Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am happy to feature
Brushed Up on Murder by Ruth J. Hartman today!
Brushed Up On Murder: A Mobile Cat Groomer Mystery
by Ruth J Hartman
About Brushed Up On Murder
Brushed Up On Murder: A Mobile Cat Groomer Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Indiana
Level Best Books (April 18, 2023)
Print length : 275 pages
ASIN : B0BXB8BZMQ
The life of a cat groomer isn’t just pampering purring felines, it’s murder.
Mobile Cat Groomer Molly Stewart loves her job. Until she finds the dead body of one of her pet parents stabbed with a garden implement in his backyard. When Molly’s uncle Russ becomes the prime suspect in the murder and the sheriff won’t consider anyone else, Molly claws through obstacles as she prowls for clues.
With help from handsome veterinarian Hank Chenowith and Molly’s two cats, Percival and Jasper, will Molly succeed in proving her uncle’s innocence before the real murderer pounces on her?
Molly Stewart owns the Fabulous Feline Salon where she grooms cats at the salon or in the back of the business’s mobile van. She was happy to donate a cat grooming gift certificate to the auction to raise money for the town library’s new wing. One of her regular customers, Durbin Haines is determined to win the prize and he does. He also wants to use it immediately for his precious feline Jasper.
After Jasper’s grooming is complete Molly heads to Durbin’s home to return the cat. When no one answers the door she steps around into the side yard where she finds a very dead Durbin, a garden tool stabbed into his chest. At first, the sheriff rules it an accident but when Molly points out a few things he decides to investigate the case further. He quickly lands on a suspect too. Molly’s Uncle Russ because both were bidding on the new library wing and shared a few terse words.
With Durbin dead and his wife not wanting his cat Molly ends up with Jasper and her usually mellow feline, Percival is one unhappy cat. Her home becomes a long way from peaceful but they both help Molly along with Hank Chenowith, the hunky local veterinarian sort of the clues in the case to find a way to clear her uncle of the crime. She needs to watch her step because her snooping could come back to bite her and she could be the killer’s next victim.
This new series from Ruth J. Hartman is off to a great start. The theme is fun and Molly’s community is flush with felines bringing a lot of business her way. She is assisted by her friend Veronica Waters. Both are strong women and they love their jobs. I enjoyed their fun banter and the way they worked together. Veronica also allows Molly plenty of time for her amateur sleuthing. We also meet Hank Chenowith, the local vet who is very single and very easy on the eyes and Veronica would like nothing better than for him and Molly to get involved romantically. Neither seems quite ready for that but . . . We are also introduced to a couple of cool cats, Percival and Jasper. They stole my heart. This author sure has a way with kitty cats.
The mystery was very well-plotted with an ample number of suspects. Ms. Hartman did a great job of misdirection including some nice twists. I think I fell for everyone until I knew I needed to double-check myself. So I twisted my own thinking and clues fell into place for me right before the reveal and exciting showdown.
I do love the way the author infused comedy, usually courtesy of Percival into the story. He sure gave me a case of the giggles more than once.
Brushed Up On Murder was a very entertaining read that I thoroughly enjoyed. I am looking forward to visiting Molly, Percival, Jasper, and the rest of these fine characters again soon in the next Mobile Cat Groomer Mystery.
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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. See updates about her cozy mysteries at Ruthjhartman.com.
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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.”