Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Blog Tour: Fat Cat At Large by Janet Cantrell (Review/Book Giveaway/Guest Post)

 About the Book

Genre: Cozy Mystery, #1 in A Fat Cat Mystery Series
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Release Date: September 2014

Synopsis from Goodreads...


When she’s not dreaming up irresistible dessert bars for her Minneapolis treatery, Bar None, Charity “Chase” Oliver is running after her cat, Quincy—a tubby tabby with a gift for sniffing out edibles. But what happens when this cat burglar leads Chase to the scene of a real crime?

The jig is up for Chase’s adorable plus-size cat, Quincy. His new vet says “diet”—that means no more cherry cheesecake bars. From now on he gets low-calorie kibble only. But one taste of the stuff is all it takes to drive him in search of better things. Quincy’s escape is the last thing Chase needs after the nasty run-in she has with underhanded business rival Gabe Naughtly.

Chase tracks Quincy down in a neighbor’s kitchen, where he’s devouring a meatloaf, unaware of the much more serious crime he’s stumbled upon. Gabe’s corpse is lying on the kitchen floor, and when Chase is discovered at the murder scene, she becomes suspect number one. Now, with a little help from her friends—both human and feline—she’ll have to catch the real killer or wind up behind bars that aren’t so sweet.

Includes recipes for people and cats!

My Review

Ooohhhh…a story about an overweight, lovable cat named Quincy. How could I possibly resist this one? Well, of course, I couldn’t. I loved this book from the cover through every page in between.

Chase runs a dessert bar shop with her best friend’s grandmother, Anna. When money starts to disappear from the business, Anna begins to suspect Chase. Chase is disappointed to be a suspect but she knows she’s innocent and intends to find out exactly who is behind this. Then, after Chase has a nasty argument with a local business rival, Gabe Naughtly is found dead and Chase is the number one suspect. In fact, she appears to be the only suspect. Again, she knows she’s innocent, so it’s up to her to find out who the real killer is.

In the meantime, Chase’s cat, Quincy, has been put on a strict diet by the local vet – who happens to be very handsome and interested in chase – but Quincy isn’t happy. He’s so unhappy that he manages to escape to get his claws into some real food.  Chase and the vet are a bit perplexed as to why Quincy is gaining weight on his diet.

Chase’s concerns keep mounting, but her primary issue is keeping herself out of jail. Things get even worse when another dead body is found and, once again, Chase is the primary suspect.

Being a cat lover, I will say right from the start that I love Quincy and I wanted to take him home and cuddle him, even if he is fiction :)  The rest of the characters…well, I adored Chase. I think she is a tough, strong sleuth who may do some stupid things and make the wrong decisions, but she’s only trying to find out the truth. She has strong motivation – keeping herself out of prison.  After all, the police seem satisfied with blaming her for the crimes.

As for the rest of the characters, I alternated between being suspicious of all of them, liking them and some really not liking at all. I must admit, I did figure out who did it early on in the book. I had my suspicions which turned out to be true. I don’t want to say anymore so I don’t giveaway any of the plot.  There's also some romance mixed in and Chase may find herself caught between two handsome guys.  We'll have to see how it plays out in future books.

It’s a fast-paced book and can be read in just a couple of days. It makes for a great weekend read.

Being the cat lover that I am, although I don’t think you have to be one to read this, I’m looking forward to book #2 and reading more adventures of Quincy. This is a great beginning to a brand new series.

FTC Disclosure: The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review for this blog tour. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

Author Guest Post

Where Did Quincy Come From?

Other than the animal rescue shelter in Chicago where Chase Oliver picked him up, you mean? I was lucky enough to be the caretaker and servant to two rescued feral cats not long ago. One of them was Quincy’s prototype. They came to me pre-named by the woman who was fostering them, and the names were perfect.

The slim, handsome fellow, a Russian Blue with thick, dense fur, did have a name change before we got him. He was first named Lady Jane Grey (look for this name in the second Fat Cat book, FAT CAT SPREADS OUT). However, by the time it became evident that he needed a new name, he answered to Jane. His name was changed to James because he would answer to that one, too. I sometimes called him Sir James because of his regal composure.

His litter mate was named Agamemnon and that name stuck. He was a mighty little warrior, just like the ancient Greek, and he was so smart it was almost creepy. Agamemnon had to be my model for Quincy. It was a natural fit.

That guy was hard to entertain. If you dragged a feather toy, he leapt a couple of times, then followed the string with his eyes up to the stick, then to my hand. “Ho hum,” I could hear him thinking as he quit playing and washed his face. “This is just her. Not a bird at all. No wonder it doesn’t smell right.”

