by Sandra Murphy
& Alex Erickson
This week we have a review of Dial M for Maine Coon: A Furever Pets Mystery by Alex Erickson and a fun guest post by Alex about their cat Loki. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book, and a link to purchase it.
Dial M for Maine Coon: A Furever Pets Mystery by Alex Erickson
Review by Sandra Murphy
Liz Denton is in the business of finding homes for hard to place pets. Right now, her latest foster is Seamus, a Maine Coon cat with a bad habit of sneezing. It’s not life threatening but sounds bad enough when it’s happening. He’s settled into her house and is friends with Liz’s calico, Wheels (she has her own chariot aka wheelchair to get around).
It’s time for Seamus to go to his new home with Joe Hitchcock. Liz finally gets Seamus into his carrier for the car ride, and they’re off. Joe doesn’t answer the door, even though they had an appointment. He won’t ever answer it again. He’s dead.
The police arrive and determine Joe’s real name is Joe Danvers. He’s suspected of killing his wife, Christine, thirty years ago. He was never charged because no body was found, only the word of a witness to say he’d see Joe going into the woods with a shovel.
Liz is intrigued by the cold case as well as feeling responsible to learn more about Joe. After all, she was going to entrust him with one of her fosters. What if her judgement is off?
In the meantime, the pet rescue run by her rival has gone to new lengths to tarnish Liz’s reputation. There’s no rivalry on Liz’s part, but Courtney thinks there’s only room for rescue in town. Plus, she charges a much higher adoption fee for the small dogs she places.
Ben, Liz’s son, is dating and seemingly in love with a young woman who is pushing him to buy a house so they can live together. Her daughter, Amelia, is working with Chester, a private investigator who has worked on Joe’s case from the beginning. And then there’s the mysterious stranger who seems to be following Liz.
This is the second book in the series. Liz is a sensible character, not prone to taking silly risks—unless she’s with Amelia who is much more daring. Liz is willing to let her kids make their own decisions although she does worry and maybe drops hints which is not the same as interfering. Seamus is a very large cat and despite his sneezing, one you’d love to adopt.
The mystery is a good one, entwining the past with the present to arrive at a satisfying conclusion. Erickson is also the author of the Bookstore Café mysteries (7), many reviewed here.
By Alex Erickson
Meet Loki. He’s fifteen pounds of lovable, black and white fluff that doesn’t have a mean bone in his body. He was discovered at the local pet store, locked in a cage, bright eyed, and just begging to be pet. Even though we weren’t looking for a new cat to add to our three, who could resist that face?
We went in, we met the kitty, and a few days later, he was on the way home.
Loki is one of the gentlest cats I’ve ever known. He doesn’t claw the furniture, and doesn’t take a swing at you if you accidentally step on his long tail. He’s also something of a coward when it comes to noises and strangers, so you don’t have to worry about him annoying guests or trying to run out the door when you get the mail. But he does have one little issue that might have been a big part of the reason why he was originally abandoned.
He sneezes. On everything.
Upper respiratory diseases are common in cats, and Loki has a couple of them. He doesn’t seem to mind them all that much, but on days when the heat is oppressive and allergens are floating heavily on the air, he looks miserable and can’t stop sneezing. His immune system is also attacking his teeth, so they need constant care. It all adds up to a cat who needs quite a lot of attention and maintenance to keep him as healthy as he can be.
Loki’s respiratory issues were the inspiration for the cat featured in Dial ‘M’ for Maine Coon, Sheamus. They both wheeze when they’re having a bad day, and their noses often whistle when they sleep. And, as already noted, they sneeze quite a lot. Yes, it’s gross. Yes, you sometimes see it coming and have to dive for cover before it hits because you will get a shower if you don’t.
But we love our Loki no less. His health issues aren’t his fault. He’s still the same furry ball of fluff who plopped down on my wife’s lap like, “Hey, let’s go!” the moment he was removed from the cage and brought into the little room for affection. There’s nothing we wouldn’t do for him, and that includes regular visits to the vet to make sure he doesn’t need a shot, or need to have a couple of teeth pulled.
I only wish others thought the same way we did.
There are thousands of animals who are abandoned because of issues like Loki’s. Some are born with health problems that they can’t control. Some have deformities. It doesn’t lessen them in any way, yet some people insist on seeing their faults instead of what makes them, well, them. These pets deserve just as much love as the perfect ones—sometimes more so.
Like Loki, Sheamus—which, by the way, was Loki’s name at the pet store—just wants to be loved. He wants to chase his fur-siblings around the house, wants to play with cat toys and sleep in cardboard boxes, just like every other cat. He wants to stare out the window and watch the birds dance across the birdfeeder, or to give the stink-eye to the neighborhood strays whenever they approach his territory.
So what if he occasionally sneezes? So do a lot of people. That doesn’t mean we gather them up and dump them off at the nearest human shelter so we no longer have to deal with it. Why do it to cats and dogs who only want someone to care for them, someone who will love them, no matter how much of a mess they cause?
When you’re looking for a new pet, don’t always go for the kittens and puppies who are in perfect health and would be welcome in thousands of other homes. Take in the one-eyed puppies, or the three-legged kittens. And, please, don’t forget about the elderly felines with only a year left to live. I guarantee that, like Loki, these often-overlooked animals will make it worth your while.
To enter to win a copy of Dial M for Maine Coon, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “coon,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen September 19, 2020. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If you are entering via email please include you mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. BE AWARE THAT IT WILL TAKE MUCH LONGER THAN USUAL FOR WINNERS TO GET THEIR BOOKS DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS.
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This book is a Barnes and Noble exclusive so it can’t be ordered on Amazon. Here is the link to the book on Barnes and Noble.
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