Fat Cat at Large By Janet Cantrell: Review/Guest Post

Sep 13, 2014 | 2014 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze, Pets, Sandra Murphy

by Sandra Murphy
& Janet Cantrell

This week we have the first book in a fun new series–Fat Cat at Large by Janet Cantrell. Janet aka Kaye George shares a fun guest post with us after the review about the real life cat who inspired the cat in the book. Details on how to win a copy of the book at the end of this post, along with a link to purchase the book where a portion goes to help support KRL.

Fat Cat at Large By Janet Cantrell
Review by Sandra Murphy

Quincy is an escape artist. Give him a door that isn’t quite latched and he’s outta there, always in search of the next fine dining experience. Dr. Ramos, who is a pretty nice guy otherwise, says Quincy is overweight, like fifteen pounds is too much for a cat! The outrage! Since his person, Chase, refuses to give him a decent meal and monitors the treats he gets while working in the office of the Bar None (bar cookies), he has to take nutrition into his own paws.

One of his forays pays off in terms of meatloaf. Unfortunately, the maker of said meatloaf is lying on the floor, stabbed to death. Chase is the one to find him. She almost pulls the knife out but rethinks the consequences…and is caught in the act. That helps put her in the Number One Suspect spot. Well, that and the fact that she’d argued with Gabe and thrown him out of Bar None earlier that same day.book

When a second body is found (Chase didn’t get along with him either), things are looking bad. Add to all that stress, the fact that Bar None’s two employees are at each other’s throats, there’s money missing from the cash register, boxed bar cookies have gone AWOL and her business partner, Anna, suspects Chase is the one with a hand in the till. What could be worse? An ex-boyfriend showing up, that’s what. One who starts hanging out with Chase’s best staff member.

Quincy is not the point-out-clues kind of cat although he does help, and nor does he talk. Readers are privy to some of his thoughts, which mostly focus on food. Chase does develop a recipe that convinces Quincy to eat the Evil Diet Food and lose weight (included in the back of the book). There’s also a recipe for Hula Bars, made with walnuts, pineapple and coconut. Quincy recommends them.

The characters are well-drawn, Quincy is a delight, Chase doesn’t take silly risks and the supporting cast are keepers. Dr. Ramos, diet aside, and Detective Olson are both possible romantic interests as well. All in all, this is a series readers will love.

Use this link to purchase this book and a portion goes to help support KRL:

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 two mystery books of her own, hoping, someday, they will see the light of Barnes and Noble. You can also find several of Sandra’s short stories on UnTreed Reads including her new one Bananas Foster.

My inspiration for Quincy
By Janet Cantrell

When my daughter was in college, in the same town we lived in, she roomed with her dear friend from high school, who was—and still is—an incurable animal lover. Eventually, the friend became a veterinary worker. Even back then, a few years ago, she worked actively on behalf of the animals in her life. There were two feral female cats at their apartment complex. No one seemed to be able to catch them to neuter them, so they had litter after litter. The Mommy Cats may have been malnourished, because they left the kittens on a doorstep nearby when they were only a few weeks old. Daughter and Friend to the rescue! They took in the kittens, bottle-fed them, got them neutered when they were old enough, and adopted them out through local pet stores.

However, the market became saturated (or something), and the number of kittens in the apartment grew alarming. To me. There were a few that were about 8 or 9 months old and considered unadoptable.

One day I made the mistake of telling Daughter, “You have to do something. The apartment is becoming unsanitary.”

“Well, Mom, you could take a couple of them.”


Janet Cantrell

We were at a cat-less stage in our life, being down to one dog. We were used to having cats, though, so I agreed to take two of the male littermates. They came pre-supplied with names and they both answered to their names, as much as cats do that.

The litters were curious. In every one, all but one of the kittens were black and one was gray. The gray cats were a completely different kind—different body type (longer and leaner with narrower heads) and different fur (coarser, shorter, and thicker).

We took one black and one gray. The black one, because he had been a feisty kitten and was predicted to become a mighty warrior, was named Agamemnon. The gray one was thought to be a female at first and was named Lady Jane Grey. When his testicles descended, late, he already answered to Jane, so his name was switched to James.

