Dial M for Meow (Bookshop Kitties Mysteries)
by Ruth J. Hartman
About Dial M for Meow
Dial M for Meow (Bookshop Kitties Mysteries)
1st In Series
Setting – Green Meadow, Indiana
Gemma Halliday Publishing (January 10, 2023)
Number of Pages 153
Digital ASIN : B0BKHF9T7K
When children’s book author, Christy Bailey, receives a call from her aunt Betty to help out at her bookshop, she drops everything to go. Christy packs up her two cats—Milton and Pearl, the stars of her children’s mystery books—and leaves busy Philadelphia for tiny Green Meadow, Indiana. The timing of the call is perfect, as Christy’s letch of an ex-boyfriend has just cleaned out her savings, leaving Christy with a pile of unpaid bills and a desire to start over. And what better place to do that than a charming small town in Middle America?
But when Christy reaches her aunt’s bookshop, instead of small-town hospitality she finds a dead body! Even worse, her aunt is passed out in the corner, hands covered in blood. The dead woman is an old frenemy of her Aunt Betty, and while Christy knows her aunt is innocent, the local detective isn’t so sure. With Milton and Pearl prowling for clues, Christy is determined to find the real killer and clear her aunt’s name… before her story ends in tragedy!
Children’s author Christy Bailey has always loved books and her visits to see her Aunt Betty and her wonderful bookstore, Words to Read By. So when her aunt calls and says she needs help at the store just as she finds out her ex-boyfriend helped himself to her bank account leaving her unable to pay her bills she doesn’t think twice. She throws everything she can in her vehicle including her two favorite felines, the stars of her children’s mystery series, Milton and Pearl, and heads out of Philadelphia for Green Meadow, Indiana.
She arrives to find the bookshop closed and her aunt nowhere in sight. An old friend shows up though and they are both concerned. Using her key to get in Christy is shocked to find a dead woman in her aunt’s recliner and her aunt unconscious nearby with blood on her hands. There is no way her aunt could hurt anyone but of course, she is the number one suspect. To make matters worse Betty has no memory of what happened. Anxious to find the real killer, Christy with a little assistance from her inquisitive kitties starts her own investigation. She came to Green Meadow to help her aunt but she never thought it would be to help keep her out of prison.
I have to start this review by saying how much I love Milton and Pearl. I love that they are the stars of a series of children’s mysteries and that they love the attention of their adoring public. That they can help solve mysteries like their fictional counterparts is just icing on the cake. It is very apparent that the author loves cats and that she has some around her to inspire her. They really shine in this story.
Christy is a fabulous cat mom and appears to be a successful author. Her boyfriend must have been quite a snake to get away with stealing from her. I hope when she gets settled she sics the law on him. Her Aunt Betty is a real treasure and I love the way they work together. My mom’s name was Betty and she also owned her own business in a small town so it was someone like my mom that I pictured when reading about Betty. I am looking forward to seeing more development with both of these ladies to see if I am envisioning them properly.
Christy reconnects with her old friend Janie. Janie is a grabber and a hugger and they seem to pick up right where they left off as kids. There is also a young doctor in town. Easy on the eyes, does his job well, and perfect to be the new man in Christy’s life. I was not too impressed with the other residents we met in Green Meadow. I grew up in a small midwestern town and I know there are always a few quirky individuals and grumpy old men but this town seems to be overflowing with people with poor dispositions. I hope we meet some cheerier residents as the series continues to offset the curmudgeons.
The author did a fine job of plotting out the mystery. I was really surprised by the motive for the murder but not totally surprised who the killer turned out to be. There was a limited number of suspects and clues were nicely dropped along the way. I appreciated the exciting showdown where those lovable cats played a role in how everything turned out. There was one thing in the book not resolved though. It was intriguing so I look forward to it hopefully playing out in the next book.
Dial M for Meow was a fun read and while Christy’s cats aren’t necessarily as magical as Sofie Kelly‘s Hercules and Owen, I think her readers would enjoy meeting Milton and Pearl. I can’t wait to visit Words to Read By, and the Bookshop Kitties again soon.
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About Ruth J. Hartman
Ruth J. Hartman spends her days herding cats and her nights spinning mysterious tales. She, her husband, and their cats love to spend time curled up in their recliners watching old Cary Grant movies. Well, the cats sit in the people’s recliners. Not that the cats couldn’t get their own furniture. They just choose to shed on someone else’s.
Ruth, a left-handed, cat-herding, farmhouse-dwelling writer uses her sense of humor as she writes tales of lovable, klutzy women who seem to find trouble without even trying.
Ruth’s husband and best friend, Garry, reads her manuscripts, rolls his eyes at her weird story ideas, and loves her despite her insistence all of her books have at least one cat in them.
Also by Ruth J. Hartman
Find More Books by Ruth J. Hartman Here.
Great Escapes Praise for Dial M for Meow (Bookshop Kitties Mysteries)
by Ruth J. Hartman
DIAL M FOR MEOW combines clever cats, cantankerous characters, and bookish interests with murder in a new cozy series.
~Cozy Up With Kathy
Dial M for Meow takes readers to the Midwest where there is a mysterious murder, clever kitties, a beloved bookstore, a childhood companion, a kindhearted relative, and sleuthing…
~The Avid Reader
Clever cats, likable characters, a bookshop, and a well-written mystery all add up to a five-star read for me!
~The Plain-Spoken Pen
A purrfect cat cozy that will leave readers meowing for more!
~Mochas Mysteries & Meows
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”