Cat’s Meow (The 2 Sisters Pet Valet Mysteries)
2nd in Series
Setting – Oregon
Publisher : Lyrical Underground (March 23, 2021)
Paperback : 187 pages
ISBN-10 : 1516110188
ISBN-13 : 978-1516110186
Kindle ASIN : B08BXB523Z
Retired schoolteacher Gwen Franklin has a new pet project—and a sideline in sleuthing. But this new case has a dangerous sting in the tail . . .
Gwen’s calendar has been filling up ever since she was hounded by her best friend, Nora, into starting 2 Sisters Pet Valet Services. Now they’ve been invited to attend the annual Clear the Shelter event, hosted by Portland’s very own blonde bombshell newscaster, Babs Prescott. Babs is convinced she’s top dog among local celebrities, but it’s clear that someone disagrees when Babs’ body is found following a downtown press conference.
A story this juicy would be headline news at any time, but especially once local crime reporter Shelby Tucker is arrested for the murder. Gwen was Shelby’s high school teacher, and she’s sure her former pupil is innocent. But in that case, who was itching to take Babs out of the spotlight for good? As Nora and Gwen investigate, they find personal mysteries at odds with Babs’ public persona, all leading to a killer who’s not pussyfooting around . . .
2 Sisters Pet Valet Services is surprisingly still up and running and gaining clients. So much so that Gwen and Nora have been invited to the annual Clear the Shelter event which will be hosted by Babs Prescott, a local newscaster with overwhelming assets. Sadly someone decided to cut Babs’ broadcasting career short. Her body is found in a parking garage following a press conference and local crime reporter and Nora and Gwen’s friend Shelby Tucker has been arrested for the crime. Shelby was one of Gwen’s best students and she knows the woman wouldn’t kill anyone. So again, the 2 Sisters insert themselves in another investigation this time to determine who took down the blonde bombshell.
Oh, my stars! The Friendly Bean is Nora and Gwen’s home away from home but Gwen likes her coffee “dark and black and hot”. She may be convinced to try a cappuccino or a mocha but the woman has her limits.
When Nora tried to press her into a healthier drink she had this response . . . “Not if it means drinking milk made from nuts. If God meant us to drink almond milk, he’d have given them little almond boobs”.
In the first book in this series, Doggone Dead, I really didn’t like Nora because of the way she ran roughshod over Gwen but this time Gwen gave as good she got a lot more often. Don’t get me wrong Nora is still as overbearing as ever and she did insert herself into one event that really made me want to tug on her leash and pull her right out of the book to allow Gwen to enjoy herself without Nora’s interference. I feel Gwen has grown quite a bit from the first book and still has plenty of room to grow. Nora has shown her true colors and I am not sure she has any desire to change or grow.
I did enjoy Shelby taking on a larger role but hated that she was the main suspect in Babs murder. Brent is a flawed character and could eat 24/7 if there was food in front of him. I do feel both Gwen and Nora have taken advantage of his child-like nature. I am glad he has found Rachel and that she cares for him just the way he is.
I loved that we met more canine characters. Sometimes the pets can steal the scene and that is just fine with me.
The mystery this time was interesting as the suspect list continued to grow. Several meetings were held to discuss the case and plenty of food was eaten and coffee drank. I was excited by the new additions to the group. The ladies get a big assist from a surprising source that seemed to fit seamlessly with the group too. There were a few nice twists and I was surprised when the whodunit was revealed.
The Pet Valet Service goes on hiatus during the investigation and I was sad to see this as a lot of humorous scenes stem from their canine, feline, and aviary clients. They did agree to take on one special case but that experience ended up being pretty short.
Cat’s Meow . . that title puzzles me a bit . . . was a very entertaining read with amusing characters and a lighthearted mystery investigation. I am looking forward to the next book in the series, Playing Possum with be out on October 5.
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About Dana McCaslin
McCaslin began a life-long love of mysteries at a very young age. She bypassed Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden and went straight for Agatha Christie, thanks to her mother’s library books. Dane is retired from a twenty-plus-year career in teaching high school and college English, and she uses her newfound freedom to read for pleasure, write mysteries, and smell the roses.
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