He was quite young back in the days when Elf Bowling was popular. The first time he heard me finish the game and make Santa pop up saying “Ho ho ho,” he was instantly in my lap, staring at the bobbing Santa and swiping at it with his paw. The next time I played, he was in my lap to begin with, intensely interested in the whole thing. How could I not let him play? The player bowled the ball at the taunting elves by hitting the space bar. If you hit it at the right time, you got a strike. I would hold Agamemnon’s paw over the space bar and “help” him by pushing it down the best I could to get him strikes and spares. He would, no lie, play an entire ten frame game waiting for the Santa finish.

More than once, when I would be in the bedroom with the door closed, he would jump onto the cedar chest beside the door and try to open it. He would curve his paw over the doorknob and attempt to turn it. He knew exactly how to open the door! Physically, he couldn’t do it, but he sure knew how.

That first scene in FAT CAT AT LARGE where Quincy unzips his soft-sided carrier from the inside? Yep, Agamemnon is where that came from. He was hard to crate to begin with, but when I finally got both of them crated and was gathering my purse and phone and car keys to take them to the vet for shots, it was dismaying to find Agamemnon’s crate empty and gaping open.

Also, like Quincy, Agamemnon stayed on the pudgy side. He loved to eat. His brother, James, was always slim and trim, but Agamemnon, a sleek all-black beauty with shiny fur (James’s looked like matte next to his glossy finish), was hard to take and keep the pounds off. He never got too heavy to leap to the top of any piece of furniture in the house, though.

He also loved to attack the paper as it came out of the printer. Quincy hasn’t done that yet, but, come to think of it, he should.

It’s been fun to resurrect my memories of the smartest cat I ever knew and let him live again through Quincy. I love being a writer!


How would you like to win a paperback copy of Fat Cat At Large by Janet Cantrell? Thanks to Berkley, I have one paperback to giveaway to one lucky winner.

Just a few simple rules...

1) You must fill out the rafflecopter form below.

2) Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old

3) US Residents Only

4) For one extra entry: Tweet about this giveaway.

5) For one extra entry: Leave a comment for the author.

6) For one extra entry:  Follow this blog...old followers, too!  Just let us know how you follow and under what name.

No purchase necessary.  Void where prohibited.

The giveaway begins on September 10th (midnight est) and ends on September 17th (midnight est).

The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter. The winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond, otherwise a new winner will be chosen. I will announce the winner here on my blog.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Oh, not a love triangle. :( That trope should be shot and buried.

    But I can relate to an overweight who's unhappy about eating diet kibble; I live with one. :D

    I like the sounds of this and Chase sounds like someone I'd like.

  2. Yvonne, thank you for this great giveaway! I will add it to my blog's sidebar. :-)

  3. looks like a great story, can't wait to read it :)

  4. Welcome Janet! I loved the story about your two cats, the elf bowling one was especially cute. Thanks for sharing your tales with us, I look forward to reading your new book!

  5. What a great review. I can't wait to read it.

  6. I had a cat fascinated by old printer noise and that of the shredder. She would come running whenever they were in use and just stare at the noisemaker. Eager to read the book.

  7. I'm afraid my Sammy is on his way to becoming a fat cat. He keeps nagging me for another meal.

    I look forward to reading this book!

  8. I MUST read this book---not only are cozies with cats my favorite type of book, I have a very large cat whose nickname is Fat Cat. He's on a perpetual diet.

  9. Books on animals are favorites especially cats

  10. I have a dog that would sympathize with Quincy, he was at the vet and we've had to restrict his food because he's I have a dog that gets into the garbage all the time...go figure, LOL. I love the sound of this book, thanks for the chance to win.

  11. This looks like a great read! Love the cover.

  12. I am SO looking forward to reading...

    patucker54 at aol dot com

  13. If duplicate, I'm sorry - I'm looking forward to this one.

  14. My cat Maxie hasn't made the connection that our hands are controlling the sticks that her feather toys are attached to. She just enjoys playing with the feathers - and the strings - and the sticks, if she catches us off guard and snatches them away from us!

    Looking forward to reading about Quincy!

  15. Someday I would like to dedicate a book to my beloved pet! He sure had a weird personality so I know it would make for a great story!

  16. OH good!!! Another cat series?? I think Quincy sounds like a a fun cat to have around! We had a Russian Blue....wonderful cat!!! Cats can be so much fun....each with their own personalities. Mine all used to come running when I whistled for dinner time. LOVE cat books!!! Thanks for writing another series.

  17. I would love to read this book—thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

  18. I've been wanting to read this story because I love cats!

  19. I love to read about cats. My kitty is already a fat cat and he is very sweet. Thank you for the giveaway

  20. I love mystery series which involve cats, so I am anxious to read this one!

  21. Thanks for all the enthusiastic comments and thanks for hosting me, Yvonne! It is much appreciated.

  22. congrats to Janet!!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!!

  23. Yea - a cozy set in Minneapolis - which is just a few minutes north on 35W from me!

  24. I love cat cozies. This looks like another to be added to my list.


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