Saturday, June 22, 2013

CAT TRICK by Sofie Kelly

Publisher:   Signet
Date published:   February 5, 2013
ISBN:  978-0451414694
Genre:   Cozy Mystery
Book format: Paperback
Obtained via:  Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina


Six months after the last festival things have been relatively calm for Boston transplant librarian Kathleen Paulsen. She and her friends Roma, Ruby, Rebecca and Maggie have gotten comfortable in a routine of work, dinners, tai chi and coffees. While her friends keep telling her Marcus Gordon is the guy for her Kathleen stands firm that the tall, cute and straight as an arrow detective is definitely not. Then again…he is smart, he is compassionate about animals, her two cats Owen and Hercules seem to like him and there is that cute part. Yes, he did suspect she murdered someone early on and then six months later came close to accusing one of her close friends of murder. But Marcus is a cop’s cop—he does everything by the book and slowly but surely Kathleen is beginning to accept that. And he is kind of cute. But there is a shift in their relationship and it’s not that toe curling kiss he gave her.  

When Mike Glazer who is in Mayville Heights to see if the town is a likely spot for his company, Legacy Tours to conduct tours turns up dead Marcus doesn’t tell her to stay out of it. At least not as strongly as he has in the past. Mike may not have been a very likeable guy, but that’s no reason his killer shouldn’t be tracked down. Bit by bit Kathleen and Marcus share their information. Will they share enough to keep the killer from taking one more victim?

I have been enjoying Sofie Kelly’s Magical Cat series and book three, CAT TRICK, is no exception. The books, however, seem to be becoming formulaic to the point that you know what is going to happen, who is going to die and who killed them fairly early on. Book 1, CURIOSITY THRILLED THE CAT was a super read with a fantastic mystery. I fell in love with Kathleen’s cats, Owen and Hercules. Ms. Kelly does a marvellous job of describing the mind sets of cats—how their personalities vary, how smart they are, how their curiosity leads them into some interesting situations. She also gives wonderful insight into the world of feral cats—what they live with day to day just to survive. This is carried through in each of the books. After book 1, Owen and Hercules’ magical abilities seem to be an afterthought. It is also as if the author sold a great premise only to find herself at an impasse as to what else they can do with those skills. Owen’s ability to turn invisible doesn’t really seem to help Kathleen solve the crime.  Hercules’ ability to walk through walls would have been of more assistance to her. That said, even without magical abilities, both cats are terrific characters. They have such great personalities that they could carry the story as the main characters with the humans in secondary roles.

As I said, the books are becoming formulaic—after book 1 each story takes place about six months later, there is a festival that Kathleen and her friends are involved with, a visitor to town who tends to be disliked and mean is killed and someone close to Kathleen is suspected as the killer. If I were visiting Mayville Heights I wouldn’t venture into the town during a festival for fear I’d be the next murder victim.

The characters are developing in their own way in each book. Their relationships with each other and new characters moves along at a good pace. I especially like that Marcus and Kathleen’s relationship is progressing at a relaxed pace and that we see her weighing her options.

Book five is due out this fall and with the addition of Kathleen’s family coming more into the story I’m eager to see where Ms. Kelly goes next with the series—especially when her family meets Owen and Hercules.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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