Murder Go Round

murder go round

Murder Go Round
A Witch City Mystery #4

Kensington Publishing Corp, 2017

From the back of the book, “Lee Barrett has agreed to attend a storage auction with Aunt Ibby—even though she suspects the forgotten rooms will yield more junk than treasure. Her skepticism vanishes once the two win a bid on an overlooked locker and uncover a trove of beautiful curiosities, including a stunning wooden carousel horse with gentle eyes and fading paint. But just before Lee leaves the fairground relic at a local repair shop, the sight of a silver samovar awakens her psychic abilities and conjures visions of murder.

“Lee prays the intrusive ESP episode was just a glimpse into the past—until her policeman boyfriend reports a dean man outside the repair shop. Apparently, the unknown victim had been hot on Lee’s trail since the auction. And with the horse found dismantled, it looks like he was up to no good. What’s the story behind the antique equine, and could a strange bubble-gum chewing woman with fiery hair have something to do with the crime? Guided by her gift and O’Ryan, her wise tabby cat, Lee’s set on catching the murderer … before she’s sent on the darkest ride of her life.”

Murder Go Round is an excellent cozy mystery!! I’m new to the series – it’s one of those books mom happened to see at the library and since it had an orange tabby on the front cover, she decided to pick it up for me to read. Of course, Toby, the Great Orange One (in his own mind) said it was too bad the main character was a woman – otherwise he would have read it. He loves reading about orange cats and imagining himself in its place. There are three other books and mom already has a hold on them at the library so expect more reviews in the near future!!

The setting is Salem, Massachusetts and so witch fever abounds! The main character, Lee, has a gift of seeing visions, past, present and future – pretty handy when it comes to solving crimes. Also handy is a psychic cat who provides clues to Lee – if she would pay attention. Also, very helpful is Aunt Ibby who is a former reference librarian who is second to none in researching odd topics!

The mystery was well done – I didn’t realize what the bad guys were after until it was revealed and, looking back on all the clues provided – it made perfect sense. The one death was only seen through a vision and a couple of the visions Lee had were a little scary, even for me a small cat safe at home, reading in bed. The only other yukky scene was when Lee found a secondary character beaten and tied up. The murderer was pretty obvious but the mystery was not necessarily in who but in why. In books like these it’s about the motive, unraveling the clues and getting to the truth.

Rating 4 paws out of 5 for the storyline having a solid mystery based in historical facts, colorful characters and a wise orange tabby cat!

Reviewer:

bobbiesue-loc

BobbieSue

Purr M for Murder

purr m for murder

Purr M for Murder
A Cat Rescue Mystery

T. C. LoTempio
Crooked Lane Books, an imprint of The Quick Brown Fox & Company, LLC., 2017

From the dust jacket, “Sydney McCall left behind an ex-fiancé and a New York advertising job to return home to Deer Park, North Carolina, and help her sister, Kat, run the local animal shelter, Friendly Paws. Determined to save the shelter from financial trouble, Sydney and Kat organize a cat café fundraising event at a local coffee shop. Things are looking up until their landlord, Trowbridge Littleton, threatens to shut down the event. When Sydney drops by his art gallery to make peace, she finds Kat – along with Littleton’s dead body.

“Local homicide detective Will Worthington—who just happens to be Sydney’s old high school crush—is highly suspicious of the sisters’ involvement. Desperate to clear their names from the suspect list, Sydney pounces on the investigation. With the help of one of the shelter cats, a savvy orange tabby named Toby, Sydney begins poking her nose into other local business whose owners may have benefited from Littleton’s death—until the killer notices she’s pawing a little too closely at the truth.”

Toby and I argued over who would read this book – I said I should because it’s the protagonist is female and he said he should read it because the story revolves around an orange and white tabby named Toby who solves a murder. We decided to read it together; he of course wanted to emphasize all the ‘Toby’ parts, but since I’m writing the actual review, I’ll tell you about the whole book.

We both enjoyed this little murder mystery – it had us guessing until the end – the murder of Littleton takes place off stage – so there’s no violence in the beginning, but things do get a little dicey for Sydney when she uncovers who the murder is and they try to get her. (Toby wants to insert here that his namesake saves the day!!!). I liked the concept of surrounding this ‘cozy’ at a pet shelter – and the cat café idea is really cool to let folks meet their new feline companions.

It’s a standard genre mystery – with the main character a strong, independent-minded woman who is not in law enforcement but gets involved in solving crimes and has a relationship with a man who is in law enforcement, who continually cautions her not to get involved but understands and forgives her when she gets herself into trouble. That’s not a bad thing – its’ just part of the genre. I wouldn’t want a steady diet of these books, but they’re a nice break from all the other books we read and review.

Rating 4 out of 5 paws because the story is an enjoyable and convoluted mystery with likeable characters that includes cats!!! Toby wants to interject here that he gives it 5 paws because the hero of the book is Toby!

Reviewer: BobbieSue
bobbiesue-loc

(and…)

toby-loc

Toby

2 Cartoon Books

cat getting of a bag

Cat Getting Out of a Bag
And Other Observations

A Cat Book by
Jeffrey Brown
Chronicle Books, 2007

In this nearly wordless book, the author/illustrator relates everything cat lovers love (and hate) about their felines in a cartoon format. Misty is the cat protagonist and through her the reader learns where cats come from (the cemetery); that cats love you one minute and are pouncing on your ankles the next; cats know when you are upset and (may) try to comfort you; and that cats are, in general, mysterious and fabulous creatures that graciously allow humans to take care of them.

