Monday, March 26, 2018

Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday

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

We hope you enjoy our choices.

From the publisher: Everyone knows a leopard can't change its spots. But can a thief hide the spots on a catnapped Bengal? Groomer Cassie McGlone is about to find out . . .

With no ID for his pet, an agitated young man shows up at Cassie's Comfy Cats claiming his house has burned down and he needs to board his big, brown cat, Ayesha. But after a bath washes dye out of the cat's coat and reveals beautiful spots, Cassie suspects the exotic-looking feline may in fact be a valuable Bengal show cat, possibly stolen. At the same time, there are rumored sightings of a "wild cat" in the hills of Chadwick, New Jersey. Could there be a connection?

When Ayesha's alleged owner turns up dead, it looks like whoever wants the beautiful Bengal is not pussyfooting around. Working with the police, Cassie and her staff need to be careful not to reveal the purloined purebred's whereabouts while they discreetly make inquiries to cat breeders to find her real owners. But after a break-in attempt rattles Cassie's cage, it's clear someone let the cat out of the bag. And when a second body is found, it's up to Cassie to spot the killer, who may be grooming her to be the next victim . . .

Tortie Shorties Review: The debut novel in this series (The Persian Always Meows Twice) was one of my very favorite books of 2017, and I loved the sequel just as much, if not more! This one stars a beautiful Bengal cat named Ayesha who would have quite a story to tell if only she could talk, but since she can't, it's up to cat groomer/cattery owner Cassie to get to the bottom of things when the mysterious man who claims to own her dies under mysterious circumstances. The situation becomes even more suspicious when she discovers that Ayesha has been dyed and her microchip was removed. What on earth has this poor cat been through and how does it tie to the dead man?

There are secondary mysteries to be solved in the form of mysterious goings-on at Cassie's boyfriend's veterinary clinic and a series of scary attacks by a wild cat deep in the woods. I correctly pinpointed the murder suspect before Cassie did, but the motive was more shocking and disturbing than I ever could have imagined. This series is special because it's completely cat-centric in every way, making it pure purr-fection for those of us addicted to cat cozies. I'm envious of Cassie's career as a roomer, enabling her to make a living from her passion for cats, even though they manage to drag her into some pretty hairy situations! (Bad pun alert!)

From the publisher: Legendary stage and movie star Sir Nigel Bellingham arrives on Cape Cod to star in a stage production of The Hound of the Baskervilles put on by the West London Theater Festival. When Sir Nigel, some of the cast, and the director visit the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop at 222 Baker Street, Gemma Doyle realizes that Sir Nigel is not at all suited to the role. He is long past his prime and an old drunk to boot. The cast, in particular the much younger actor who previously had the role, are not happy, but the show must go on.

Before the play opens, Leslie Wilson, mother of Gemma’s best friend Jayne, arranges a fundraising afternoon tea to be catered by Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room. The tea is a huge success, but when it’s time to leave, Sir Nigel has gone missing—only to be found at the bottom of the rocky cliff, dead. Along with the dead body, Gemma finds evidence incriminating Leslie Wilson. When the police, in the presence of handsome detective Ryan Ashburton and suspicious detective Louise Estrada, focus their attention on Leslie despite the numerous other suspects, the game is once again afoot and it’s again up to the highly perceptive Gemma and the ever-confused but loyal Jayne to clear Jayne’s mother’s name.

Tortie Shorties Review: Since The Hound of the Baskervilles has always been one of my favorite Holmes stories I've been particularly excited for this third title in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery to be released. Excitement at Gemma's bookshop and best friend Jayne's tea room next door revolves around the West London Theater Festival, summer stock for the Cape Cod set. Sherlock Holmes fans are expected to descend upon the shops in droves thanks to the production of The Hound of the Baskervilles starring Sir Nigel Bellingham. But when Sir Nigel and his entourage make an appearance at the bookshop it becomes quite apparent that he's not the man he used to be, and he doesn't make a much better impression at the fundraising tea catered by Jayne. When the tea is over Nigel goes missing, and straight out of a scene from Holmes' classic tale, he's found dead at the bottom of a cliff. Worse yet, even though everyone in Nigel's inner circle had reason to want him dead, Jayne's mother Leslie becomes the main person of interest thanks to evidence found at the scene and her mysterious past with the dead actor.

As in previous installments, Gemma isn't the most likable protagonist. She's blunt and abrasive, yet she somehow manages to get people to spill their deepest, darkest secrets. Her familial ties to the legendary character are apparent in her keen mind and powers of observation, and she uses them to maximum effect in uncovering the real killer. My only complaint with the series is it needs more of Moriarty, the bookstore cat. His apparent dislike for Gemma while turning on the charm for everyone else is quite humorous, and I'd love to delve into his feline psyche to find out just why that is! Plus this book starts with Gemma cleaning up his muddy paw prints that have been tracked through the shop even though he's an indoor cat, yet we never find out what he's been getting into. Don't leave us hanging, Moriarty!

Disclaimer: I received free copies of these books from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. As members of the Amazon Associates affiliate program, if you click on our links and buy something Mudpie gets a little money for her piggy bank!


  1. We always look forward to your book reviews.
    These two sound pretty good :)
    Purrs Georgia,Julie and JJ

  2. I am getting ready to start reading The Bengal Identity. It sounds great! And I agree that we need more Moriarty :)

  3. Thanks, Melissa (and Mudpie). The Bengal Identity sounds very interesting.

  4. ooooh, two new series we haven't heard of. Thanks!

  5. Yet again, more books for my to-read list!

  6. How does your Mommy find the time to read all of these book? Our mom always has excuses for not reading.

  7. Wow! Great reviews! We're adding both of these to our Mom's reading list because she only has 8 more books to go for the year. We bet she'll love them! Thanks!

  8. Great reviews. The Bengal Identity looks good.