by Sandra Murphy
Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of Black Cat Crossing, along with a link to purchase the book where a portion goes to help support KRL and indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy.
Sabrina quit her paralegal job in Houston, moved back to Lavender, Texas, and is trying to write a mystery. Her characters aren’t the cooperative type, though, in spite of the fact she’s working in the Hot Stuff coffee shop with the Bee Gees singing in the background—if that’s not the right atmosphere, what is?
Of course, she’s helping her Aunt Rowe, too. There are rental cabins to clean and prep for the next guests—and Aunt Rowe to corral so she doesn’t break her other leg (she had a nasty fall). Fortunately, Sabrina has help, in the form of Thomas as handyman and Glenda as cook and housekeeper.
Thomas blames everything that goes wrong on a bad luck black cat often seen around town. If his tale is true, the cat would have to be thirty years old! Still, there’s more than one person who’d like to trap the cat … or worse.
The appearance of Bobby Joe Flowers, Rowe’s cousin, is another cause for concern. In the past, he’s shown up, mooched free rent, food, and money if he could get it, and caused general havoc. When Rowe said no to money, Bobby Joe just stole jewelry and whatever he could find. This time, for someone who’s just arrived in town, he seems to know an awful lot about Rowe’s fall, Sabrina’s arrival, and what’s been going on in general.
His announcement that Rowe’s father had an affair with his mother (making him her brother, not cousin) sends the normally calm Rowe into a rage. Bobby Joe’s head meets the end of her crutch as a result, leaving a nasty cut, but he laughs it off, saying everything she owns is half his.
Sabrina is prone to a bit of insomnia and loves to bake at night. On a late-night trip from her cabin to the main house, she spots the black cat, who leads her to the river. There’s Bobby Joe’s body, deader than dead—and that puts Rowe, broken leg and all, right in the sights of the police.
Sabrina hears rumors that thirty years ago another body was found in the same place. Vicki Palmer’s family has never recovered from her death. No murderer was found. Sabrina has a feeling the two crimes are connected, but she’s the only one who thinks so.
Back to the important stuff—the black cat. Sabrina’s able to lure the cat into her cabin where she thinks he’ll be safe. However, the cat has other ideas and somehow finds his way out when she’s gone. He’s savvy, though, and is able to elude traps. It’s up to Sabrina to save the cat, solve the murder, and write her own mystery.
The setting is a good one with the rental cabins allowing for changing characters. Of course, Hitchcock, the cat, steals the show, with the kooky coffee shop running a close second. In a town where nothing is what it seems, secrets can come back to haunt you, unless you have a clever cat on your side.
This is the first in a new series and I’m looking forward to more chances to visit Lavender. Look for Sabrina’s recipes for pecan tarts, Texas toffee cake, and easy peach cobbler at the back of the book.
To enter to win a copy of Night of the Black Cat Crossing, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Cat,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 10, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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You can use this link to purchase this book where a portion goes to help support KRL & Mysterious Galaxy: