Monday, June 10, 2013

SLEIGHT OF PAW by Sofie Kelly

Publisher:   Signet
Date published:   September 6, 2011
ISBN:  978-0451234537
Genre:   Cozy Mystery
Book format: Paperback
Obtained via:  Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina


A few months after solving her first murder, small town librarian Kathleen Paulsen is quite content with her life settled down. She enjoys her work at the library, has some great friends, takes a Tai Chi class and participates in Mayville Heights various festivals and events.  She’s become one of veterinarian Roma’s volunteers for the feral cats on Wisteria Hill and carved out a comfortable niche for herself. While she still finds herself occasionally homesick for her life in Boston, she’s not so sure she wants to return there after her contract in Mayville runs out in just about a year. While she can always return to see her friends she wonders how her two cats, Owen and Herc, would fare in the big city. As ferals who have chosen to live with her—after all the furry duo did follow her home and decide to stay—wouldn’t fare well in a big city apartment, she will have some big decisions coming her way before too long.

But before Kathleen can think too much about her future she witnesses not one but two seemingly unpleasant discussions between an elderly woman and two of the town’s residents. Clutching an old school report card folder, Agatha Shepherd angrily goes on her way.  When Agatha turns up dead the next morning Kathleen can’t help but feel sad for the old woman. But when Kathleen’s friend, Ruby, is arrested for the murder and Detective Marcus Gordon seems determined to send Ruby to jail, Kathleen cannot help but get involved. Along with her friends Maggie and Roma, Kathleen embarks on her personal mission to find out the real killer. But can she stop the killer before he stops her?

I loved book one, CURIOSITY THRILLED THE CAT, of Sofie Kelly’s’ Magical Cat Mystery series. Ms. Kelly introduced a strong, intelligent, creative and compassionate heroine along with her two magical cats, Herc and Owen. I had high expectations of book two, SLEIGHT OF PAW but found myself disappointed.  Owen and Herc were relegated to a second string supporting role with one a glimpse or two of Herc’s abilities.  Since he’s the one who can walk through walls I wondered why Kathleen didn’t take him to look for the missing clue. The cats became more of the background than as equal lead characters as they did in book 1. Most of the magic about them just didn’t happen.

The editing was questionable in some parts, especially when whole scenes were repeated in other places. This happened more than once and I found myself flipping back to be sure I hadn’t simply lost my place, but there they were, the same lines in different places in the book. More than once I found myself asking “so where was the editor?” And since this wasn’t an advanced review copy it wasn’t something to overlook.

That said, there is some well done development in the book. I like how Kathleen has progressed. She was comfortable with herself in the beginning of the series, but now she is even more so. It’s not a dramatic development, but credibly done. I also liked the movement in her relationship with Marcus. There is no rush to make them a couple, but rather a natural progression from Kathleen not liking him because of his early rush to judgment with her to a grudging friendship in book 2.  The blooming romance takes a backseat to Kathleen’s investigating and it’s well done.

I pretty much figured out who did it as soon as the character came on scene but the twist as to how that character killed Agatha was nicely done. It added depth to the story in how it unfolded.

While I didn’t like book 2 as much as book 1 I still plan to continue on with the series—can’t help myself when it comes to books that star cats!

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

No comments: