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Catnapped! (Dead-End Job Series #12)

Catnapped! (Dead-End Job Series #12)

4.6 10
by Elaine Viets

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No more pussyfooting around! Husband and wife PI team Helen Hawthorne and Phil Sagemont have barely scratched the surface of the world of show cats when a cornered kitty kidnapper’s claws come out....

This show cat is a no-show....

The one thing celebrity Trish Barrymore and her no-account accountant husband, Mort, can agree on in their


No more pussyfooting around! Husband and wife PI team Helen Hawthorne and Phil Sagemont have barely scratched the surface of the world of show cats when a cornered kitty kidnapper’s claws come out....

This show cat is a no-show....

The one thing celebrity Trish Barrymore and her no-account accountant husband, Mort, can agree on in their bitter divorce is shared cat custody. But when Mort is found brained by a mahogany cat tower, and Justine, their pedigreed Chartreux show cat, goes missing, Trish calls on Helen and Phil. Despite a ransom note from the catnapper, Trish is still the prime murder suspect in the eyes of the police. As they await the post-Mort-em, it’s up to Helen and Phil to find the feline filcher and let the cat out of the bag.

Discovering that Mort had some shady dealings within cat show circles, Helen goes undercover as an assistant for a woman who shows prizewinning Persians. But Phil is not buying Trish’s cat-that-swallowed-a-canary act—he thinks she might be staging the whole catnapping.

As Helen and Phil get deeper into a high-pressure world of primping, posing, and purring to collar a killer, they get caught up in a cat-and-mouse game where the stakes are literally life and death....

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
At the start of Viets’s lively 13th Dead-End Job mystery (after 2013’s Board Stiff), Helen Hawthorne and her fellow PI husband, Phil Sagemont, set out to retrieve a Chartreux show kitten, January’s Jubilee Justine, from financial adviser Mortimer Barrymore after Mort fails to return the animal per the terms of the shared custody agreement with his wife, Trish, from whom he’s almost divorced. The pair find Mort dead at his estate outside Fort Lauderdale, Fla.—his head was bashed in with Justine’s mahogany Zen Cat Tower, and there’s no sign of Justine. Sure that Trish isn’t the killer, Helen takes an undercover job as a cat groomer to search for information on the abducted kitten and alternate suspects. Meanwhile, the unexpected return of landlady Margery Flax’s ex-husband, Zach, disrupts Helen and Phil’s home life at the Coronado, their apartment building in Fort Lauderdale. The behind-the-scenes look at the show cat world is worth the price of admission alone in this witty cozy. Agent: David Hendin, D.H. Literary. (May)
From the Publisher
Praise for Catnapped!

Catnapped! moves at a brisk pace as Helen learns the difference between pet owners and those who pamper their star felines to the extreme. An intriguing subplot…adds an extra boost to Viets’s witty story.”—South Florida Sun-Sentinel

“Lively.…The behind-the-scenes look at the show cat world is worth the price of admission alone in this witty cozy.” —Publishers Weekly

"Cozy mystery tales just can't get any better than Catnapped!"—Fresh Fiction

"A perfect beach read and most enjoyable." —Spinetingler Magazine

Library Journal
Cat lovers can unite behind Helen and Phil as they track down a missing feline in the high-stakes world of pedigreed cat shows. This title makes it a baker's dozen (after Board Stiff) for the clever duo.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Dead-End Job Series , #12
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
Praise for the Dead-End Job Mysteries by Elaine Viets, Winner of the Anthony Award and the Agatha Award

“A stubborn and intelligent heroine...a wonderful South Florida setting.”—Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of the Sookie Stackhouse Novels

“[Viets writes] quick-witted mysteries.”—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

“Wickedly funny.” —The Miami Herald

"Lively plots and broad humor...highly entertaining."—South Florida Sun-Sentinel

“Viets shines at evoking Florida’s vibrant landscapes and even more colorful characters.” —Publishers Weekly

“Moving Helen from dead-end jobs into full-time employment does nothing to stifle her quirky good humor.”—Kirkus Reviews

Meet the Author

Elaine Viets has actually worked many of those dead-end jobs in her mystery novels, just like her character Helen Hawthorne. She is also the author of the Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper series and numerous short stories. Elaine has won an Anthony Award and an Agatha Award. She lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with her husband, reporter Don Crinklaw.

