The Cat, the Wife and the Weapon
Source: Review copy from the publisher.
Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
When quilter Jillian Hart returns to her lake house in Mercy, South Carolina, she discovered her boyfriend, Tom, is missing-and his estranged half-brother has moved into Tom's house. Jillian doesn't trust the guy, especially since he allowed Tom's diabetic cat to escape. When police officers find Tom's wrecked car with a dead stranger inside, Jillian is determined to find out what what kind of trouble Tom has gotten himself into.
The Cat, the Wife and the Weapon is a cozy mystery. This book is the fourth in the series, but you don't need to read the previous books to understand this one, and this book didn't spoil the mysteries in the previous books.
The heroine was a sensible lady, at least when it came to dealing with a crisis. She was directly involved in the events, so she didn't have to poke about to find clues--the clues were happening all around her. Whodunit wasn't difficult to figure out, though it took a little longer to figure out why.
The characters were either super-nice people who all wanted to cooperate to solve the mystery, or they were mean, scary, or obnoxious "bad guys." It was fairly easy to determine who would play what role in the story. And the eighteen-year-old boy acted like a twelve-year-old who came from a loving, sheltered family, not a runaway from a abusive, neglectful family. So the characters were fun, but not very realistic.
The cats and dog were also main characters, and their every action was mentioned, even if it was just to go lie in the sun. They acted like idealized versions of cats and dogs (or Jullian interpreted their actions that way).
The author frequently cut short potentially suspenseful scenes which meant that the novel lacked suspense. The story wasn't always predictable (in the sense that the scenes could have had this, that, or the other happen, but didn't), but it was never surprising.
There was no sex. There was a minor amount of explicit bad language and a minor amount of fake bad language. While the novel wasn't bad, it also didn't leave me sorry to see it finish. If you like mysteries involving lovable cats and dogs, then you'd probably enjoy this one.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
Excerpt from Chapter One:
Cats don't worry, I thought as I pulled two of the three pet carriers from my minivan and lugged them to my back door. I disabled the security alarm and carried a couple fur kids inside. Cats are brave, sometimes afraid, always curious, but they do not worry. How wonderful that must be.
Worry had plagued me my entire trip home to Mercy, South Carolina. For the last week, I'd been on a business trip, traveling across a few Southern states selling my handmade cat quilts at craft fairs and cat shows. November can be a sweet month in South Carolina, weather-wise, and offers lots of opportunities to sell my wares. I'd had a successful tour, but my cell phone had not rung once during my journey home. I'd left at least ten messages for my friend Tom Stewart. Maybe more. Why wasn't he calling me back? Had I left too many messages and he'd gotten tired of my calls? Or had there been some kind of emergency?