Meow if it’s Murder
A Nick & Nora Mystery, Book 1
T. C. LoTempio
Berkley Prime Crime, 2014
From the back of the book: “Nora Charles doesn’t believe in fate, even if she is a crime reporter who shares a name with a character from The Thin Man. In fact, she’s moving back to Cruz, California, to have a quieter life. But after finding an online magazine eager for material, and a stray cat named Nick with a talent for detection, Nora’s not just reporting crimes again. She’s uncovering them …
“Back in her hometown, Nora reconnects with old friends and makes some new ones, like Nick, the charming feline who seems determined to be her cat. But not everything about Cruz is friendly. Writing for a local online magazine, Nora investigates the curious death of socialite Lola Grainger. Though it was deemed an accident, Nora suspects foul play. And it seems that her cat does, too.
“Apparently, Nick used to belong to a PI who disappeared while investigating Lola Grainger’s death. The coincidence is spooky, but not as spooky as the clues Nick spells out for her with Scrabble letters—clues that lead her down an increasingly dangerous path. Whether fate put her on this case or not, solving it will take all of Nora’s wits, and maybe a few of Nick’s nine lives.”
Well, now that I’ve read the three books in the series (backwards) I really wish I had read this one first. Of the three (Claws for Alarm & Crime and Catnip) I think this one was the best. The author had me guessing until the very end and I liked the way she wove past events in with present-day ones and the multiple identity-hiding characters. I’m still a bit incredulous about a Scrabble-playing cat, but, why not?
As a cozy mystery any serious romance and violence takes place off stage (or, in this case, off page) and I seem to recall a single curse word being used. This is an enjoyable mystery for adults and young adults alike.
Rating 4 out of 5 paws for keeping me guessing until the end!