by Kathleen Costa
We have our first Christmas mysteries of the season this week, including The Cat of Christmas Future by Kathi Daley. We also have an excerpt from the book and a fun recipe for your holiday baking! Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win either a print or kindle copy of The Cat of Christmas Future, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.
The Cat of Christmas Future: A Whales & Tales Cozy Mystery by Kathi Daley
Review by Kathleen Costa
Be a Big Kathi Daley Fan…It is Ho-Ho-Ho Holiday Fun!
Kathi Daley is the best at penning entertaining books set at the holidays making Halloween, Thanksgiving, and especially Christmas very special for cozy fans. First published in January 2015 with Romeow and Juliet, her Whales and Tails Mystery series has fourteen delightful books set on Madrona Island off the coast of Washington State treating us to clever cozy mysteries with a twist. Caitlin Hart often gets involved in murder investigations, and along with friends and family, gets some unique assistance from a variety of cats who show up to provide focus and direction, then find their way into someone’s heart. But for Christmas Kathi Daley trades featuring a murder for just plain mystery. In the first Christmas edition, The Cat of Christmas Past (2015), Cait sets out, with the help from a cat named Ebenezer, to solve a cold case and hopefully warm the heart of a local curmudgeon who is ready to evict a building full of tenants. In The Cat of Christmas Present (2016), the strange appearance of a cat named Clarence coincides with finding an amnesiac on the beach, and the newest treat, The Cat of Christmas Future, does not disappoint. The mysteries abound!
The Cat of Christmas Future earns 5/5 Delightful Déjà vu Detectives!
Kathi Daley’s Whales and Tales Mystery series is one of my top ten favorites, especially during the holidays. Caitlyn Hart again is excited, aren’t we all, about the upcoming Christmas festivities: family gatherings and lots of Yuletide cheer. But she didn’t expect the accident on the highway, and her brother Aiden in the hospital. While the family, always front and center, is helping Aiden recover, Cait is approached by a mysterious cat. Is that you, Ebenezer? Fans know well about the little twists and clever cozy mysteries, but newbies should not shy away from the paranormal bit. It all works. The curious appearance of these cats and Tansy, the cat whisperer, is a clever and fun way to explain Cait’s working with and talking to fur friends delighting my inner animal lover. “Meow!”
The Cat of Christmas Future tale revisits some of the first Christmas tale, and newbies should be aware of a couple of spoilers making it important to point out that one might want to start with reading book one. That also explains why Cait herself is struck by ‘déjà vu jingling’ which eerily is reminiscent of events two years ago. Back then tenants were looking at homelessness courtesy of a curmudgeon landlord, and today a warehouse full of illegal squatters are facing the holidays on the street due to the demands of the new owner to start renovations immediately. Cait and boyfriend Cody find a remedy by arranging housing for the dozen or so squatters, but Cait is taken by the young pregnant girl. She offers her temporary employment at the Coffee Cat Books, a place to stay, and even help to try and locate the baby’s father. As details become clearer and very engaging and additional events unfold, Cait, Cody, and friends and family work to bring a merry Christmas to everyone.
Excerpt from The Cat of Christmas Future
Cait and Cody are discussing the third annual Christmas Eve party that they throw at the home of an elderly neighbor who previously had no one to spend the holiday with.
“When we get back to the cabin we will come up with a plan to tackle both the daddy hunt and Burt’s situation,” Cody replied. “As for the Christmas stuff how about we plan to go shopping after we get off work tomorrow. We can grab dinner in town and then come back and have a wrapping party.”
I leaned my head on Cody’s shoulder. “That sounds good. I guess being organized really will be the key to getting everything done. Did you remember to call the rental shop about extra tables and chairs for the Christmas Eve party?”
“It’s all taken care of. I went ahead and rented table cloths, dishes, and serving trays as well. How is the food coming along?”
“Francine is going to organize all the food,” I informed Cody.
Cody squeezed my hand. “See we are crushing this thing.”
“Yeah, I guess we are. I haven’t sent out any formal invitations but I have personally spoken to everyone we’ve discussed inviting. I figure that there will be extra guests who show up at the last minute so I think we should add at least fifteen percent to whatever head count we come up with. So far we are at fifty-seven.”
Cody laughed. “Do you remember that first year when we were simply going to have a small dinner party with Mr. Parsons so he wouldn’t be alone at Christmas?”
“It was a sweet idea that quickly took on a life of its own once we found out that there were others with nowhere to go, but we did manage to bring Christmas to a lot of people who would have been alone, and Mr. Parsons seems like a changed man as a result of the event. I know it is a lot of work but I think it is important as well.”
“It is important and I love that our first tradition as a couple is one that brings happiness to so many of our friends and neighbors.”
I smiled. “I guess as traditions go, the party for those who are alone over the holiday is pretty awesome. Maybe it is a tradition that our children and even our grandchildren will carry on to benefit the community.”
“I love that thought.”
“It is nice to think about a tradition we started living on into the future.” I stopped walking and looked up at the cloud covered sky. “But first things first. How about we head back and open a bottle of wine. We can make a list of ways to tackle the missing daddy situation and then I thought maybe we could start practicing for our honeymoon.”
“You know what they say: Practice makes perfect, and I want our honeymoon to be the most perfect honeymoon ever.”
Peanut Bunches (Good for cookie exchanges)
Recipe from The Cat of Christmas Future:
Submitted by Taryn Lee
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1/2 semisweet chocolate chips
Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Mix sugar, milk, and butter in a small sauce pan. Bring mixture to a boil. Take off heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla until blended. Mix in remaining ingredients. Drop tablespoon size mixture onto cookie sheet. If your mixture becomes too stiff add in another couple of drops of milk. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm. This makes about 2 dozen bunches.
To enter to win either a print or kindle copy of The Cat of Christmas Future, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “future,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 2, 2017. U.S. residents only for the print copy. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address. PLEASE STATE IN ENTRY WHETHER YOU WANT PRINT OR KINDLE.
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