About the Book
Genre: Cozy Mystery, #1 in A Nick & Nora Mystery Series
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Release Date: December 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads...
First in a new series!
Nora Charles doesn’t believe in fate, even if she is a crime reporter who shares a name with a character from The Thin Man. In fact, she’s moving back to Cruz, California, to have a quieter life. But after finding an online magazine eager for material, and a stray cat named Nick with a talent for detection, Nora’s not just reporting crimes again. She’s uncovering them…
Back in her hometown, Nora reconnects with old friends and makes some new ones, like Nick, the charming feline who seems determined to be her cat. But not everything about Cruz is friendly. Writing for a local online magazine, Nora investigates the curious death of socialite Lola Grainger. Though it was deemed an accident, Nora suspects foul play. And it seems that her cat does too.
Apparently, Nick used to belong to a P.I. who disappeared while investigating Lola Grainger’s death. The coincidence is spooky, but not as spooky as the clues Nick spells out for her with Scrabble letters—clues that lead her down an increasingly dangerous path. Whether fate put her on this case or not, solving it will take all of Nora’s wits, and maybe a few of Nick’s nine lives.
After her mother dies, crime reporter Nora Charles moves back to her hometown of Cruz, California to run her mother’s sandwich shop. She manages to get a side job with an online magazine looking for crime stories. Then, much to her surprise, a very handsome black and white cat shows up on her doorstep and moves in. Nora has no intentions of keeping him and makes plans to find his owner. In the meantime, she names him Nick.
Nora comes across articles on the sudden death of a wealthy woman, Lola Grainer. The police rule the death as an accident, but Nora has other suspicions. In fact, her new cat Nick has suspicions too. Together, they investigate and put themselves right in the line of danger.
I love this new mystery duo, Nick and Nora Charles. The rapport between human and cat seemed so natural. No, the cat doesn't speak human but he appeared to understand Nora as she tried to put the pieces of this case together. Nick may only have answered with "meeeoooowww" but Nora knew exactly what he meant. I've had similar conversations with my own cats. LOL Their scenes felt realistic to me as an animal lover who often talks to her pets.
The storyline grabbed my interest right from the beginning. I found the mystery to be fascinating and filled with intrigue. It felt like an old fashioned detective novel to me. I couldn’t put it down and practically devoured it in a few short days. I’m so looking forward to the next adventure in this series. It’s so much fun to get in on the ground floor with a cozy mystery series. Book #1 is a winner with me!
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.
My friend cut me an eyeroll, a sure indication she thought I was full of, as the French would say, merde. “The only other thing she saw was that this mission had to do with something that was switched.”
I wrinkled my nose. “Something switched? Like what? That’s not much of a clue.”
Chantal shrugged. “What can I say? Sometimes the images come over a bit…clouded, shall we say? We have to interpret them the best we can.” She hunkered over the pile of cards before her and flipped over the one closest to her. “Well, well,” she murmured. “On a much better note, it looks like there is love in your future, chérie.”
I let out a squeal and gave her arm a playful punch. “So now you’re reading my cards? Please don’t. I do so hate when you do that.”
“That is because you do not open yourself up to the universe.”
“I wouldn’t say that. I’m very open. Just not to portents and omens.”
She shook her curls. “You are practical to a fault. Just once I’d like to see you let yourself go – believe in the unbelievable. The world is a wonderous place, if you only open yourself up to all the possibilities.”
I hesitated, and then shrugged. “Oh, what the hell. Hit me.”
She plucked a second card from the pile. “The King of Swords crosses your card,” she said. “That means a dark handsome stranger will shortly enter your life and sweep you off your feet.”
I rolled my eyes. “You can tell that from one card?”
“Not just from the card – the vibe. And this is a strong vibe, very strong indeed.”
Uh-huh. I’d heard all this before from my friend, in many ways, shapes and forms, and a handsome stranger, dark or otherwise, had yet to make an appearance in my life. “Well, when he shows up you’ll be the first to know. I’m not holding my breath.”
Chantal glanced at the clock on the wall and jumped up. “Oh zut – I am late for my shift at the flower shop. Remy will kill me.” She swept her tarot cards into their velvet pouch, tucked them inside her tote, and ambled toward the front door. Her French accent slipped a bit as she said, “Try not to work too hard, willya? You’ve been looking a little peaked lately.” She opened the front door and stopped still. “Well, well,” she murmured, accent back in full force as she shot a swift glance over one shoulder. “Come quickly, chérie. This will teach you to have more faith in my predictions. There is a dark, handsome stranger out here who wants to see you.”
“You’re kidding.” I moved forward and looked over Chantal’s shoulder. The street outside was deserted. I cocked a brow at my friend. “There’s no one here.”
Her tongue clucked against the roof of her mouth. “You are not looking in the right place.”
Chantal pointed down. I followed her finger and beheld her dark, handsome stranger.
A stocky, black-and-white cat.
Author T.C. LoTempio
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