Paws and Effect

8 paws and effect

Paws and Effect
Magical Cats: Book 8

Sofie Kelly
Obsidian, 2016

From the back of the book, “Kathleen is happy to meet three old pals of beau, Detective Marcus Gordan, while they visit charming Mayville Heights on business. But the reunion is cuts short when one of the friends is killed – and the evidence points toward Marcus as the murderer.

“Though it seems she doesn’t know all of Marcus’s secrets, Kathleen is sure he’s no killer. With his suspect status sidelining him from investigating the case, it’s up to Kathleen and her feline partners in crime to find whoever is framing Marcus—and make sure the good detective hasn’t found his last clue….”

Once again, I didn’t figure out who the perp was! I’m going to try to stop guessing. The real surprise, however, was the person who was taken out was not the one it usually is. In a typical cozy I’ve noticed that the most obnoxious person at the beginning of the story is the one who gets offed; but in this case, a very sympathetic person gets the boot. Which means the obnoxious one hangs around for the whole book – very annoying! But it makes for good reading and a fun mystery to solve. Of course, you know Marcus didn’t do it! He’s a main character and I’ve never read a cozy where a main character bites the dust! I enjoyed this book a lot and found no errors! Yay!!

Rating 4 out of 5 paws

Reviewer: BobbieSuebobbiesue-loc

The Right Word

right word a

The Right Word
Roget and His Thesaurus

Jen Bryant
Melissa Sweet
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2014

From the back of the book, “If only all the ideas in the world could be found in one place, then everyone would have one book were they could find the best word, the one that really fit. Peter carried this idea with him like a secret treasure.

“The story of Peter Mark Roget, creator of Roget’s Thesaurus, one of the most widely used reference books ever published, is presented in this delightful picture book biography…”

So the reason we picked up this book (at a library sale – for a $1.00! Score!) was because of the illustrations. We came for the art and stayed for the story!!

The story of Peter Roget is fascinating – he collected words in long lists for most of his life. When he was 8 he wrote his first book filled with lists of words! Words and their meanings became his passion which ultimately ended up in a one-of-a-kind book categorizing words according to their meaning, not their spelling.

The illustrations are something else altogether. The artist created collages out of mostly watercolor (I think) as well as other mediums (acrylic, gouache, etc). These collages are so intricate and stunning, you have to read the book first, then go back and linger over every page to make sure you see everything. If you’re familiar with author/artist Graeme Base and how detailed his illustrations are, then you’ll have an idea of what M. Sweet’s pictures look like. Gorgeous! Fascinating! Amazing!

If you see this book at the library, check it out!!

Rating 5 of 5 paws for fabulousness!!

Reviewer: simon-locSimon

right word bright word c

Faux Paw

7 faux paw

Faux Paw
Magical Cats: Book 7

Sofie Kelly
Obsidian, 2015

From the back of the book, “Normally, the arrival of an art exhibition at the Mayville Heights library would be cause for celebration. But thanks to the overbearing curator and the high-tech security system that comes with the show, Kathleen’s life has been completely disrupted. Even Owen and Hercules have been affected, since their favorite human doesn’t seem to have a spare moment to make their favorite fish crackers or listen to Barry Manilow.

“But when Kathleen stops by the library late one night and finds the curator sprawled on the floor—and the exhibition’s most valuable sketch missing—it’s suddenly time to canvass a crime scene. Now Kathleen, her detective boyfriend, Marcus, and her clever cats have to sniff out a murderous thief before anyone else has a brush with death….”

I feel like I’m repeating myself when I say I like this book a lot. And, maybe I am, since I’ve read 7 of them in a row and have two more before I’m all caught up! I just hope you’re not bored by reading the reviews. What can I say that hasn’t already been said about this mystery series? Oh – I know! There were no spelling errors we could find (not that there weren’t any, we just didn’t see any) which is outstanding – especially after Book 6 (see previous Magical Cats review).

In this book, the murderer is somewhat of a surprise. After the perpetrator was revealed, I thought back over the story and realized the clues were there, I just didn’t see them. I guess I was too caught up in Owen and Hercules to pay attention. Also, before this book, the magical cats worked their clue finding abilities in the presence of only Kathleen, but in this one, they find clues right in front of Marcus, so maybe in the next book (or the next) Kathleen will come clean to Marcus about all of their magical talents!

