Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Review/Interview: Two Bites Too Many by Debra H. Goldstein


Things are finally looking up for Sarah Blair following her unsavory divorce. Settled into a cozy carriage house with her sassy Siamese cat, RahRah, she has somehow managed to hang on to her modest law firm receptionist job and—if befriending flea-bitten strays at the local animal shelter counts—lead a thriving social life. For once, Sarah almost has it together more than her enterprising twin, Emily, a professional chef whose efforts to open a gourmet restaurant have hit a real dead end …

When the president of the town bank and city council is murdered after icing Emily’s business plans, all eyes are on the one person who left the scene with blood on her hands—the Blair girls’ sharp-tongued mother, Maybelle. Determined to get her mom off the hook ASAP, Sarah must collect the ingredients of a deadly crime to bring the true culprit to justice. But as neighbors turn against her family, can she pare down the suspects before another victim lands on the chopping block?


I'm always wary about jumping into a cozy mystery series without the benefit of reading the first in the series because these books tend to have lots of characters, potentially making for some confusion. In the case of this book I didn't need to worry about a thing. Events from the first book are mentioned frequently, and in such a way that I felt "caught up" and like I wasn't missing out on anything. Of course this isn't to say that I won't be going back to read the first book, because I certainly will!

The first thing that jumped out at me about this book was the cover. How cute can you get?!?!?! But what kept me reading was the characters, especially the mother/daughter bond between Maybelle and her twins Sarah and Emily. Siamese RahRah steals the show of course, especially during the pet parade and animal blessing, both taking part during the town's YipYeow Day to benefit the animal shelter. I was kept guessing until the end and am looking forward to seeing what's next for this cast of characters. Anyone who enjoys sassy Southern cozies - and women - will find this book as satisfying as a glass of sweet tea.



Mudpie was very excited to have the opportunity to interview RahRah, the feline star of this series. We hope you enjoy learning more about him!


Welcome, RahRah! Thank you so much for chatting with me today. Could you start by telling us a little about yourself and how you came to live with Sarah?

Mudpie, so glad to be visiting with you today. As you can tell from my tan color, eyes, and markings, I’m a Siamese cat, but I have a bit of a Southern flare to me. I was born in New Orleans. When I was a kitten, Mother Blair, Sarah’s ex-husband’s mother, pulled me out of a hurricane’s swirling waters and adopted me. She liked to tell anyone who’d listen that she especially loved me because I used up one of my nine lives.

Because the hurricane destroyed her New Orleans home, we moved to Baton Rouge. We thought we’d live out our lives there, but her son, William Taft Blair, had a different idea. He decided because Mother Blair was getting old, we needed to move near him and his wife, Sarah, in Wheaton, Alabama. As he explained, he’d found a property that was perfect for all of us. While Bill and Sarah shared the big house facing Main Street, he installed Mother Blair and me in the carriage house. As he explained, we’d be close to Sarah and him, but far enough away Bill’s allergy to me wouldn’t bother him.

Sarah, Mother Blair and I grew very close. It was a sad day when Bill announced he’d fallen in love with another woman (Sarah refers to her as Bimbo) and wanted a divorce. Sarah had to move into an efficiency apartment, but she still visited us in the carriage house. When Mother Blair died just before Sarah and Bill’s divorce was finalized, I didn’t know what to expect. I was afraid Bill would send me away because of his cat allergy. Happily, when he asked Sarah to take me in, she did.

Is there a story behind your unusual name?

Mother Blair was going to name me Katrina, for the hurricane, but when she realized I was a boy, she knew that would never do. She decided to celebrate my life by calling me RahRah.

What is a typical day like for you?

My typical day is perfect. Considering I’m a trust fund fur baby, what could be wrong?

When I wake up, I stretch and rub myself against Sarah until she wakes up. I jump off our bed and make my way to the kitchen – my favorite place. Sarah is well trained, so she comes in and feeds me immediately. After breakfast, if Sarah isn’t working, I nap, sun, or play with her. If she is working, I nap, sun or play with one of my toys or anything I can jump on until Sarah gets home and feeds me again. Life is good.

Tell us about Two Bites Too Many, the new Sarah Blair mystery you star in.

