Death by a Whisker: A Cat Rescue Mystery
2nd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (February 13, 2018)
Paperback: 320 pages
Digital ASIN: B072395VJN
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 in Death by a Whisker by national bestselling author T. C. LoTempio.
When Kat and Syd plan a fundraiser for the shelter the last thing they expect is to have their guest of honour get in a serious car accident and not be able to attend, but have no fear, Tara comes to the rescue and books Ulla Townsend the shopping queen to substitute. The onlyl problem is that Ulla has as many enemies as fans. Having grown up in Deer Park, North Carolina, there are many who do not want her to come back. When she ends up dead at the book signing, all signs point to anaphylaxis which also could mean murder. When Maggie, an employee at the shelter looks like she could be a suspect, Syd and her roommate Leila, who is also a reporter with contacts, begin an investigation of their own. Will they find the murderer before Maggie ends up in jail?
This is the second book in this series, but the first that I have read. I am definitely going back to read the first one. I enjoyed this book very much and want to find out the back story to Sydney returning home and working with her sister at the Pet Rescue and Shelter. I really enjoyed the characters of Syd and Leila. They work well as a team, are both very smart, tenacious and not about to back down from a bully (i.e. the new police detective in town). The secondary characters were also very interesting. Learning about their backgrounds, interactions, and back stabbing kept the story even more interesting. I enjoyed meeting others that live in town and are recurring characters in the story. Although not too quirky, it is a nice mix of ages and personalities. Toby, the cat was a wonderful addition to the story. He is adorable and very smart, even to the point that he may have pointed Syd in a specific direction. There are a couple of romance storylines as well, one with Sydney and Will, a police detective, who of course wants her to stay out of the investigation, but knows that she won’t. The mystery was a little slow to start at first, but once Ulla was gone, the pace picked up nicely. There were several suspects and some interesting twists along the way. I did figure out who the murderer was part way through the book with a well placed clue, but I still enjoyed the motive, how Syd was going to figure it out and the final showdown. All in all, a nice, enjoyable cozy mystery that I recommend to cozy mystery lovers, especially if you love animals. The publisher generously provided me a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
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 – the first volume, MEOW IF ITS MURDER, debuted Dec. 2, 2014. Followed by #2, CLAWS FOR ALARM. #3, CRIME AND CATNIP, was released in December. She, Rocco and Maxx make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York.
Where to find them:
ROCCO’s blog: www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com