Title: Cat Got Your Secrets-Kitty Couture Mystery by Julie Chase
Genre: Currently #5056 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Books, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Amateur Sleuths
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date: To be published September 12, 2017
Source: Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley
Title and Cover: Cat Got Your Secrets–Neat cover–definitely draws you in
This being the third in the Kitty Couture Mysteries, Cat Got Your Secrets cover again features a darling little kitty with a striking boutique store front in the background–enough to capture any pet lover’s fancy. However, the book begins a little slowly with the introduction of the protagonist, Lacy Marie Crocker, and her situation. Then Lacy discovers a body when she tries to deliver an order; apparently not the first time she’s been privvy to a murder scene. Unfortunately, this time her father appears implicated having been the last person to see the victim alive. Lacy can’t help herself–she’s nosy–and if her dad may be involved, she’s rabid to prove him innocent, despite the warnings of both her mother and Detective Jack Oliver to stay out of it.
Lacy of the well-to-do NOLA Crocker family owns the Furry Godmother’s boutique and is quite the artiste, creating haut couture for the pampered pets of the downtown jazz quarter. February has arrived and she is very busy with holiday decor and custom made pet treats. Furthermore, Lacy’s mother has volunteered her for the National Pet Pageant and embroiled her into the Welcoming Committee. Now she also has orders for costumes, but no problem, she can throw the cat in her carrier and split as long as her sales associate is on hand to handle the crowd of shoppers crazy to buy Valentines gift boxes for their animals–or are the gift boxes for the animal’s humans?
It’s a cozy mystery. They are a clean read and don’t particularly race toward the finish and this one does that. Along the way, we are introduced to periphery characters, none of whom are well fleshed out. Dialogue runs more or less natural depending on the conversation; stiff when she is speaking to her mother. Lacy seems a bit vacuous, immature, and still not wholly friends with her mother again after a period of estrangement in which she tried (and failed) to separate herself from the town and her family. She’s been instrumental in solving two murder cases before this (three since she got back home–mercy!) but at some physical cost.
Jack, the detective (possible love interest) is a little busy to watch her back. There are additional sub-characters, but we don’t get to know them well, and it is difficult to connect with them, though my favorite was her shop assistant, Imogene. Imogene is a fount of knowledge, the city and it’s history, and she could probably sell an ice box in the frozen tundra.
There are any number of crazy pet names such as Cuddle Brigade, Jazzy Chicks, and Llama Mamas and little “words of wisdom” at the beginning of the chapters, as well as alluding to fresh pupcakes and tuna tarts. All cute points of interest and humor, and lightens a plot lacking substance. As noted, boxed chocolates are mentioned which, of course, are a major no-no for a canine–and I’d certainly believe a feline as well (felines hate sweets anyway). (There are recipes at the back of the book.)
The descriptions of the neighborhood resonate well with the sounds of jazz, conjuring the setting. Still, I had a problem staying with this one and drifted a bit. The protagonist seems spoiled and head-strong, but not necessarily in a smart way.
The antagonist begins to threaten her and the story line moves to possible motive when it appears there is blackmail involved. I’ve read many stories that featured animals, both dog and cat, and they usually provide some interest in the story. This poor thing is simply carried around in his carrier.
Did I correctly project who was the baddy? Nope–didn’t see it coming!
Too many wringing hands and not enough action for me, I guess. The plot heats up at the climax–but then the story is over. Okayyy.
I was granted this download by Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley and appreciated the opportunity to read and review. I believe this would appeal to readers looking for a fast, clean read. Women’s fiction. Light touch of romance. Young adult. Recommended for a cozy beach mystery.
Rosepoint Publishing: 3.5 of Five Stars
The Author: Julie Anne Lindsey, aka Julie Chase has also written as Jacqueline Frost. She is a multi-genre author, including cozy mystery, suspense, women and amateur sleuths. Living in rural Ohio with her patient husband and three children, she is a “self-proclaimed nerd with a penchant for words and proclivity for fun.” Julie is a member of several author organizations including the Romance Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. Connect with Ms. Chase on her website or twitter. ©2017 Virginia Williams