The Black Cat Knocks on Wood By Kay Finch: Review/Giveaway/Guest Post

Jun 18, 2016 | 2016 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze, Pets, Sandra Murphy

by Sandra Murphy
& Kay Finch

This week we have a review of the latest bad luck cat mystery by Kay Finch, along with a fun guest post by Kay about the cat in her books. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of The Black Cat Knocks on Wood, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.

The Black Cat Knocks on Wood: A Bad Luck Cat Mystery By Kay Finch
Review by Sandra Murphy

Sabrina Tate wrote a mystery and now it’s time to edit — for her agent! Of course, like most writers, she’s easily distracted by things like Aunt Rowe’s participation in the Senior Pro Rodeo. Rowe qualifies as Senior but is far from pro. She and her friends are learning to rope goats!

Then there’s the matter of one of Rowe’s friends, Pearl, who wants to borrow Hitchcock, Sabrina’s black cat. He’s known as the bad luck cat. Pearl wants to put him in the local real estate office. It seems she signed a lease to expand her candy store and now Crystal, her realtor, is shopping the space again, claiming there never was a lease. Pearl thinks she deserves some bad luck — and she gets it. book

When Crystal’s body is found, by Pearl, no less, she’s high on the suspect list due to some less than well thought out decisions. Rowe wants Sabrina’s help to prove Pearl is innocent. There are some other distractions as well. Sabrina’s former boss, Rita Colletti, is in town. She even thinks that Sabrina would be happy to work for her again — no, not ever, never!

Deputy Rosales is determined to annoy Sabrina as much as possible, going so far as to claim she has a warrant to test Hitchcock’s fur for a DNA match to black fur found near Crystal’s body. Surely that wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that Rosales is after Sabrina’s boyfriend, would it?

There are a number of potential suspects, including Crystal’s assistant, her soon-to-be-ex-husband, her son, unhappy clients, or your choice of one of the guys at the rodeo. Several have motive.

If Sabrina wants to get that book done, she’ll have to clear up the murder first. After all, who can rearrange the plot on the page when a real murder plot is staring you in the face?

This is the second in the Bad Luck Cat Mystery series. Hitchcock is a master sneak as many cats are. He can slip out the door and hitch a ride into town before you know he’s gone. Sabrina is a sensible woman which is more than you can say for Aunt Rowe who is eccentric at best. Her friends, well, birds of a feather and all that. The mystery is a challenging one, but all the clues come together at the end. Although Sabrina can’t wait for Rita to leave town, she is likely to be disappointed in that regard which can only lead to more aggravation — Rita is just that kind of person.

Look for recipes for black bottom cupcakes, Texas cowboy cookies, and no-bake cheesecake at the back of the book.

P.S. There were no goats harmed during the roping practices!

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the Arch, in the land of blues, booze and shoes—St Louis, Missouri. While writing magazine articles to support her mystery book habit, she secretly polishes mystery books of her own, hoping, someday, they will see the light of Barnes and Noble and a Kindle. You can find several of Sandra’s short stories at Untreed Reads including her newest, “Arthur,” included in the anthology titled, Flash and Bang, available now. Look for Denali, in the anthology Dogs and Dragons.

Hitchcock – Not a Witch’s Cat
by Kay Finch

I know there are people who claim black cats are bad luck, that we’re witches’ familiars, that you should never let us cross your path. I’m here to tell you, that’s a bunch of hooey. My name is Hitchcock, and I’m a perfectly friendly and harmless pure black cat. There are those in the Texas Hill Country who will refer to me as the Bad Luck Cat. Like there’s any such thing! There isn’t. And as far as being a familiar – the only thing I’m extremely familiar with is eating and sleeping, like most every cat. I never even knew a witch. If I saw one streaking across the sky on a broom, I’d probably run and hide – same as you.


Kay Finch

Now that we have that craziness out of the way, let me tell you a little more about me. I spent the better part of my life fending for myself and finding table scraps here and there. That was before I met Sabrina Tate. Yes, the soon-to-be-famous (in my humble cat opinion) mystery author, Sabrina Tate. She’s the one who named me Hitchcock shortly after I started sitting on her window sill and watching her write. She said I helped her with the suspense in her writing and that’s why she named me Hitchcock. Seems there was some dude with the same name who made some suspenseful movies. She could’ve named me Adam and I’d’ve been fine with that, so long as it meant I’d get to live with Sabrina in the Monte Carlo cottage at her Aunt Rowe’s Around-the-World rental cottages.

In spite of living in one place these days, I still make the rounds pretty well. People who live nearby have gotten to know me and watch out for me – just in case I’m trying to slip into their car or truck when they least expect it. The beauty of living at the cottages is there are always new people arriving to rent a place – new people who don’t expect me to catch a ride with them. That’s the easiest way to make it into town and who can expect a cat to sit around in the same spot all day long when there are mysteries to be solved? Sabrina’s a good sleuth, but without my help I’m not sure how quickly she could solve a crime. Not to mention she really needs someone to watch out for her and keep her safe. I’m her man – err, cat – and I don’t let her out of my sight for very long lest she head down a dangerous path.


Kay’s cat Alice

You can read more about us in the Bad Luck Cat Mysteries by Kay Finch – Black Cat Crossing (September 2015) and The Black Cat Knocks on Wood (June 2016). Kay’s a cat person from way back – beginning on a farm in Pennsylvania where she wrote mystery stories as a little girl and once had 17 cats at the same time. Later, she moved to Houston, Texas, where she joined a critique group with other “cat mystery” people you may know – Leann Sweeney and Miranda James. Kay wrote a lot of mysteries with her kitty, Alice, by her side. And the rest, as they say, is cat mystery history.
Regards from,
Hitchcock the Cat.

To enter to win a copy of The Black Cat Knocks on Wood, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “knocks,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen June 25, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.

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  1. Sounds good and I like the cover
    Another must read for me

    • Thanks, Barbara.

  2. Looks like a fun read. Like eccentric old ladies. At least Sabrina can say she’s never bored. Appreciate the chance to get the book. A cat knocking on wood? Would like to see that

    • That was my first thought when my editor suggested this title – a cat can’t knock on wood. At that point they had their mind made up on the book title, and nothing I said would change it.

  3. Sounds good! I like mysteries that aren’t easy to solve till the end.

  4. OK< give me a cat on the cove and I'll read it!!

  5. The cover is very interesting! Sounds like a fun read.

    • Love the cover!!! I’m one of “those” readers who let the cover influence the read decision … 😉

  6. Great sounding book!!!
    Thanks for the opportunity to possibly be a winner of it!

  7. New to me author and series – sounds like a good one.

  8. The Black Cat Knocks on Wood sounds like a fun read. Kay Finch is a “new-to-me” author … thank you for introducing me to her books! Thank you for this chance.

  9. I loved the first book & can’t wait to read this one. Great review & interview.

  10. I read the first book in the series and really enjoyed it! I’d love a chance to win this one.

    • Thanks, Yvette. Glad you enjoyed Black Cat Crossing.

  11. sounds interesting.

  12. Oh me pick me

  13. This looks like a great read. Thanks

  14. Have added this to my TBR list and can’t wait to read it!

  15. I really enjoy book with cats in the story. Hitchcock is a great name for a cat in a mystery. Can’t wait to read.

  16. My Mom always loved black cats and they were good luck for her but another note is that the old Movie “The Black Cat” is a great mystery film with a fantastic cast if you like the1940’s and I do…thank you for the contest.

  17. I love cat cozies.

  18. We have a winner!


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