Someone put an untimely end to her life, but whodunit? There are tons of suspects but unfortunately Maggie heads the list. Can Syd and I get her out of this jam?

I guess you’ll have to read DEATH BY A WHISKER to find out, meow!


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

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Valentine said...

Oh this sounds fascinating, Mudpie. That Toby and Syd sound like a purr-fect pairing. Mom and I have not read any books yet by Miss Toni, but I guess we sure need to, 'cause it sounds like we've been missing out! Purrs. -Valentine (& Mom) of Noir Kitty Mews

Fur Everywhere said...

I will have to see if my library has this one yet. She is a good writer!

katsrus said...

Sounds like a good book. Love the cover.
Sue B

Unknown said...

Ha! This is the same book I reviewed for today. I loved it! Toby did a great guest post for you :)

Kay Garrett said...

Thank you for the review on "Death By A Whisker" by T.C. LoTempio and for being part of the book tour!

I absolutely love the cover and enjoyed the guest post with Toby, the adorable cat in this mystery. I'd love the chance to read this book!
2clowns at arkansas dot net

Patricia T said...

Thanks, Melissa and Mudpie. This sounds like a must-read!

The Menagerie Mom said...

This sounds like yet another book to add to my collection! And I absolutely adore the cover art. Toby sounds like the purrfect companion. Purrs!

Robin Coxon said...

Thanks for sharing Toni LoTempio's book on your blog. I am a pushover for her books and can't wait to get a copy of the latest one.


Thank you everyone! Here's hoping Crooked Lane keeps Toby around for many more adventures!

Eastside Cats said...

I like the titles of her books; very film noir-ish!

diannekc said...

I have had this book on my TBR list for a while. Love the cover, can't wait to read. said...

Love the cover and I just think these cat people/authors have an amazing talent to come up with the best titles in the world!

pilch92 said...

Sounds like a great book.

Kitties Blue said...

This sounds great. Always looking for good reads for the Cat Scout Book Club. XOCK, angel Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, angel Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth, Calista Jo, Cooper Murphy and Sawyer