Wednesday, March 26, 2014

FINAL CATCALL by Sofie Kelly

Publisher:  Signet
Published:   October 1, 2013
Genre:   Cozy Mystery
Format:  Paperback
Obtained via:  Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina

Four Hearts

Kathleen Paulson has been pretty happy with her move to Mayville Heights.  She’s made some really good friends, has a job she enjoys and her two kitties, Hercules and Owen make her life pretty darn purrrfect.  Okay, so she’s stumbled on a few murder scenes and found herself drawn into investigating them.  Well, make that solving those crimes despite local detective Marcus Gordon asking and telling her to stay out of it.  After all, when your friends’ freedom is at stake, what would you do?

But suddenly her life has taken a not so great turn.  Not only did she and Marcus start to find each other as a couple, her … investigating a recent murder set them at odds with each other and now they don’t even have a friendship.  Worse, now her ex-boyfriend Andrew has shown up out of the blue.  And despite her repeated requests that he leave, just leave, Andrew is determined to not only win Kathleen back, but to bring her back to Boston.  He surprises her by not only admitting his own mistakes, but by offering his services to help the local theatre festival raise the curtain.  Kathleen’s friends like him well enough—but they’ve all been seriously rooting for Kathleen and Marcus.

When the theatre troupe arrives rehearsals begin and even with a little interpersonal drama things seem to be moving along just fine.  Just fine that is until one of the troupe ends up dead under most mysterious circumstances.  When Kathleen and Andrew are the ones to find the body more questions arise beginning with what was the true story about Marcus’s sister’s involvement with the deceased.  Can Kathleen find the killer before he or she strikes again?

Sofie Kelly’s Magical Cats series is one of my favorites.  Even though the cats, Hercules and Owen, don’t really take a major role in finding the killer in each of the books they are fun to read.  I’m not sure their magical abilities really add to the story—they’re cute quirks, but don’t really do all that much for the story. But they make great foils for Kathleen.  Ms. Kelly portrays the unique personalities cats can have like with Owen having to sniff at his food before deciding if he’s going to take a bite and how he sneaks onto the furniture even though he knows he’s being a bad boy by doing it.  She’s got those innocent looks they can give you down pat.

The mystery in FINAL CATCALL was a really good one in terms of how the character interacted and how the theatre and acting kept her guessing.  The added element of bringing Kathleen’s mother into town along with Marcus’s sister brought the story to an even more enjoyable level.

I pretty much figured out who did it early on, but Ms. Kelly still had some well-done red herrings that even though I was sure who it was I still wondered if I was right.

I also enjoy how the characters have progressed. There haven’t been any sudden developments or changes in their relationships but instead a really nice progression in how they relate to each other.  I’m looking forward to seeing if Andrew did indeed get the message and if Marcus can unbend enough to let his relationship with Kathleen move along.

You do not have to read the Magical Cats books in order because Ms. Kelly weaves the back stories of each of the prior books into the current one as part of the story without interrupting the telling of each new one.  But you don’t want to miss a one.

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

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