Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Tale of 2 Kitties

A Tale of Two Kitties (Magical Cats) by [Kelly, Sofie]

A Tale of Two Kitties (Magical Cats)- Sofie Kelly
Berkley/Penguin Group
Release Date: September 5, 2017

Rating (out of 5):

Warning: Potential Spoilers Ahead!

Synopsis: With a well-placed paw on a keyboard or a pointed stare, Kathleen’s two cats, Hercules and Owen, have helped her to solve cases in the past—so she has learned to trust their instincts. But she will need to rely on them more than ever when a twenty-year-old scandal leads to murder…
The arrival of the Janes brothers has the little town of Mayville Heights buzzing. Everyone of a certain age remembers when Victor had an affair with Leo’s wife, who then died in a car accident.

Now it seems the brothers are trying to reconcile, until Kathleen finds Leo dead. The police set their sights on Leo’s son and Kathleen’s good friend Simon, who doesn’t have much of an alibi. To prove her friend innocent, Kathleen will have to dig deep into the town's history—and into her sardine cracker supply, because Owen and Hercules don't work for free...


Head Librarian Kathleen Paulson has a reputation for solving crimes before the police do. What people in her little town of Maryville Heights don't know is that she gets a lot of help from her two cats Owen and Hercules.  So when she stumbles into a long running family drama and then into a dead body, many of her friends want her to solve the murder and make the problem go away.  Owen and Hercules may never have met Leo Janes while he was alive, but they certainly seem interested in helping him now that he's dead!

A Tale of Two Kitties lived up to the feeling of its blurb: a cute, fun, cozy cat mystery.  I hadn't realized before starting Kitties that this is the latest in a series by Sofie Kelly, but found quickly that while she may often refer to things that happened in other books, we don't need to have read the rest of the series to jump right in here.  Owen and Hercules (I enjoyed that she admits Hercules is named after Kevin Sorbo's Hercules, since I enjoyed that show too!) are magical mystery cats with special abilities.  Owen can (literally) disappear from sight and Hercules can walk through walls.  Both cats seem to understand what is said to them and both seem to have an instinct for crime solving and pushing hints Kathleen's way.  No one else knows the cats can do this, but she's worrying about the time when she has to admit it to her boyfriend Marcus (a police officer who only believes in facts) since his kitten seems to be displaying the same talents.  I liked that while Kathleen occasionally wonders how the cats can do what they do (who wouldn't?) she accepts their abilities as just one of those things, therefore the reader does as well.

I did have trouble keeping many of the secondary characters straight, which got a little confusing until I decided it didn't matter and just didn't try to remember who was who.  This was probably something that someone who has read the other books in the series would not have had trouble with.  Kathleen herself in often not a deep or well drawn character, but for this book I didn't necessarily feel like it mattered, although it would have been nice. She's the kind of person that others talk to, that complete strangers feel comfortable sharing secrets with.  As someone in the library field myself, I can assure you that this happens more often than a skeptic might think.  And it is certainly convenient for a civilian trying to solve a murder! I was a little disappointed in the solution itself.  The killer is the most logical person who the characters never suspected, and the motive felt pretty weak and thin.  It was the kind of motive that made you wish for more character development so that you could feel like it was more satisfying conclusion than it actually was.     

Fans of Rita Mae and Sneaky Pie Brown's Mrs Murphy series and Lilian Jackson Braun's The Cat Who series definitely need to start reading Sofie Kelly's Magical Cats books!  Those of us who enjoy a quick, fun mystery will also enjoy A Tale of Two Kitties, especially as a nice summer/fall read.

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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