I had often had two littermates at a time and they sometimes played together, sometimes not. These two, not. But Agamemnon and the dog, a Golden Retriever named Cory (Corona Golden Sunshine—named by our children), became fast, life-long friends.

Memnon, as we called him, was the most clever cat we’d ever had. I would dangle a cat toy for James and he would pounce and be amused. But when I dangled it for Memnon, he wasn’t fooled a bit. He eyed the toy, followed the string with his eyes, and saw that I was manipulating it. Ho hum.

One of his favorite sports was glass tipping. He would artfully hook one claw over the lip of a glass, preferably one full of liquid, tip the glass slowly and gently, and dart out of the way while it finished spilling, and wouldn’t get one drop on himself. We learned not to leave a glass sitting anywhere. Unfortunately, our guests weren’t always in on this.



Even though he was overweight most of his life, he could jump at least 12 feet in the air against the outside wall of the house, chasing lizards. About half the lizards we saw were tailless. Those were the ones that had met Agamemnon.

I never had to worry about scorpions or tarantulas. The only ones I ever found in the house were dead and stiff and being batted about by one of those two.

When Cory, the dog, lost her sight, Agamemnon started sticking very close to her. At first, I thought it must be annoying having the cat weave in front of the poor dog, brushing him as they went. Then I realized that the cat was guiding the dog! The dog didn’t really need guiding, but seemed content with the arrangement. Agamemnon grieved for a good long while after Cory died one January, mostly of old age. I planted a forsythia bush over Cory’s ashes in the spring. I had Agamemnon inspect the ashes before I put them into the ground and he seemed to get over his grief after that.

When Agamemnon himself died, I planted a lantana over him. It’s tough, hardy plant and seemed appropriate.

I’m so happy I can resurrect my cat’s antics and some of his foibles in the character of Quincy, the cat who belongs to Chase Oliver. Chase co-owns a dessert bar shop in Dinkytown, Minneapolis, MN. Quincy has been put on a diet and, in an attempt to find something better than diet kibble, happens upon a murdered man, plus some clues. I hope you’ll love Quincy as much as I loved Agamemnon.

To enter to win a copy of Fat Cat at Large simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Fat,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen September 20, 2014. U.S. residents only.

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

Janet Cantrell is a pen name for Kaye George, Agatha nominated novelist and short story writer. She belongs to Sisters in Crime, Guppies, and Austin Mystery Writers. Her cozy Fat Cat mystery series debuts in September of 2014 with FAT CAT AT LARGE, featuring Quincy, a pudgy, adorable cat who is an accomplished escape artist. Especially when he’s on a diet and hungry. Leave it to Quincy to lead his human, Chase, co-owner of a Minneapolis dessert bar shop, into trouble. Janet lives in Knoxville TN with her husband. Her recently departed feline, Agamemnon, is a source for some of Quincy’s antics. Visit janetcantrell.com for more details.


  1. I think you mean “to win a free copy of FAT CAT”…not Cypher…?

    • Thanks for catching that! It is now fixed

  2. Would love to win

  3. Great Article..

  4. I think it’s great that you can use your new series to keep the spirit of Memnon alive for yourself while introducing him to readers. What a wonderful salute to a faithful companion.

    I’d love to win a copy of Fat Cat at Large, of course, and it would get me started on this series. The review sets up the plot nicely. I’ll also be looking for for Sandra’s works.

  5. Quincey sounds like he had a clever and delightful role model. Looking forward to reading this book and the rest of the fat cat series as it progresses. Congrats janet /Kaye !

  6. Thanks for sharing Agamemnon’s story! I’ll look forward to reading the books. Thanks for the chance to win this one!

  7. Most enjoyable read. Always glad to know there are other animal lovers who keep positive memories of their companions. Look forward to reading your latest. Thank you for chance to win a copy.

  8. What a great premise for a series. I love it that Qunicy is integral to the plot. Every human needs a feline to keep them on the straight and narrow! Looking forward to a great read and to the start of a great series.

  9. Looking forward to starting this series.

  10. Loved hearing about the inspiration for the book.

  11. Sounds like a great book. I love series featuring cats and dogs.

  12. We have a winner
    Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher


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