Rating: 4 out of 5 paws for a pair of handsome cats, especially Hercules, who’s a tuxie like me!!

Reviewer: bobbiesue-locBobbieSue

A Midwinter’s Tail

6 midwinter's tail

A Midwinter’s Tail
Magical Cats: Book 6

Sofie Kelly
Obsidian, 2014

From the back of the book, “Winter in Mayville Heights is busy and not just because of the holidays. Kathleen is hard at work organizing a benefit to raise money for the library’s popular Reading Buddies program. She has her hands full hosting the event. And when a guest at the gala drops dead, her magical cats, Owen and Hercules, will have their paws full helping her solve the murder.

“The victim is the ex of town rascal Burtis Chapman, but she hasn’t lived in the area in years. And though everybody is denying knowledge of why she was back in town, as Kathleen and her detective boyfriend, Marcus, begin nosing around, they discover more people are connected to the deceased than claimed to be. Now Marcus, Kathleen, and her uncanny cats have to unravel this midwinter tale before the case gets cold.”

That’s right – Kathleen finally got together with Marcus. Thank goodness! Their on-again, off-again relationship was making me crazy. It’s stuff like that that can make me stop reading a series of books because it’s just so mind numbing –  for me, anyway. This mystery was another good one. I was really surprised when the murderer was revealed, although when I think about it, the clues were fairly obvious, I just didn’t pick up on them! Like any good mystery, there were a lot of red herrings and possible suspects to sift through, but Kathleen, Owen and Hercules figured it out.

The one thing that bugged me throughout the novel was a consistent misspelling of the victim’s name. She was introduced to the reader as Dayna Chapman. But about 1/3rd the way in the name was spelled Dana. From then on, through out the rest of the book the spelling of the name went back and forth between Dayna and Dana – sometimes in the same paragraph! Now for some folks, this wouldn’t bother them; but me – it bugged me big time. As we’ve said in previous reviews, misspelling in published novels is inexcusable due to the number of times the book is read/edited before printing. For non-professionally published cats like ourselves, an occasional spelling snafu is acceptable if our humom misses it. Therefore, we are resolved to point out spelling/grammar errors when we find them in published books!

Rating 3 out of 5 paws – Even though I love the way the author makes sure the library figures heavily in this series, the frequent spelling errors (make up your mind, author/editors how you want to spell the victim’s name!) brought the review down a whole paw.

Reviewer: bobbiesue-locBobbieSue

Final Catcall

5 final catcall

Final Catcall
Magical Cats: Book 5

Sofie Kelly
Obsidian, 2013

From the back of the book, “With her sort-of boyfriend Marcus calling it quits and her ex-boyfriend Andrew showing up out of the blue, Kathleen has more than enough drama to deal with—and that’s before a local theater festival relocates to Mayville Heights. Now the town is buzzing with theater folk, and many of them have their own private dramas with the director, Hugh Davis.

“When Davis is found shot to death by the marina, he leaves behind evidence of blackmail and fraud, as well as an ensemble of suspects. Kathleen, with a little help from her feline friends Owen and Hercules, will have to catch the real killer before another victim takes a final curtain call.”

I hope you’re not getting tired of reading these reviews for all these cozy mysteries because I have 3 more in this series before I move on to something else. Maybe I’ll take a breather and let Toby do some reviews! Anyway, besides the frustrating on-again, off-again romance of Kathleen and Marcus, which I’m finding rather tedious, this was another good book in the Magical Cats series. As usual, the murderer wasn’t who I thought it was – I’m really not good at picking up on the clues. The author always throws in some red herrings to throw the reader off so that when Kathleen finally reveals the perpetrator, its’ always a surprise and I put paw to forehead and say, “Darn! Why didn’t I see that?”

In this book we get to meet Andrew, the boyfriend who caused Kathleen flee Boston for the wilds of Minnesota. He’s a thoroughly charming guy, making all of Kathleen’s friends fall for him. Will she or won’t she go back to Andrew? No spoilers here, but I have started the next book in the series, if that offers a tantalizing clue for you! We also get to meet Kathleen’s mom who has more than one opinion about Marcus and Andrew. Basically, she’s like any momma-cat – don’t mess with her kittens or you’ll get a face full of claws and fur!

Rating 4 out of 5 paws – good mystery and extraordinary cats make for a wonderful combination!!

Reviewer: BobbieSue