Customer Reviews for

How to Wash a Cat (Cats and Curios Series #1)

Average Rating 3.5
( 77 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(25)

4 Star

(21)

3 Star

(12)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(14)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Perfect for cozy lovers

I'm so glad I happened upon this book while visiting my local B&N. The book is intelligently written. The mystery is interesting. The characters are likeable, and the cats are wonderful (especially Rupert.) I highly recommend this book for cozy lovers, and I'm looking...
I'm so glad I happened upon this book while visiting my local B&N. The book is intelligently written. The mystery is interesting. The characters are likeable, and the cats are wonderful (especially Rupert.) I highly recommend this book for cozy lovers, and I'm looking forward to the next installment in the series.

posted by sharno22 on February 5, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

Disappointing

I found this book while looking for some books to read on a vacation. Years ago I discovered Lilian Jackson Braun's "The Cat Who....." series in the same way. Unfortunately Ms Hale is no Lilian Jackson Braun. I enjoy mystery stories that have a minimum of gore, and this...
I found this book while looking for some books to read on a vacation. Years ago I discovered Lilian Jackson Braun's "The Cat Who....." series in the same way. Unfortunately Ms Hale is no Lilian Jackson Braun. I enjoy mystery stories that have a minimum of gore, and this book fit my tastes in that regard. I get bored with plot lines that have to pause for long sex scenes, but a smattering of romance through the story line can make the book more enjoyable. How sad it is that the heroine of this book cannot get even a hint of romance. Worst of all the ending leaves too many loose ends not only dangling, but also frayed. I am not against a book leaving some mystery for the next book of the series to build upon(Carole Nelson Douglas is excellent at this), but Ms Hale did not accomplish this. It is rare for me not to want to read the next book of a series, but I do not feel that this series would be worth the effort to continue to follow.

posted by MEB51 on April 27, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2010

    Can't recommend~~

    Ms. Hale's new series is so darn wordy and detailed it made my head spin! After several chapters I gave up! It spoils the read to have to sift through paragraphs of endless over described characters, or just her walking from point A to point B, that could have been better summed up in a few sentences. No flow to the book....choppy plot with the back and forth on past and present that left some confusion. An author can over-write and this is a perfect example. I love cats, but not enough to wade through this book.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Tedious plot and writing

    I agree with Anonymous about the plot and writing. Call the characters quirkly, I just thought they were overwrought. The main character didn't seem to have a brain in her head about the situations she found herself in, which only was annoying in the end. Although I didn't get to the end because it was so frustrating to try and read, that, finally, I didn't. If this is the best she can do, she shouldn't bother with the second book.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2010

    Incredibly weak editing

    I expected a light mystery with a possibly endearing character with a sleuthing cat. Three chapters in, I had found so many egregious editing errors and misused words and phrases that I put the book on a bench in hopes that whoever found it would forgive such abuse of the language.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2012

    I loathed this book!

    There is so much wrong with this book that it's hard to know where to start. The plot is a mess, the characters are annoying, the cats are completely unrealistic (seriously, Midnight Louie is more believable), the conclusion is confusing and the whole thing is so overwritten that it took the heroine 2 pages to walk across a room and sit behind a cash register.
    And then there is the heroine... she has no name. Or backbone. Or personality. She spends the entire book being referred to as "Oscar's niece". This affectation grows more annoying as the book progresses, but oddly enough, starts to seem appropriate as we realize the woman doesn't really have an identity. We have no mental picture of her at all, not even the barest of physicsl descriptions. All we know is that she gets pushed around by people and events throughout the book and is stupid enough to try and bathe a cat in a kitchen sink.
    I actually considered throwing this book out after I read it. I donated it instead; my sincere apologies to whoever ended up with it!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Even Cats Wouldn't Be Happy

    I bought this book because I love cats (I have two) and I enjoy visiting San Francisco, where the book takes place. Although Ms. Hale does a wonderful job describing the cats (and you'll enjoy reading about why the cat needs washing), her descriptions of the human characters aren't nearly as good. Actually, it's hard to tell who are supposed to be sympathetic characters as they all are pathetic. The plot has some interesting elements about the history of San Francisco but overall doesn't work very well. And it's a wonder the heroine has any lips left as she's forever chewing and/or biting them. As far as I'm concerned, this one was a waste of time and money.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2010

    Yuk!

    Did not enjoy this book. It seemed forever before the characters actually did anything interesting. Sentences were too wordy & used unnecessary words as if the author were trying to impress the reader.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2010

    A rocky start

    Ms. Hale's first try at this literary genre is off to a rocky start in this reader's opinion. The story began with promise. But soon, the story stalls and the writing feels forced. Ms. Hales characters are flat and at times either too overblown or not believable at all. Her overuse of metaphors and adjectives derailed most of the narrative. Her hints to "who dunnit" gave away the answer early on in this confusing story. At times, Ms. Hale temporarily lost her self-consciousness, and the story would begin to spark, but alas, it never truly ignited. Even stranger, Ms. Hale waited until the end to provide her protaganist's name. And to make matters worse this author gives her protaganist her own name. I hope that Ms. Hale can work out some of the bugs in her second book. I do admire anyone who tries to write in this difficult and highly competitve genre and I commend her for giving it a second try.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2015

    Dreadful!

    The writing is so bad, I quit after a few chapters. I felt beat up by the excessive and peculiar descriptions.

    She writes that during the gold rush, one way to reach Northern California was by “stage or other cloven-hoofed transport”. Does she think stages were pulled by oxen? Or unicorns? Maybe a comma was needed and she didn’t mean for the cloven hooves to be included with the stages. However, she still excludes the possibility of anybody riding a horse to California. I suspect the real problem may be that she doesn’t know what cloven hooves are or which animals have them.

    She wrote that railroads “spiderwebbed across the continent” but I don’t see any resemblance between railroad lines and spider webs.

    A woman’s “forceful figure” (not the woman herself) wears a suit.

    A woman’s nose (not the woman herself) searches for a “wisp” of the smell of cooking during a downpour. How likely is it she could smell something so faint during a downpour? Maybe the character knows better than that, but her nose is an idiot?

    Also in the downpour, “the looming ocean scent tinged the air.” I can imagine the air being tinged in a fog — but a downpour? And even if the downpour was tinged with a scent—would it be looming?

    The rain “snuck down my collar and tried to steal the warmth from the small of my back.” The rain had a mind of its own and was trying to make her miserable? Wouldn’t getting her wet have been enough for it?

    In a building where someone was killed and the body already removed, the main character notices blood on a floor. She smells “the burnt, rusting odor of Oscar’s defeated red blood cells, the ghosts of whom I imagined still hung in the dusty air of the Green Vase, searching for his spent, expired body.” (Green Vase is the name of the antiques store where the man died.)

    She mentions an “oval-shaped cover” on something. Something else has a rectangular-shaped panel. Since “oval” and “rectangular” are shapes, the “-shaped” isn't needed on them.

    Someone has earrings the size of chunks. What size are chunks? Are they as small as a fragment of a chocolate chip in a cookie? Or as big as a piece of rock that's fallen from a cliff and is too heavy to pick up?

    I could go on. I’m not sure there is any page that doesn’t include an example of bad writing. Did this writer take a course in which it was drilled into the students that you should never just say something if you can embellish it? And that you should take it to the point where readers cringe as they make their way through the thick and tangled forest of your words? If so, her teacher would be proud.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2012

    Hunter tp jpsie

    He corners her. I have you now!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted March 7, 2015

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    Posted April 1, 2010

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    Posted February 7, 2011

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    Posted January 8, 2011

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    Posted June 2, 2010

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