This book is very close to my ideal cozy mystery, and I almost missed out on reading it!
I’m not very good about keeping up with series that I enjoy, and I’ve been particularly out of the loop with cozy mysteries. I was offered The Cat, the Lady and the Liar for review, and jumped on the opportunity, since I liked The Cat, the Quilt and the Corpse. I didn’t realize it was book 3, and when I realized I had missed book 2 (this one), I almost skipped over it. I’m very glad I didn’t.
Summary via Goodreads.com:
Between her kitty quilt-making business and her three beloved cats, Jill has her hands full. That doesn’t stop her from wanting to solve the mystery of the milk cow that’s gone missing from her friend’s farm. But imagine her surprise when a stolen cow leads to the discovery of fifty stray cats and one dead body-a victim of cold-blooded murder…
Amateur sleuth? Check. Jillian, the main character is interesting in and of herself. She’s got a good back-story, and is living a quiet life that allows here the flexibility to follow up on cats in trouble when she finds them.
Supporting characters? Check. They were great this time around. OK, Tom might be a little too perfect in his role as love interest (smart, tech savvy, tough, emotionally aware, good looking… yum!), but beyond that… I like that Jill’s link to the Police Department is her good friend Candace, lending some girl power to the sleuthing. And Kara, with her link to Jill’s past, lent a nice bit of depth to the relationships here.
Bad Guys? Yep. There were kinda-bad guys, and really-bad guys, and it was hard to tell one from the other until the end. My one real issue with this book was the attempt to, in the end, redeem a really-bad guy into the kinda-bad camp. Sorry, his actions leave him firmly where he was for me.
Mystery? Yes! Clues were left and followed up on, and the final result and the track taken to get there all made sense. It was a little lightweight, as is to be expected from a cozy, but I don’t see that as a problem.
Hook? Yes, the cats are the cute hook that gives this series that something extra that cozies usually have. There were cats everywhere, wonderful pets, brand new kittens, kitties needing rescuing. There are smart cats, but not overly so– no cats knocking books off the shelf to spell the name of the murderer.
I’m really looking forward to reading the next book,and spending more time with all these characters– particularly the cats :-).