Wednesday, March 30, 2016

HISS AND TELL by Claire Donally

Publisher:     Berkley 
Published:     May 5, 2015       
ISBN:        978-0425276068
Genre:      Cozy Mystery  
Format:     Print  
Obtained via:  Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina


Ex-reporter Sunny Coolidge is delighted and surprised to receive a freelance assignment from the local Kittery Harbor paper, the Courier.  While she would have loved a permanent position with the local paper, business is not exactly booming so she’s been more or less content working for MAX – Maine Adventure Experience – while taking care of her dad, Mike.  And former stray kitty, Shadow is purrfectly happy to have Sunny staying around, especially since she’s set up some playdates with the enticingly scented girl kitty, Portia.  Now, however, Sunny has been handed a chance to re-connect with her journalist background, at least in small part by joining the Courier’s publisher for a photo meet and greet being held by two wealthy, politically connected families about ready to be joined in marriage.  The meet and greet though takes a turn south when one of the wedding party ends up dead.

At the same time, Sunny’s boyfriend, Constable Will Price, is assigned what is essentially traffic duty by sheriff Nesbitt.  Nesbitt is trying desperately to hold on to his job as sheriff, so his assigning Will, his major competition to an out of the way, kinda dull job, could go a long way toward putting him back in the winning seat.
When the deceased’s body turns up Nesbitt hopes to turn public opinion against Will.  Meanwhile, the soon to be joined families are hoping to put a brighter spin on what’s happening at their heavily guarded compound.  When a second body turns up Sunny quickly finds herself in the middle of a very intense investigation.  Complicating things a bit is Shadow has followed Sunny to the compound and he finds himself in the sites of the killer himself.

I’ve enjoyed every book in Claire Donally’s Sunny and Shadow series and HISS AND TELL is probably the best—mainly because of  Shadow’s role in the book.  He started out with a relatively small role, with his part growing with each new book. In HISS AND TELL he has an active part in solving the crime and being Sunny’s personal hero. 

I’ve said it before but it bears saying again – Donally really understands cats and her portrayal of Shadow is spot on.  I have a feral cat who lives in my house – very much like Shadow in personality except he doesn’t cuddle.  He behaves very much like Shadow does whenever something changes in his environment.  He may not want me around, but he wants to know where I am and his next meal is coming from. 

Conversely, I have a very social cat who has tried on occasion – and almost succeeded – in coming to work with me. 

The mystery in this one is a good one.  Nothing is as it seems and the tie ins to political intrigue and privilege sometimes thought part and parcel of the uber rich is handled as an integral part of the story.  The personalities are clearly defined and memorable.

This is a really fun series and if you’re a cozy fan and haven’t read it, you need to check it out.  If you’ve never read a cozy, this is a great series to start with.

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

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