Catherine “Cat” Cooper, the narrator of this superior series launch from bestseller Laurie (the Psychic Eye mysteries), embarks on a new career as a life coach in East Hampton, Long Island, after selling her marketing firm for $50 million—and her husband of 16 years leaves her for another woman. To Cat’s dismay, her first client, Erma Kirkland, “a mess both financially and socially,” admits she’s been skipping car payments in order to afford Cat’s services. At least Erma is friendly, in contrast to Cat’s neighbor, Heather Holland, who keeps complaining to the town board about the construction of Cat’s new house. When Heather is found with her head bashed in by a crystal punch bowl owned by Cat, Det. Steve Shepherd of the East Hampton PD regards Cat as the chief suspect. Aided by her best friend, Gilley Gillespie, Cat sets out to find the real culprit. A mysterious new tenant in Cat’s office building, Maks Grinkov, adds some romantic heat, and Cat’s AI butler, Sebastian, serves as an unusual supporting player. Cozy fans will embrace this intelligent heroine with plenty of backbone. Agent: Jim McCarthy, Dystel, Goderich, & Bourret, Literary Management. (Nov.)
The Hamptons heat up when a life coach has to turn detective to exonerate herself in the death of a frenemy.
Now that she's proven herself a successful businesswoman, Catherine Cooper, sister to Laurie's Psychic Eye series heroine Abby Cooper (A Panicked Premonition, 2017, etc.), is interested in helping others in her role as a life coach. Even though her first client, Erma, is a hot mess, Cat's sure she can help Erma turn things around. It's not for nothing that Cat has earned her new East Hampton home, so maybe Erma can follow her lead, though Cat isn't successful in all ventures. Take her relationship with neighbor Heather Holland, which is lukewarm at best. Cat thinks things may be warming when Heather invites her to a luncheon, but Heather clearly has other plans, arranging things so that Cat's mistaken for the help. Cat simply leaves, thinking she's seized the upper hand by opting out, but Heather once again one-ups Cat by getting killed at the luncheon and leaving Cat as the No. 1 suspect. Not only that: Cat is arrested publicly while on a date with handsome, albeit mysterious, Maks Grinkov, who may just be one of the most perfect men she's ever met. Heather would have been thrilled. To recoup her freedom and perhaps her love life, Cat teams up with Gilley, her housemate and sassy friend extraordinaire, to figure out who would want to kill Heather and would have the guts to pull it off. The clueless but resourceful pair are up against Detective Steve Shepherd, who seems to have picked Cat as his one and only suspect. If Cat and Gilley can stay out of trouble long enough, they just might solve the crime.
Laurie's new series focus pays off in her hallmark flairs of fun without the baggage of long-term character building.