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Posted April 1, 2014
The Whole Cat And Caboodle is the first book in the A Second Hand Cat Mystery series.
I really enjoyed this new series. It is a book filled with humorous, enjoyable characters and an interesting cat named Elvis. I will also be checking out the author's other series, A Magical Cats Mystery, written as Sophie Kelly.
Sarah Grayson owns a second hand shop in North Harbor, Maine and employs two of her dearest friends, Liz, Rose and Charlotte, and Mac who has given up his job as a stockbroker and helps out refinishing items and pursuing his love of sailing.
Sarah is getting ready to give a class on color washing furniture at Legacy Place a seniors residence, when she notices another elderly friend, Madeline, is missing from the class. After class, Sarah and Charlotte stop by Maddie's house to check up on her. They find Maddie seated at a table on the patio, staring at her dead beau, Arthur Fenety. The police are called and everyone is questioned, but when the results are known from the autopsy, Arthur had been poisoned, Maddie is soon arrested. Sarah and her elderly friends are sure that Maddie didn't kill Arthur, but the police say different. As the ladies begin to look for the real killer, they learn that Arthur has four wives that they are able to find out about and it's anybody's guess as to how many girlfriends he might have. He has been scamming the ladies out of their monies, so it is a matter of finding out who was hurt the most and wanted revenge in the worst possible way.
The characters in this book are very enjoyable and likeable. Sarah is all wrapped up in her shop, right now, to even consider a romantic interest, but that may change with Nate, who has recently returned to Norht Harbor. Nate is one that Sarah had a romantic encounter when she was a 15 year old girl spending the summers there. And Nate is wrapped up in his new job working for the Medical Examiner's office. Liz, Charlotte and Rose are in their senior years, but quite active. In the pursuit of the real murderer, they refer to themselves as Charlie's Angel. They may not be Columbo's, but their determination sure does make up for it. And there is Avery, Liz's granddaughter to add a teenagers point of view. I can't forget that adorable cat, Elvis. Elvis decided that Sarah would be a good human to live with and is enjoying being the mascot for Second Chance, Sarah's second hand store. He of course spends most of his time charming the customers, but also has the talent for judging honesty of people, which comes in handy with Sarah looking for a murderer.
A delightful and fun new series and I will be looking forward to the next book.
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Posted April 9, 2014
This was a well done light read. The mystery was good, the characters felt real, and the setting seemed charming.
The humor throughout was also well done. "Charlies (Charlotte's) Angels" were a hoot! I hope there is a book 2.
Posted April 6, 2014
Cat and mystery lovers alike will love Sofie Ryan's new series featuring Elvis, a very savvy kitty. The Whole Cat and Caboodle is the first book in The Second Chance Cat series. Readers who enjoy a good whodunit, with a kitty cat twist will find Elvis irresistible. Ryan's success with the Magical Cats series, under the name Sofie Kelly, proves that she knows what she's talking about where felines are concerned and killers too. With an elderly con artist, a capricious cat and some very good friends, new cozy protagonist Sarah Grayson is on the case!
What I liked:
I totally adored the Magical Cats series from Sofie Kelly and knew that this new series under a different name would be just as good. Sofie Ryan may be a new name, but readers are still treated to the same amazing characterizations and descriptions of feline behavior that will keep them reading for hours on end. Ryan has a knack for knowing how cats and other animals get into the hearts of readers and she uses it to her advantage. I love the way she makes the reader wish they had a cat that was just as clever as Elvis.
There were lots of things that I liked about Sarah as the protagonist for this series. First of all I liked her profession. She has a second hand shop with vintage furniture and other items that can be re-purposed and brought back to life for some new person to enjoy. I have always enjoyed taking someone else's junk and making it my treasure, so I appreciated this theme a lot. I also liked Sarah's attitude. She goes to the nursing home to teach seniors how to re-purpose things as well. That was endearing on it's own but her relationship with the three elderly ladies who help her out in the shop was the best part of this book for me.
Liz, Rose and Charlotte provided a lot of comic relief for this book, calling themselves Charlie's Angels and helping to solve the mystery. But the thing that made this one special was how Sarah, a younger woman treated them and developed such an endearing friendship with them. And the entire mystery also features another senior, Maddie who ends up the murder suspect. I think Ryan did a great job of showing the unique kinds of friendships that can develop between women of all ages.
The mystery was well written and a lot of fun to try to figure out. It seems that Maddie's new beau Arthur was quite the con artist. When he ends up dead on the patio, apparently poisoned, Maddie is the main suspect. I loved finding out about all the women that Arthur had conned along the way. Including four wives and slew of girlfriends. It made for a great mystery and readers will love all of the ins and outs of the case.
What I didn't like:
Not much to report here. This was a great first book in a series and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next with this group of characters. Elvis could have had a more substantial role in the book and that would have been fine. He was a great feline character.
This is a great new series, with a very interesting heroine. Sarah and her feline sidekick Elvis get in to all sorts of trouble that readers won't be able to keep from laughing about.
Posted April 14, 2014
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