Publisher: BerkeleyPublished: September 20, 2014
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Obtained via: Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address: Gina Ginalrmreviews@gmail.com
On the heels of Hamlet the bookstore kitty’s performance as the “Karate Kitty” at his human, Darla Pettistone’s tournament he’s become quite the celebrity. So much so he’s been invited to the Florida Feline Society of America cat show as the celebrity guest. Darla, along with P.I. friend Jake and, of course, Hamlet, head to Florida and a surprise adventure. They are met by Jake’s mother, Nattie, who lives in Ft. Lauderdale and was the one who initiated the idea of inviting Hamlet.
The first day of the show they meet some of Nattie’s friends and a host of other kitties and their humans. Meanwhile, Jake, finds herself getting attached with a cute little rescue kitten that is up for adoption. But all is not peaceful at the show. There are animal rights demonstrators raising a ruckus out front and a contestant who isn’t taking losing very well at all. And then something that can devastate any pet owner, Hamlet it kid…errr…catnapped. Along with Nattie and some of her friends from her senior residence they comb the cat show venue but there is neither hide nor hair of Hamlet to be found. Saddened Darla and Jake return to their hotel to find Hamlet has already arrived. Not only has he beat them to the hotel…he’s found a dead body. Even though it’s not their town, the deceased and the suspect are known to Jake’s mom and she wants Jake and Darla to find the real killer.
I love this series primarily because I cannot resist Hamlet, the cat. While some of his antics are not quite believable, others are very much in keeping with just what a cat can and will do. There is a reason imitation is often called being a “copy cat” because they will watch your behaviour and often mimic it in their own way. It was fun to have Darla, Jake and Hamlet step out of their normal routine and take the trip to Florida and participate in the cat show. Brandon introduces some new characters – Tino and Sam – that I’d love to see again, even in their own series….although cozies do feature females as the heroines it would be a fun twist.
At first Nattie was entertaining….and then she just got annoying. Credit to Brandon – she does have a character point out how annoying Nattie is and, in reality, she’s like a lot of our parents as they hit their golden years. Once she got that out there I was able to tolerate her…but I wouldn’t want to deal with her on a daily basis.
I loved how Jake connected with Trixie the kitten and anticipated some great scenes featuring the playful little one in future books. Instead Brandon lost what could have been a great addition to the series by having a child want the kitten instead. I can see why she did it, but I felt it was more the need to be inclusive—than a great ending. Hopefully she’ll see her way clear to find a kitty for Jake.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.