I couldn’t have come up with a better title if I tried. This first book in the new cozy series—Cats in Trouble—is a winner if you are a cat person and the title says it all.
Jillian Hart comes home to find her cat, Chablis, sneezing. Chablis is allergic to people (their dander anyway). Her other cat, Merlot, is pouffed out in fright and sitting in the shards of a broken window. Her third cat, Syrah, is nowhere to be found. Thus begins the first of Jillian’s adventures as an amateur detective.
Jillian had left her cats alone overnight while she went out of town on a business trip (she makes and sells quilts for pampered cats). She is recently widowed and has not lived in Mercy for long—hadn’t gotten to know many people before her husband was stricken by a heart attack and has been too sad to get to know many after. She has been comforted by her cats. She and her husband fostered homeless animals after Katrina and fell in love with and kept three of the cats. Thus she is doubly upset by the loss of one of her beloved friends.
She calls her vet and the local animal shelter to no avail and then decides to make up a ‘missing’ poster for Syrah. In the process of the search for her cat and getting her window repaired, she meets many of the kind town folk who she hasn’t taken time to get acquainted with previously. There seem to be other cases of missing cats and lost flyers and when she tracks Syrah to the ‘pink house’ of the man she suspects of catnapping, she not only finds Syrah, but a dead body as well. She finds that she and several of her new found friends are under suspicion and decides to at least partially take matters into her own hands.
This author really understands cats and the folks who love them. The cats aren’t humanized ( they don’t talk) but they are an integral part of their human companions’ lives and they are important to them. One of the reviews I came across after I finished this book said that the mystery is meandering. It is—and that’s what I liked about it. It is character and cat driven and there is an interesting puzzle of a mystery, but it moves in its own good time. If this sounds like something you might like, then by all means give The Cat, the Quilt and the Corpse a try. I’m hoping there are many more to come.