by Sandra Murphy
& Sofie Kelly
This week we have a review of the latest Magical Cats mystery by Sofie Kelly, Final Catcall. We also have a fun guest post from Sofie about literary cats. At the end of this post is info on how to win a copy of this book.
Final Catcall By Sofie Kelly
Review by Sandra Murphy
This is the fifth book in the series which features Owen and Hercules, cats with seemingly special powers–like going invisible or walking through walls. Of course, to anybody who lives with a cat, it’s not that unusual.
Kathleen, the cat’s person, has been dating Detective Marcus Gordon–until he goes into a snit about Kathleen’s involvement in crime solving and calls it quits on their relationship. On the other hand, her ex-boyfriend, Andrew shows up without warning and wants to get back together. It seems his impromptu marriage to a waitress he met in Vegas didn’t last–what a shock! Now he’s realized just what he lost and says he’s willing to do whatever it takes to win Kathleen back.
Poor Marcus, just when he takes a stand, things back-fire big time and he needs Kathleen’s help to clear his sister of a crime, a murder in fact. She’s an actress and the play’s director is found dead. He wasn’t much of a nice guy, so nobody is in deep mourning but rather trying not to show their relief at not having to deal with him again.
Kathleen’s mother comes to the rescue–she’s a Name in Hollywood and can save what’s left of the performance, if anyone can. The main problem is, in the world of theater everyone knows everyone else and there are connections, resentments and revenge to figure out besides regular clues.
Owen and Hercules are a delight–especially with Owen’s Fred the Funky Chicken catnip toy and Hercules’ new motorized purple mouse. Of course, they deserved the treats after they helped Kathleen find clues to the real killer’s identity.
It’s a tossup as to which is more important to the story–find the killer or pick a boyfriend to root for since Marcus has to admit his mistake and ask for Kathleen’s help–as she for once, gets to tell him to stay out of the
investigation– or Andrew, who made an even bigger mistake but is trying hard to beat out Marcus.
In between all the drama, Kathleen is able to run the library, keep Owen and Hercules happy, consult with her neighbor about a wedding and try to keep up with her friends and her challenging mother. There still hasn’t been resolution about Kathleen’s contract at the library–will she stay or will she go and if she goes, where? Although it’s not necessary, read the books in order, just for the fun of it.
Curiosity Thrilled the Cat, Sleight of Paw, Copycat Killing and Cat Trick (Copycat and Cat Trick reviewed in KRL)
By Sofie Kelly
How many times have you seen an author’s photograph and found a cat somewhere in the picture–sitting in a desk chair, peeking around an office door, or front and center in the author’s arms, looking directly at the camera with an enigmatic smile? Visit writer Krista Davis’s website and you’ll find photos of Mochie and Chloe. Mochie also shows up in her Domestic Diva mysteries. (In the interest of full disclosure Mochie and I are email buddies.) There’s a cat in best-selling author Lorna Barrett’s, Booktown mysteries as well. Miss Marple is bookstore owner Tricia’s cat. Barrett and her husband live with Betsy, Chester and Fred.
Mark Twain was a cat person; so were Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Raymond Chandler and Lucy Maud Montgomery. Ernest Hemingway provided for his cats in his will. Why is it that cats and writers seem to have an affinity for each other?
Writing is a solitary activity, even with the Internet to connect us to the rest of the world. If we’re not pounding on the computer keys, then we’re probably staring off into space, lost in our fictional world. Cats understand that, and they’ve figured out that those long stretches at our desks make our laps the perfect places to curl up for a little nap. Joyce Carol Oates said of one of her cats, “This kitty would not let me stir, dug in her claws if I tried.
So, no alternative but to write!” On the other hand, cats also know the value of a good stretch and a treat once in a while and they’ll do whatever it takes to get their writers up and moving, at least a couple of times a day, including sprawling across the keyboard, or sending a pile of research to the floor with just the flick of a tail.
Cats have a reputation for being independent and particular, but they’re gentle in their criticism. Read a cat that difficult scene in Chapter 12 and if she doesn’t like it, the most she’ll do is yawn or stretch and leave the room. A cat will never point out that Walmart is hiring greeters or ask you why you don’t write something like Fifty Shades of Gray.
Author Terry Pratchett has pointed out: “In ancient times cats were worshiped as gods; they have not forgotten this.” Cats keep writers humble, whether the writer has had a little success or a lot. Cats are not impressed by a perfectly crafted sentence, a title that’s a witty play on words or a five star review. Leave that contract you just signed lying around and very quickly you’ll find a cat lying on top of it. Make the best-seller list and a cat may give you a head butt of congratulations–especially if the celebration involves sardine crackers–but she’ll also point out the litter box needs cleaning.
Author and playwright, Robertson Davies, was very much a cat person. Writers like to quote what he said about cats: “Authors like cats because they are such quiet, loveable, wise creatures and cats like authors for the same reasons.”
Writing can be an ego-crushing business and sometimes it’s difficult not to take the rejection of our work personally–and maybe that’s the reason writers have such an affinity for cats. Cats, with their discriminating personalities, make us feel special. They don’t befriend just anyone, so when a cat winds around our ankles or nuzzles our chin we feel less like a reject and more like one of the chosen few.
To enter to win a copy of Final Catcall, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Catcall,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 23, 2013. U.S. residents only.
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