by Lorie Lewis Ham
Details at the end of this post on how to enter for a chance to win an ebook copy of the book and a link to purchase it from Amazon.
Ninth Life is the second book in the Caitlin Reece mystery series by Lauren Wright Douglas. It was originally published in 1990 and won a Lambda Literary Award for Best Lesbian Mystery. It was rereleased by ReQueered Tales in February of 2022.
Caitlin is an ex-lawyer who once worked for the Crown Prosecutor’s office (think the D.A.’s office in this country) in Victoria, British Columbia. She left that life behind and now works as a sort of private detective—though a better description may be that she is paid to help right wrongs. Her past connections help her with her investigations. While she is definitely tough enough to qualify as a hard-boiled style detective, both physically and with her sometimes snarky attitude, she has her softer and more intellectual side as well—she is a Shakespeare scholar, and a classical music aficionado.
In Ninth Life, Caitlin is hired by a woman with the code name Shrew to pick up a package—seems easy enough. But of course, it doesn’t turn out that way. Shrew is killed in a suspicious accident and the package contains a blind and maimed cat and photographs of animal experimentation. Shrew was a member of a militant animal rights organization called Ninth Life who had infiltrated the cosmetics company Living World because they believed they were experimenting on animals. Of course, Living World denies everything. The other members of the group believe Shrew was betrayed by one of their own and murdered because of what she had learned. When asked by one of Shrew’s associates in Ninth Life, Alison Bell, to find out what really happened, Caitlin agrees to take the case against her better judgment. She needs the money, and it doesn’t hurt that she is attracted to Alison. Caitlin also comes up against members of CLAW, a splinter group of Ninth Life. As if that wasn’t enough, her cat has been acting off lately and she is worried he may be ill.
Ninth Life is filled with twists and turns and edge of your seat action and it also makes you think. Set in the 1990s, Caitlin has to solve this case without most of the technical advantages that we have now, but she is surrounded by an eclectic group of characters who help her along the way. Caitlin is an interesting and complex character with hard edges and a soft side. I really like the side story with her cat. If you enjoy a good mystery with great and well-developed characters, don’t miss Ninth Life. I look forward to reading more in this series as it continues to be re-released by ReQueered Tales!
To enter to win an ebook copy of Ninth Life, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “ninth,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen March 26, 2022. U.S. residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
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