Kat Scratch Fever (Kat Colorado Series #8)

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Overview

Kat Colorado, "one of the toughest and toughest-talking of the new breed of female investigators"(Los Angeles Times), investigates a suicide and discovers a trail of blackmail, betrayal, and blood that ends on her doorstep. When prominent Sacramento attorney James Randolph suddenly commits suicide while under surveillance by Kat, she is stunned by the shocking images that confront her. But Randolph, the victim of a vicious blackmailer, is just the tip of a very dangerous iceberg, and his death has far-reaching ...
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1997 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. Sewn binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 320 p. Audience: General/trade.

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Overview

Kat Colorado, "one of the toughest and toughest-talking of the new breed of female investigators"(Los Angeles Times), investigates a suicide and discovers a trail of blackmail, betrayal, and blood that ends on her doorstep. When prominent Sacramento attorney James Randolph suddenly commits suicide while under surveillance by Kat, she is stunned by the shocking images that confront her. But Randolph, the victim of a vicious blackmailer, is just the tip of a very dangerous iceberg, and his death has far-reaching consequences in the community. Reporter J.O. Edwards is also intrigued by the suicide; an article he writes sets off a chain reaction, which encourages another of the blackmailer's victims to come forward. By chasing leads, finessing her contracts, and twisting a few arms, Kat - with J.O. on her heels - identifies a pattern, a web of deceit of frightening proportions. As Kat comes closer to her quarry, the blackmailer turns up the heat, resorting to brutal physical violence, threatening Kat, her friends, her family, and everything she holds dear.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
July 1997

Kat Colorado is at it again, solving crimes and getting to the bottom of mysteries that nobody else can figure out. As "one of the toughest and toughest-talking of the new breed female investigators"(Los Angeles Times), Kat is again working in her typical fashion. In Kat Scratch Fever she is investigating a suicide that leads her through a trail of blackmail, betrayal, and blood that finally ends up right on her own doorstep.

Prominent Sacramento attorney James Randolph suddenly commits suicide while under Kat's surveillance. Stunned by the moving sight and affected by the circumstances of his death, Kat dedicates herself to finding the key to his suicide by unraveling Randolph's past. However, Kat soon discovers that Randolph was the victim of a vicious blackmailer and was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. His death has extenuating circumstances with consequences that reach far into the community.

Reporter J. O. Edwards is also interested in the suicide, and when he writes an article about the situation, another victim of the blackmailer comes forward. With a rigorous determination, Kat follows her leads, finesses her contacts, and twists a few arms (only when necessary). This determination pays off as she soon picks up a pattern and begins to see a web of deceit with frightening proportions.

As Kat comes closer to some answers, the blackmailer turns up the heat with brutal physical violence, threatening Kat, her family and friends, and all that she holds dear. But in the typical Kat Colorado fashion, her driveandpersistence push her to investigate further. What will be the cost of such bold actions? At what point do you back off?

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In her eighth outing, scrappy Sacramento PI Kat Colorado (Honky Tonk Kat, 1996) exposes embezzlement and extortion at Hope for Kids, a charity that aids crippled and disfigured children. Attorney Richard Carter hires Kat to discover what's troubling his partner, Jim Randolph. Before she has a chance to get started, Randolph commits suicide, and Kat finds a sex video involving him that shouts "blackmail." With clever sleuthing, and her skill at extracting confidences, Kat discovers that the blackmailer usually strikes once, demanding a donation to Hope for Kids. Then Kat uncovers a separate scheme in which an embezzler skims from hefty contributions to Hope, unaware that much of the money comes from the wealthy prey of the wily, enterprising blackmailer. The two villains make for a great setup. The down side is that when Kat questions the blackmail victims, including some of her friends, they crumble like spongecake, eagerly revealing long-held secrets. Readers may identify the baddies early, but the blackmailer's motives are hidden and complex, requiring Kat to use all her cunning to trap him. Despite a plot leaning heavily on coincidence and a penchant for cutesy chapter introductions, Kijewski writes with wit and fine pacing, and Kat remains invigorating company. 18-city author tour. (June)
Kirkus Reviews
When Sacramento lawyer James Randolph kills himself just in time for the Christmas holiday, Richard Carter, the law partner who hired Kat Colorado to check up on Randolph and see what was bothering him (a typical assignment for Kat), is certain that only some personal disaster would've made him pull the trigger, so he gives Kat a blank check to go on with the case. Luckily for Kat, she's soon hired a second time on what turns out to be the same case, doubling her take while focusing her inquiry. The second client, prim, elderly, matter-of-fact Madeline Hunter, serves on the board of Hope For Kids, a local foundation Randolph had donated generously to. As Kat soon finds out, Madeline's being blackmailed by somebody who demanded she donate $100,000 to Hope For Kids. It doesn't take long for Kat, armed with her usual combination of charm, persistence, and bluff, to discover the shameful secret in Randolph's past—and to establish that an awful lot of Hope For Kids's funding seems to have been accrued in response to the blackmailer's solicitations. But no matter how sure Kat is about the blackmailer's identity, and no matter how many victims she identifies, none of them is willing to risk exposure to testify against this civic-minded monster, who meantime has succeeded in getting to Kat's best buds: her advice- columnist friend Charity, obnoxious reporter J.O. Edwards, even Lindy, the street girl she's rescued.

Kat's more successful as therapist than detective in her eighth (Honky Tonk Kat, 1996, etc.); the telling is long-winded, the culprit obvious, and the Christmas motif pounded home without mercy. Ho-ho-ho.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399142451
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/16/1997
  • Series: Kat Colorado Series , #8
  • Pages: 1
  • Product dimensions: 6.28 (w) x 9.38 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Table of Contents

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Interviews & Essays

Before the live bn.com chat, Karen Kijewski agreed to answer some of our questions.

Q:  Having been a teacher for almost a decade, what do you think about the current state of public education in the United States?

A:  I have been out of teaching for many years and know very little about what is happening in public education. I am saddened by how overburdened and underfunded our schools seem to be.

Q:  What is your opinion of the various P.I. television shows out there today? Honestly, were you a fan of "Magnum, P.I.?"

A:  I watch very little TV and am not familiar with the current P.I. shows. I saw Magnum only a few times, definitely enjoyed it.

Q:  Who do you think are a couple of the best mystery writers out there today? What about all-time?

A:  I think much of the best writing today is in mystery, so much that I find it impossible to single out one or two authors. I have many favorites.

Q:  I see that you were a bartender for over 12 years. What was the craziest thing you saw while tending bar?

A:  People who thought alcohol would drown their pain or kill their memories.

Q:  Do you still enjoy living in California? Do you ever see yourself leaving?

A:  I am very much a westerner and, especially, a Californian. I cannot imagine being anywhere else.

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