What the Cat Saw by Carolyn Hart

November 2, 2012
How do you get a warm fuzzy feeling from a murder mystery?
Well, I don't know how you do, but that's the feeling I had while reading What the Cat Saw by Carolyn Hart.  This is the first book by Carolyn Hart that I've ever read, and it probably won't be the last.  In fact, I believe this is the first in a new series by her and I think I am interested enough in the characters to check out the next few.

What the Cat Saw was a fast entertaining read.  There was a bit of traditional old-fashioned mystery story going on.  No goo or gore.  No detailed autopsy reports.  No cops in high-heels running after the bad guy.  Just a comfy - cozy, cup of hot chocolate kind of crime to be solved.

And, of course, the crime must be solved by someone not really in law enforcement.  You know those guys, police, detectives, the ones who really should be snooping around.  The ones who really ask questions that can hold up in court.  Nah, we have Nela Farley, who used to be an investigative reporter but she lost her job.  And now she's filling in for her sister at a place where there has been a mysterious death.  She's also feeding the cat (Jugs) of the dead woman.  Then there’s Steve, also an investigative reporter, who may be the love interest in future books.  Anyway, these two, Steve and Nela solve the mystery...cause reporters are so much smarter than police

I enjoyed both Nela and Steve.  Ms. Hart did a great job of slowly building my interest in these two characters.  I'm sure, as the series progresses, I will become even more involved in Nela and Steve.  The romance in this book was a soft, gentle, budding romance and the couple did not hop into bed with each other at first glance. In fact, there was nary a kiss throughout the whole book.  There was an underlying sensual tension between the two characters that I found refreshing.  I'm looking forward to the development of this relationship. 

Now, I did have a couple of quibbles.  The title of the book implies that the cat, Jugs, is going to be a big part of this book.  While there were some interesting cat thoughts being communicated to Nela, I thought that there should have been more.  I did find the cat's disjointed words and Nela's ability to pick up on them rather interesting.  I just wish there had been more, because it was fun. 

The other quibble I had was that I had a hard time believing that people/suspects were going to spill their guts to a pair of investigative reporters, especially in this day and age.  I also found it hard to believe that the detective/police eventually seemed to turn over the case - or at least the questioning - to Nela.

But, those were minor quibbles.  Mainly I found this book a fun read...not as in funny, ha ha, but entertaining.  And I will definitely be reading the next in the series.

Time/Place: Current USA
Sensuality: Sweet, Just Under the Skin Tension

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