Rating: 3 ½ paws out of 5 because I like the book for it’s true portrayal of cat activities but I didn’t laugh as much as I wanted to.

*****************************************************************

my pet human - Copy

My Pet Human Takes Center Stage

Yasmine Surovec
Roaring Brook Press, 2017

From the back of the book: “The adorable My Pet Human chapter book series continues at the pet fair, where a little kitten threatens to upstage Oliver!”

Oliver, a rotund black tuxie, sneaks into his human’s backpack and goes to school with her. While at school he finds out about a pet fair the school is having to help the local animal shelter. Freckles (Oliver’s human) decides to help out by not only fostering a kitten but teaching her and Oliver some tricks to perform. The foster kitten out shines him in almost every way and he is jealous of the attention she is receiving. So, at first Oliver is reluctant to learn the tricks but then when he realizes treats are involved he tries his very best to learn them. The day of the pet fair comes around and Oliver is ready to perform his tricks to perfection…or is he???

Rating: 3 ½ paws out of 5 – I liked Oliver and his story, it’s perfect for early reading kittens. My only complaints are that the illustrations aren’t in color (I know, I’m spoiled!) and the narrative print in the story is a bit small for early readers but the dialog bubbles are a nice large size. But all in all, a very cute book!

Reviewer of both books:

peggysue-loc

PeggySue

 

Twelve Angry Librarians

twelve angry librarians

Twelve Angry Librarians
A Cat in the Stacks Mystery

Miranda James
Berkley Prime Crime, 2017

From the dust jacket, “Lighthearted librarian Charlie Harris is known around his hometown of Athena, Mississippi, for walking his cat, a rescued Maine Coon named Diesel. But he may soon be taken for a walk himself—in handcuffs…

“Charlie is stressed. The Southern Academic Libraries Association is holding this year’s annual meeting at Athena College. Since Charlie is the interim library director, he must deliver the welcome speech to all the visiting librarians. As if that weren’t bad enough, the keynote address will be delivered by Charlie’s old nemesis from library school.

“It’s been thirty years since Charlie has seen Gavin Fong and he’s still an insufferable know-it-all capable of getting under everyone’s skin. In his keynote, Gavin puts forth a most unpopular opinion: that degreed librarians will be obsolete in the academic libraries of the future. So when Gavin drops dead, no one seems too upset…

“But Charlie, who was seen having a heated argument with Gavin the day before, has jumped to the top of the suspect list. Now Charlie and Diesel must check out every clue to refine their search for the real killer among them, before the next book Charlie reads comes from a prison library…”

Sorry for the long introduction; we here at the Library usually try to keep those dust jacket intros short but sometimes it’s hard with adult fiction. Anyway, despite the intro being a little long and a bit salacious (you know our hero, Charlie, is never in any danger of going to prison!!) the book was outstanding. I read it in two days. I waited three months on the hold list for the book and read it so fast I feel guilty. I may have to read it again before I turn it back in!

This light, cozy mystery is a good read and while you know right off who is going to get murdered (in cozies, it’s always the most obnoxious person in the first couple of chapters) its’ less easy to figure out who did the killing. This mystery is a good one and I didn’t figure it out – I had to wait until Charlie revealed who the murderer was!

If you’re looking for vacation reading, check out Miranda James’ mysteries. There are currently two series: this one (The Cat in the Stacks) and Southern Ladies (with 2 elderly Southern belles solving mysteries) that are very well written and fun.

Rating 4 out of 5 paws because the book has a giant house cat and a librarian as its’ central characters! Also, it’s just a darn good story.

Reviewer:

toby-loc

Toby

The Whole Town’s Talking

the whole towns talking

The Whole Town’s Talking

Fannie Flagg
Random House, 2016

From the dust jacket: “The one and only Fannie Flagg, bestselling author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café, is at her superb best in this fun-loving, moving novel about what it means to be truly alive.
“Elmwood Springs, Missouri, is a small town like any other, but something strange is happening at the cemetery. Still Meadows, as it’s called, is anything but still. Original, profound, The Whole Town’s Talking, a novel in the tradition of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town and Flagg’s own Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven, tells the story of Lordor Nordstrom, his Swedish mail-order bride, Katrina, and their neighbors and descendants as they live, love, die, and carry on in mysterious and surprising ways.
… “With her trademark humor, wild imagination, great storytelling, and deep understanding of folly and the human heart, the beloved Fannie Flagg tells an unforgettable story of life, afterlife, and the remarkable goings-on of ordinary people. In The Whole Town’s Talking, she reminds us that community is vital, life is a gift, and love never dies.”

Fannie Flagg is a favorite author here at The Library and we read everything she writes. Ms Flagg didn’t disappoint this time – everything the publisher said about her being humorous, imaginative and a fabulous storyteller is all true. This novel is unlike her others in that it takes a grand overview of Elmwood Springs from its founding in 1889 until its ultimate demise in 2021. If you’re a reader of hers, then you’ll be familiar with the characters – Elner Shimfissle, Tot Whooten, and Norma Jenkins. They’re all there and more from her other books as well. (My favorite is Elner Shimfissle. What a character!!) It’s nice to see what happens to them after their books end.

Ms Flagg has an altogether original, some may say strange, outlook on life after death. I spent my time trying to imagine it – I can’t tell you imagine what exactly – I don’t want to give it away – but I really couldn’t and the very last surprise, saved until the last pages – will either make you laugh or shake your head in disbelief. I did both.

Rating 4 out of 5 paws because it was funny, sad, and mind-blowing all at once!!

Reviewer:

bobbiesue-loc

BobbieSue