Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Cat, The Quilt, And The Corpse - Leanne Sweeney

The Cat, The Quilt, And The Corpse
A Cats In Trouble Mystery
Leanne Sweeney


Jillian Hart is effectively starting life over again. Widowed just ten months ago, she’s living in the dream home she and her late husband bought in the small town of Mercy, South Carolina. In self-imposed isolation after her husband’s sudden death, her constant companions are her cats, Merlot, Chablis, and Syrah, all purebreds rescued after Katrina. She fills her time making quilts for cats and for the children of veterans.

Arriving home after a night out of town at a show, Jillian notices that the TV is off (she leaves it on Animal Planet for the cats) and Chablis is sneezing. Chablis is allergic to human dander. Obviously, someone has been in the house. A broken window confirms this theory. And Syrah is missing. Even in a sleepy small town, the police don’t assign much urgency to a broken window and a missing cat, so Jillian decides to take matters into her own hands.

It’s an excellent reason to end her isolation, and she’s worried about Syrah. Deputy Candace Carson, a young woman looking to advance and very interested in forensic evidence, helps as she can. Jillian checks out the local shelter and finds out all about a local, aptly named Flake Wilkerson. He’s a hermit and many believe he collects cats; some of which belong to other people. A visit to his home finds the door open and Syrah in the driveway. Following Syrah into the house, Jillian finds Flake dead on the kitchen floor.

Naturally, she’s the prime suspect initially, but attention soon turns elsewhere. Jillian is not at all sure that the police have the right person in custody and she believes there’s more to the case that meets the eye. She’s very believable as a regular person drawn into events around her. Anyone who loves their pets will understand Jillian’s feelings when she discovers that Syrah is gone. Readers meet various town residents along with Jillian, making each encounter seem very natural. This is a solid start to a cozy mystery series.

Rating: 7
May 2009
ISBN# 978-0-451-22574-0 (paperback)


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