Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Sabrina Tate moves to the small town of Lavender in Texas to help her aunt with her vacation rental business. Her Aunt Rowe had a terrible accident which left her on crutches, so she needs all the help she can get. Sabrina, also, figures it’s her big chance to finish the novel she’s been working on with the hopes of getting published.
Sabrina is horrified when she discovers that the people of Lavender believe a little black cat is a curse and they intend to trap it. Sabrina doesn’t even want to think of what they will do to the poor thing when they catch it. Then the black cat makes an appearance, leading Sabrina to a dead body. This will not endear him to the rest of the town, but Sabrina intends to protect him…after she learns who killed Bobby Joe Flowers.
She has a personal stake in this murder as Bobby Joe had been family. He is Aunt Rowe's cousin. A hated cousin who Rowe happened to fight with shortly before his death. Naturally, Aunt Rowe is the prime suspect. Sabrina has no intention of sitting quietly on the sidelines waiting for the police to find the killer. The police are focused on making her aunt the killer and aren’t going too much further than that. So, it’s up to Sabrina to investigate.
The timing couldn’t be worse when her best friend, who owns a bookshop, arranges for Sabrina to pitch her story to a top agent. When the agent asks to see the completed manuscript in only two weeks, Sabrina is torn as to what she should do first – investigate the murder or write the book leaving the police to investigate on their own. It’s a no brainer in Sabrina’s eyes…her aunt will always come first. She’s family. Sabrina’s detecting leads her in several directions. With the help of a little black cat, now named Hitchcock by Sabrina, she vows to find the real killer and keep her aunt out of jail.
I’ve been waiting to read this book as soon as I heard about it. Any book with a cat in it has my interest. This book did not disappoint me. I loved every minute of it.
Although we get another heroine sticking her nose in police business, it is believable to me since she is protecting her aunt. The police were turning deaf ears in her direction, leaving her feeling helpless. It says quite a bit about a character that puts her family before her own well being - even before her own career opportunity. Sabrina is an endearing character readers can root for. Aunt Rowe made me laugh…she’s a feisty one who has no intentions of backing down, crutches or not. There isn’t any romance in this, but there is a hint of it for future books.
The story is intricately woven to involve almost everyone in the book. Readers, like Sabrina, were led in several different directions to solve this case. I was led in the wrong direction myself. I never saw the ending coming, but the clues were all there.
The author even tackles the fear people have of black cats. It's not only the people of this fictional story that fears them, but I've heard people in real life do too. They aren't a curse, they are adorable :)
It’s the first book in the “Bad Luck Cat Mystery” series and it’s so much fun getting in on the ground floor of these cozy mystery series. I get to read how it all starts from the beginning. Another thing that won me over - the cat isn’t just a picture on the cover, he actually has a purpose in the story and helps solve the crime. Kay Finch has a new fan in me :) Bring me more Hitchcock!
For reading challenges:
What An Animal Reading Challenge 2015
FTC Disclosure: The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.