Friday, June 23, 2017

What's Happening - Fun Friday with Crime and Catnip by T. C. LoTempio

June, 2017 - I will no longer be accepting new requests for reviews, effective this month. Among those I already have, many submitted as ebooks before I've accepted them, I will review as I am able and select those I wish to read. Book Readers Heaven will continue at my own pace, decreasing reading time to meet my personal needs... I hope you enjoy the changes in the future, starting today with Fun Friday...
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Crime and Catnip:
A Nick and Nora Mystery

By T. C. LoTempio


As soon as I started reading this book and met the two main characters, Nick and Nora, I knew I had met them before and already loved the series...Went looking and found that I had the debut, Meow If It's Murder, already read and to be reviewed...So you'll be again meeting Nick and his loving companion Nora sometime soon... Crime and Catnip is the third book in the series and I picked up the second...this is a series I want to follow and retain for my personal cat mystery library... and I was very disappointed to find that the second book was only available at a ridiculous price in paperback...


Violet's office was large and comfortable and (not surprisingly) about three times the size of my den at home. A beautiful polished cherry-wood desk sat right in from of a large picture window, which afforded an excellent view of the town square. The two high-backed chairs that flanked the front of the desk were pale blue and lavender, and made of leather so buttery soft you felt like you were sitting on a cloud. I eased myself into the pale blue one, leaned back, and waited expectantly. After all, this was Violet's show. The woman herself perched on the edge of the desk, right in front of me, crossed her arms over her chest, and regarded me with a stare of blue-edged steel.
"So you found out about my niece, eh? I must say, I'm impressed.".
"I found out from Nick Atkins' partner that one of the cases Nick was working on at the time he disappeared was a society da... ah, woman's missing niece. I just thought, from the remark I heard you make about Nick, that it might be you." I was thankful I'd caught myself. I was pretty certain Violet would not appreciate hearing herself referred to as a dame.
"I knew you were a clever girl, Nora. Not many people could put two and two together and come up with six." She regarded me for a few moments, then walked around the desk and eased herself into the captain's leather chair. "I expect you're curious to learn why I'd engaged someone life him in the first place. Well's it's like this...
...I see in the past few months you've become quite the detective." She pinned me with her gaze. "That's why I need you, Nora. You're the only one I can think of capable of picking up where Atkins left off. I need you to find out once and for all if my niece is alive...or dead."
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Nora was quite pleased to be able to fill in for the annual fundraiser for the local Cruz Museum run by Violet Crenshaw, when the man previously scheduled became ill. Nora, the owner of Hot Bread restaurant was the only one who was willing to take the job due to the short time to prepare...and I must admit, I was surprised that a caterer...any caterer...could prepare what she did in just three days... In fact, since there was no indication she had help, and there was no narrative on her cooking and preparation, it seemed questionable to me... but then I got so involved with various mysteries presented, that I immediately moved forward...

At the same time that Nora had agreed to cater the event, Violet Crenshaw also sought her assistance in trying to find her niece. She would be picking up the reins for her former PI, Nick Atkins who had disappeared (mystery 1)...

Nora knew both Nick Atkins and his partner... In fact, she had named her new cat after Nick, when he showed up at Nora's door one day... It had been immediately clear to both of them that there was indeed a bond between them. Nora declared that if Nick every returned, she'd be fighting him for his namesake...

What she did find was that PI Nick had taught her new partner quite a bit about fighting crime and readers are delightfully entertained at the various ways Nick helps in investigations, as well as, quite often, making sure Nora stays out of danger...or worse...

Nora is quite the action woman...and in both working on the catering, she also immediately begins to have one of her connections start to make inquiries about the lost niece. She also visits Nick Atkins partner to hopefully learn the status of what his investigation had turned up. And that's when she is brought into the mystery of his disappearance when a postcard and then another...arrives which make no sense, obviously coded in some way...

Working in the Museum naturally raises her curiosity and she starts roaming around as displays are set up, the main one to be an ancient book... We are introduced to that book in a dramatic prologue where two different thieves try to steal the book at exactly the same time! Only one thing left that night as both thieves escape and it is the first clue to the murder that occurred the night of the fundraiser, which included a costume party celebrating Halloween which was coming up...

The costumes worn that night of course give the security team a difficult task...Two individuals of that team are both interested in Nora--one an older connection and her present partner who is an FBI agent... And it is quite clear that Nora is trying to deny her continued attraction to her old friend.  Plan to enjoy the tension as these three deal with one another while trying to solve what turns out to be much more than a murder mystery. 

And the third mystery and most complicated...is just about that old book...LOL! Enjoy! I loved it!  Which, as with all amateur detective mysteries, finds Nora gaining much of the information, sharing some with security, but also keeping much hidden from them...until she solves the case herself, of course... I must say, though, that the complexity and the breadth of the story line will keep mystery readers working hard to try to solve the case along with Nora. In fact, if Nora hadn't had Nick working with her, even when she fed him and then left him home, she was quite happy to have him show up in the "nick of time!"

Which leads me to the final comment...there is something special about Nick. He is either psychic, understands human language, or was born to be a PI Cat...I'm looking forward to getting to know him better, aren't you?!
GABixlerReviews