Crime and Catnip
A Nick & Nora Mystery
T. C. LoTempio
Berkley Prime Crime, 2016
From the back of the book, “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 …”
This cozy mystery was a very enjoyable read – refreshing after all the fantasy & dystopian novels I’ve read lately. I liked the character of Nora; she was believable as an amateur sleuth, sandwich shop owner and caterer. This book is the third in the series but it seems I’m reading the series backward as I discovered this book on display at the library, put the other two on hold and the second in the series (Claws for Alarm) came in before the first of the series.
I was a bit incredulous at first about Nick – a lovely black tuxedo (like me) – who knows things about people and communicates them to Nora in various ways like pointing to something with his paw or thumping his tail. But I figured if I can read and review a book, why can’t another intelligent tuxie be able to read and decipher a coded message?
The murder takes place off stage; Nora is attacked twice but the description is not graphic. She has a boyfriend but the romantic episodes are mostly hinted at and are tertiary to the whole story. (Do you like that word, ‘tertiary’? Ever since I heard it on The Big Bang Theory I’ve been waiting for the right sentence to use it in! BTW, it means, “Third in place, order, degree, or rank.”) Also, there is also a connecting plot-line to the series, one that involves Nick’s former owner, a private eye, who has disappeared.
Rating, 3 of 5 paws, because even though the story was enjoyable and easy to read, I figured out who the murderer was before Nora announced it. I didn’t know how it happened but I figured out why it happened.