by Cynthia Chow
Details on how to win a copy of Cat on a Cold Tin Roof at the end of this review.
The last thing hard-boiled Cincinnati private detective Eli Paxton wanted to be called was Pet Detective. Since his last two cases involved a racing dog and a valuable horse, it’s inevitable that when a rich widow needs a gun-for-hire to find her missing cat, Eli gets the case.
Former financial advisor to the Mafia, the late Malcolm Pepperidge was gunned down in his home observatory. All his widow cares about is Fluffy, the tabby who went missing during the murder. Because of blizzard conditions, Eli is more concerned about appearing to detect than actively searching. Through luck and detective work, he locates the elusive feline. His client is less than thrilled with the cat’s return—Fluffy isn’t wearing her multi-million dollar diamond-encrusted collar. Poor Eli, instead of getting a reward, he’s thrown in jail.
Eli considers himself to be the last of a dying breed. Lacking a GPS and cell phone, Eli spends his time watching classic detective movies with his cranky West Highland White Terrier, Marlowe. He relies on snitches for information, not Wikipedia. Although a loner, Eli is surrounded by friends who prove vital to his investigation. Lieutenant Simmons provides the initial referral as well as critical inside information, an overly-friendly “Family” member becomes Eli’s partner/rival for the cat collar, and Eli’s landlord Mrs. Cominsky goes from criticizing his lack of Peter Whimsey-ness to becoming his co-detective when letters seem to bring out all of the perverts in Ohio.
Third in the Eli Paxton series, the book brings backs the spirit of noir, just updated. Wry humor and an ever-unlucky hero draw in the reader and have us cheer for him even as we know things will never go smoothly for Eli. In this very funny mystery, the stakes are high, especially after the arrival of a South American cartel’s hired killers.
The twist of such a classic, hard-boiled, noir detective being relegated to pet cases is an ironic and entertaining twist as the high-octane plot goes to unexpected places. The genre-blending, award-winning author of numerous science fiction, fantasy, and mystery novels continues his streak of crafting unique characters, plots and places with his own distinct mark.
To enter to win a copy of Cat on a Cold Tin Roof, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Roof,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen August 16, 2014. U.S. residents only.
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