Tuesday, June 24, 2014

HOW TO MOON A CAT by Rebecca M. Hale

Publisher:  Berkley
Published:   July 5, 2011
ISBN:  978-0425242179
Genre:   Cozy Mystery   
Format:  Paperback
Obtained via:  Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina Gina@loveromancesandmorereviews.com



Still mourning her Uncle Oscar’s death, Rebecca has tried to make a go of her inheritance – his antique store.  But like her uncle, Rebecca sees few customers.  She’s filled the time by cleaning up the shop and along the way finding some interesting packages of money that Oscar hid for her.  With not much going on, when fellow shop owner, Monty who is now the assistant life counsellor to the mayor, asks her to join him as he hosts the Tour de California ceremonies she’s ready to go.  Not wanting to leave her cats, Rupert and Isabella alone for many days she pulls out their carriers to bring them along.

Rupert has no problem with traveling, in fact, it works out okay for him because if he were left home alone he might…need something.  Isabella has other ideas but is willing to go because she hopes one day soon she will be in the driver’s seat.

As Monty, Rebecca and their cadres of friends and others continue along the Tour’s route they encounter a Mark Twain impersonator.  While she likes Twain as much as anyone, there is something about the actor, Clem Samuels, that haunts Rebecca.  And isn’t it just like Oscar to have a bit of history and a mystery pop up along the way.

Can Rebecca find the original California bear flag before a killer gets her in his sights?

I’ve been kind of on the fence about Rebecca M. Hale’s Cats and Curious mysteries.  I like Rebecca and for the most part the historical background in each of the books.  I adore Rupert and Isabella.  I really like what Hale has done with them in HOW TO MOON A CAT, the third book of this series.  Their personalities have come through more and more and grown in each book.  Hale has cats and their unique personalities down pat.  Isabella’s antics and determination to drive the car are pretty entertaining—and I saw it with one of my own cats.  Rupert, however, totally steals the show, especially in the chapter where he ponders just what would happen to him if Rebecca were to leave him and how he might need something.  Not that he would need something in particular – but you never know.

The historical facts are interesting but in this book they tend to become didactic narrative that often do not add to the story.

The worst part of the story, however, were the scenes where the moon and the bricks offered their perspectives.  If the book had not been for review I would have skimmed these sections and more than once I was tempted just to put the book down and forget about it.  I have to wonder if those chapters were there for word count or if she thought they were just clever.  I struggled to get through me.  And Monty—he’s either got to change for the better or he’s gotta go.  His character is really starting to disrupt what could be a really good historical mystery.

The Tour de California aspect was fun as was Clem Samuels.  At this point I’m not sure I’ll continue with the series but fans of mysteries with oddball twists will enjoy it.

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

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