I’m excited about Two Bites Too Many. Things are finally looking up for Sarah following her unsavory divorce. Settled into a cozy carriage house with me, she has somehow managed to hang on to her law firm receptionist job and – if befriending flea-bitten strays at the local animal shelter counts – lead a thriving social life. For once, Sarah almost has it together more than her enterprising twin, Emily, a professional chef whose efforts to open a gourmet restaurant have hit a real dead end…

When the president of the town bank and city council is murdered after icing Emily’s business plans, all eyes are on the one person who left the scene with blood on her hands – the twins’ sharp-tongued mother, Maybelle. Determined to get her mom off the hook ASAP, Sarah must collect the ingredients of a deadly crime to bring the true culprit to justice.

You have quite the adventures in this book, acting as grand marshal of a pet parade and taking part in an animal blessing. How did you feel about those two events?

Although I was flattered to be the grand marshal, it really wasn’t as big a deal for me as it was for Wheaton’s mayor and Sarah. Riding on the wagon was a bit bouncy, but Sarah held me tightly. Don’t tell anyone, I did enjoy when Sarah waved my paw at the crowd.

I originally thought the animal blessing was a public relations gimmick, but the service, including the blessing and the songs sung, were quite peaceful. The event brought a lot of Wheaton’s finest together – animals and people.

Who's the pup on the cover with you? Do you two get along?

Fluff was abandoned or lost when Mr. Rogers, who has a home directly across Main Street from our big house, spotted her. With kindness and treats, he coaxed her to let him help her. He adores Fluffy. Sometimes, though, we take care of her. As long as Fluffy remembers her place is secondary to me, we get along just fine.

Can you give us any clues as to what's next for you and Sarah?

Think motorcycles, vegan recipes, a new veterinarian clinic, and me in the middle of it all --- what more could you ask? In Three Treats Too Many, which is scheduled for release in September 2020, Sarah gets a big part, too. In the meantime, I hope you and your human will enjoy learning about Jell-O in a Can in One Taste Too Many and how to make a Howellian Catnip Wine Spritzer in Two Bites Too Many.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

16 comments:

Mickey's Musings said...

What a great review and pawsome interview :)
Sounds like it would be a most interesting book and mum loves books :)
Purrs,Georgia,Julie and JJ

Tyler (Staff Writer) said...

I'm about to finish reading my first cat mystery book (I never knew the genre existed) and this one looks great! I think I know the next book to read now.

Brian said...

We enjoyed the review and the interview too, it sounds like a darn cool book!

Debra H. Goldstein said...

Mickey's Musings (RahRah would love to meet Georgia, Julie, and JJ .. of course, he'd want his new buddy Mudpie to come along, too)

Debra H. Goldstein said...

Tyler and Brian, I'm having a ball writing this book … RahRah is a special cat - modeled after one a friend owns --- but to Sarah Blair, my protagonist who finds cooking from scratch more frightening than murder, he's a lifesaver.

Debra H. Goldstein said...

Thanks for having me today --- RahRah couldn't stop purring after being interviewed by Mudpie.

Unknown said...

Oh my! I called my senior cat Mudpie because he is a Taupe Burmese and spreads like a pattie. So surprised to see another.

pilch92 said...

Great interview! And the book sounds good too.

Debra H. Goldstein said...

Unknown,
Apparently Melissa and you have excellent taste ... and think on the same wavelength.

Debra H. Goldstein said...

Pilch92,
Thank you for the compliment on the interview -- give Melissa the credit. Hope you'll 'taste' the book :).

meowmeowmans said...

That books sounds like a winner, and we loved your interview with RahRah, Mudpie!

Dash Kitten Crew said...

I LOVE the book idea and RahRah's interview is totally epic. Thanks Mudpie!!

The Menagerie Mom said...

This sounds like another fun and cozy read! Mudpie and RahRah, that was a purrfect interview. I really enjoyed learning how you got your name, RahRah. Purrs!

Debra H. Goldstein said...

Meowmeowmans, Dash Kitten Crew and the Menagerie Mom,
Glad you liked the interview. I thought it was a perfect balance and perhaps the beginning of a friendship - between Mudpie and RahRah. Thanks for stopping by!

Three Chatty Cats said...

Sounds like a cute book! And what an adorable cover. The pup on the cover looks like my Eddie!

Debra H. Goldstein said...

Three Chatty Cats,
Your Eddie must look a lot like a combination of my sister and my dogs --- adorable. Thanks for stopping by.