Title: The Cat, the Quilt and the Corpse
Author: Leann Sweeney
Genre: Cosy Mystery
Opens: My cat is allergic to people – yes, odd, I know – so when I came in the back door and heard Chablis sneeze, I stopped dead. Why was she sneezing?
My Thoughts: THE CAT, THE QUILT AND THE CORPSE is the first of the ‘Cat in Trouble Mysteries’ and I can’t wait to work my way through the rest. Shortly after moving to their retirement home in Mercy Jillian’s husband dies leaving her a widow and single mum to 3 rescue cats all named after different wines. Jillian’s life now revolves around her cats and her online business of making and selling cat quilts. She does not mix much with other folk in Mercy, still grieving her loss.
The story opens with Jillian returning home after attending a quilting show; as she walks through the door she hears one of her cats sneezing – this may not be immediately seen as a problem but this cat is allergic to humans so a sneeze indicates someone has been around. Jillian finds that she has been broken into and one of her cats has gone. She calls the police to report a kidnapping – but kind of gets off on the wrong footing when she says my baby has been taken. When the police dispatcher finds out the ‘baby’ is a cat she is quite dismissive.. Candace Carson is one of the police officers sent to investigate the crime and she becomes firm friends with Jillian, and through her Jillian starts to interact with the community. Candace wants to be a ‘proper’ detective and is a stickler for gathering forensic evidence and bagging it up. A habit condemned as overkill by her senior who is disinclined to treat the catnapping as an important crime and writes it off as a prank. Jillian decides to do some investigation herself to find the catnapper, and starts to meet other Mercy residents and make friends while she investigates; including the charming ex-cop now PI, Tom Stewart who installs her new security system. When Jillian decides she knows who has stolen her cat she impulsively goes to his house to confront him – and there she does find her cat, but also an open door through which she finds the catnapper’s body with a knife sticking out of him. There are also more cats in the house. The police once again turn up to investigate the murder and decide to follow who gains the most from his death after they decide it is probably not by Jillian. Jillian decides the police are wrong and the murder must be cat related so starts her own investigation to find the owners of the cats – and maybe the murderer as well. THE CAT, THE QUILT AND THE CORPSE has a few twists and turns that kept me guessing until all fell into place at the end and I slapped by hand on my forehead and said DOH – because it absolutely made sense!!
Mercy is a perfect small-town community with a gossip network that has Jillian’s head spinning at how fast the information gets around. All the support characters are alive on the pages, and there are some delightfully quirky ones, Leann Sweeny writes very well and describes vividly the relationships between the different characters and their interactions; the gossipy information leaving this reader thinking she is almost part of the community as well. Jillian is a not a dithery, brainless woman – she is intelligent, determined and brave and I would love to sit down with a glass of iced tea and have a chat. The cats are themselves they don’t talk or do any investigating or even hint with a twitch of a tail. But they are very central to the story and make their presence known.
For more about the author – Click Here
B – Great – I really enjoyed reading it and it is a book I will be recommending to all my friends who like this genre.