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by Eileen Watkins
Kensington, December 2019
256 pages
ISBN: 1496722973

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Cassie McGlone, owner of Cassie's Comfy Cats, agrees to demonstrate grooming techniques at the upcoming Cat Expo using her new mobile grooming studio. According to Perry Newton, the Expo promoter, the demonstrations will be opportunities to show off shelter cats looking to be adopted. Perry is also excited that pop star Jaki Natal, is doing an interview with her well-know Scottish Fold purebred, Gordie, at the Expo in addition to performing a mini concert later.

After her grooming demonstration, Cassie attends Jaki Natal's interview. Midway through the program, lights flicker before going off completely followed by a fire alarm. During the evacuation, Jaki's assistant is approached by an official looking man offering to help Mira with the cat carrier containing Gordie. As the group reaches safety, Jaki wants to check on Gordie, who has now disappeared. Even worse is the discovery that a security guard, stationed in the stairwell, is found murdered.

Jaki implores Cassie to find Gordie who needs medication for chronic issues specifically arthritis and liver disease. Perry informs Cassie that security for the Expo is extra heavy to protect Jaki from a stalker and serious email threats. The next day, Jaki receives ransom notes for Gordie so now, Detective Angela Borelli adds cat kidnapping to her murder investigation, speculating the cat thief may be responsible for the guard's murder.

Cassie finds herself really busy: doing cat grooming demonstrations; checking in with her mother who is attending the Expo to support her new boyfriend showing his purebred white Sphynx; keeping her eyes open as she checks out exhibits with Mark. When she follows a suspicious character snooping around the Expo she alerts Det. Borelli, who discovers the man dead. It seems he was a PI, hired by the fellow who gave Gordie to Jaki, also trying to find the missing cat.

Eileen Watkins writes wonderfully complex mysteries, weaving together the various plot threads into an intriguing story. Her characters, both human and feline, are engaging and distinctive. The feline centric world in Chadwick, NJ, is a delightful and interesting place to visit, especially when there's a mystery to solve.

Ruth Castleberry has worked as an investigator for Pinkerton's, a city desk assistant on the Charlotte News, free-lance writer, marketing/business strategy consultant, competitive intelligence practitioner and digital marketing consultant.

Reviewed by Ruth Castleberry, December 2019

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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