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Catnapped! (Dead-End Job Series #12) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts Each book is better than the last!! Phil and Helen had their hands full in this story. A catnapping, a murder or two, drama at the Coronado, and Helen learns all about cats and cat shows in her latest Dead End Job. Thankfully her cat Thumbs is pretty self sufficient as long as the food and water dish is full and the litter box is clean. There were really two plot-lines twisted together. This kept me as the reader very engaged. Margery, owner of the Coronado apartments, is always a very interesting character with the cigarette swirling around her head. In Catnapped! she gets a blast from her past that puts her front and center for most of the story. We also see how some kitty parents go a bit crazy about their pets. Most of us love our pets dearly and they become important parts of our families but Trish and Mort are just a bit out there when it comes to their beloved feline. The author has given us yet another wonderful mystery that takes us to sunny Florida to visit our friends at the Coronado. The residents there are like one big family. Their antics will make you laugh out loud, but they always have each others back. A “cativating” story that is fun and entertaining. A “Purrfect” Escape!!
judiOH More than 1 year ago
i love elaine's books. both the dead end jobs, and the mystery shopper. catnapped derals with the cat show people. trish and her soon to be ex ,mort are fighting over everything but the show cat, justine. on mort's week-end with the cat he is murdered and the cat--napped. story revolves around the missing justine, and the epople that populate the cat show world. phil and helen now have their own P.I. company and are pulled into this world to find justine. there is so much in this story, that it's hard to put down. you want to know what's going to happen next. margery, the owner of the coronado apts.,where helen and phil live and work, learns her apts need a major makeover. her ex-husband, zach, turns up and wants to reunite with margery. he is found dead, and margery finds herself in jail. oh my there is so much in this story, i could not put this story down!! you won't be able to either, i promise. buy it, read it, and really enjoy it. humor, romance, and murder. gotta love it!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love Elaine Viets books. Had me laughing and crying in somw parts. Can't wait for the next one.
Anonymous 14 days ago
Elaine Viets is by far my favorite author. She hits it out of the park every single time! The stories of Helen Hawthorne have intrigued me for years. The series is the best I've ever read, and I find myself craving more. I'm currently working on building a collection of the entire series so I can enjoy them for a long time to come. Thank you, Mrs. Viets, for the amazing work you do! I'm always looking forward to the next installment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting characters, including all cats, and story lines. A fun read.
chefdt More than 1 year ago
Catnapped is the thirteenth book in the Dead-End Job Mystery series. Helen Hawthorne and Phil Sagemont have been hired by Nanci Hays to find Trish Barrymore's valuable show cat, January's Jubilee Justine. The Barrymore's are going through a very messy divorce and the only thing they can agree on is that Justine has the very best of everything. They have joint custody of the cat and when Mort Barrymore fails to return Justine at the appointed time. Trish's lawyer, Nanci Hays, rings Helen and Phil and gives them the case of the missing show cat. Upon arriving at Mort's mansion they find that Mort has been killed. Mort had a reputation of being “ladies man” and a player, so Helen goes undercover and get a job at a cattery. Hoping to get more information about his personal life and maybe learn who might have been jealous enough to do him in. Meanwhile, there are interesting times at the Coronado, where Helen and Phil live and have their office. The building is starting to show damage done by the salty sea air and Margery is in a turmoil as what about it. Adding to this, Zach Flaz her ex, who see hasn't seen in some 50 or so years, shows up and wants to pick up where they left off. Margery quickly becomes a “person of interest, so now Helen and Phil have a second case to work on. This was a quiet humorous segment of the book, as life with Margery always is. Will be watching for the next book in the series.
LisaKsBooksReviews More than 1 year ago
Unlucky number 13? Not with this thirteenth book in the Dead-End Jobs Mysteries! While I’ve read a few books in author Elaine Viet’s Mystery Shopper series, CATNAPPED is the first I have read in her Dead-End Jobs series. I could tell from the very beginning that this was going to be a fun book, and it was!  I love the character Helen and Phil, a husband and wife PI team, and Nancie, they lawyer for the firm they work for. Helene and Phil have a great relationship. I love the way they interact with each other. And Nancie, well, she’s a real piece of work. ;-)  I started laughing during the first chapter and kept laughing until the end. Ms. Viets has a wonderful sense of humor. But the humor in her writing didn’t diminish the wonderful mystery aspect of this story at all. It was tight and well plotted with plenty of twists in the story to keep me guessing. A real page turned that kept my brain working on the answer even when I was reading!  Because of CATNAPPED, I now have a new to me series that I will be adding to my TBR. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
VictoriaAllman More than 1 year ago
Elaine Viets has kept her Dead-End Job series going strong by focussing on the secondary characters that we, as readers of the series, have come to love. Catnapped is the dual story of a ransomed show cat that has Helen working in a cattery shampooing, conditioning and brushing the fur of pampered felines, as well as the story of Helen's loved land lady, Marjory, who has been arrested for the murder of her ex-husband. As always, the writing is tight and funny. Viets excels at teaching the reader something about the world in which Helen's investigations take place without making it sound like a research paper on show cats. Her main character, after 13 books, has remained flawed but interesting and someone you can root for, even when she bungles part of the investigation.  I always feel like I know a little more about South Florida after reading a Dead-End Job book, set in Ft. Lauderdale, and look forward to the next installment in this series. Victoria Allman Author of: SEAsoned: A Chef's Journey with Her Captain
gloriafeit More than 1 year ago
Helen Hawthorne, she of the formerly-dead-end-job-holders, at 41, is now able to spend her time solving cases with her husband of one year, Phil Sagemont; together they run Coronado Investigations. The two murder investigations for which they are hired in this newest series entry threaten the most important things in their lives: The agency’s very existence, as well as that of their home in the Coronado Tropic Apartments. The latter is due to the crumbling condition of the condo complex, as well as the fact that their landlady finds herself charged with first degree murder, the former a likely outcome of possible lawsuits. Helen and Phil are charged with clearing their client, socialite Trish Barrymore, with the murder of her wealthy husband, Mort. In the throes of a bitter divorce, the only thing upon which they agreed was shared custody of their beloved cat. But the husband turns up dead, and the four-month old cat is missing, apparently catnapped. The ensuing investigation takes Helen undercover working in a cattery and into the world of cat shows and their prize-winning entrants, not to mention the obsessive cat owners, where she soon learns almost more than she ever wanted to know about all of the above. For the reader as well, I might add! (But only “almost”; I am a cat-lover myself, and had no idea about cat shows, having only known of the dog variety.) The second mystery to be solved involves another once-happily-married couple: Their landlady is arrested for the murder of her ex-husband, from whom she has been divorced for 30 years after he was sought by the Feds for drug-dealing, compounded by his infidelity. All the action takes place in just under two weeks, with an epilogue tying up any loose ends of the plot and the lives of the various characters, each of whom, I might add, is wonderfully drawn. The resolution is very satisfying, as is the book as a whole. A perfect beach read, and most enjoyable.