Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Review: Death Steals the Spotlight (Urban Tails Pet Shop Mysteries) by T. C. LoTempio (Blog Tour/Tour-Wide Giveaway)


Death Steals the Spotlight (Urban Tails Pet Shop Mysteries) by T. C. LoTempio

About Death Steals the Spotlight 


Death Steals the Spotlight (Urban Tails Pet Shop Mysteries) 

Cozy Mystery 3rd in Series 

Setting - Connecticut 

Beyond the Page Publishing 

(June 27, 2023) 

Paperback ‏ : ‎ 202 pages 

ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1960511173 

ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1960511171 

Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0C62G13J9

It’s exit stage left, permanently, for a big-time director who lands the starring role in an unscripted death scene . . .

Desperate to find a director for their annual production, the Fox Hollow Players have a stroke of luck when Shell McMillan’s actress mother lands a prominent theater director for the job. He’s more gruff and demanding than the small-town cast and crew are used to, but his soft side for animals quickly endears him to pet shop owner Shell. Persuading her to let him use a shed on her property where he can work in peace, Shell is horrified when she finds his dead body there. And with obvious signs of foul play, she can’t help but investigate the murder.

As she digs into the man’s past, it becomes apparent that at one point or another he was romantically entangled with just about every woman involved in the play. And just when Shell discovers he may have been blackmailing one of them, other clues surface that suggest a more sinister motive. With her hands already full with a beautiful stray cat she found and christened Princess Fuzzypants, Shell will have to fill two roles, caring for the Maine coon and trying to track down the killer before it’s her turn for a fatal curtain call . . .

My Review

Pet shop owner, Shell McMillan is more than a little surprised to learn that her mother is helping the local theater group by arranging a famous director for their production.  Although he’s talented, he is not well liked.  He has problems with everyone in the cast and crew.  Needing a quiet place for himself, he convinces Shell to lend him her shed to use as an office.  She agrees but is shocked when she stumbles on the man’s dead body.

Meanwhile, a stray kitty turns up on Shell’s doorstep.  A beautiful Maine coon and Shell is determined to help find her owner.  Shell’s own kitties, Purrday and Kahlua, have mixed feelings. Purrday has a huge crush, while Kahlua not so much.  Shell falls in love with the kitty, too, and names her Princess Fuzzypants.  With the help of her friends and three kitties, Shell vows to find a killer and a kitty owner.  

I love this series so much.  Maybe it’s the cat lady in me but these kitties and their relationship with Shell is so sweet.  It warms my heart.

Oh, there are human characters too.  Shell, her BFF Gary, her boyfriend and even her whacky mother make a wonderful cast.  They are lively and fun.

I devoured this one.  The storyline moves along quickly and is filled with several different possible suspects.  I was captivated until the truth was revealed.

The mystery is contained and solved in this book.  So, there is no cliffhanger as far as the murder mystery goes. However, I can’t recommend enough to read this series from the beginning.  This book is #3, so there are only two books before it but reading them gives you a better feel for the motivation behind Shell’s actions and the growth of various relationships.  

I can’t say enough how much I’ve been enjoying this series. I hope it continues for a long time.  I know I’m looking forward to my next visit to Fox Hollow, Connecticut.

For reading challenges:

The Purrfect Reading Challenge 2023
What An Animal Reading Challenge 2023
NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2023
Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge 2023

FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a free Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

About T.C. LoTempio

While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic.  She and her cat pen the Nick and Nora mystery series originally from Berkley Prime Crime and now with Beyond the Page Publishing.  They also write the Cat Rescue series from Crooked Lane and the Pet Shop series, originally published by Midnight Ink and rebranded last  year as “Urban Tails Pet Shop Mysteries.”  Number three in this series debuted June 27, DEATH STEALS THE SPOTLIGHT. Recent other releases include Book six in the Nick and Nora mysteries, A PURR BEFORE DYING, and book one in the new Tiffany Austin Food blogger series, EAT, DRINK AND DROP DEAD.

You can cat-ch up with them at ROCCO’s blog, www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com or her website, www.tclotempio.net 

Author Links 

Twitter: @RoccoBlogger 

Purchase Links


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July 8 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
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Tour-Wide Giveaway


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