Brought to you by OBS reviewer Jeanie
In the bookmobile, librarian Minnie Hamilton and her rescue cat, Eddie, roll out great summer reads to folks all over the lake town of Chilson, Michigan. And when real-life drama turns deadly, Minnie makes sure justice is never overdue.
The bookmobile is making its usual rounds when Minnie and Eddie are flagged down by a woman in distress. The woman’s husband, a famous artist, needs emergency medical care. After getting him into the bookmobile, Minnie races the man to the hospital in time…but his bad luck has only just begun.
After disappearing from the hospital, the artist is discovered slumped over the body of a murdered woman. Minnie knows that her new friend didn’t commit the crime, but the evidence paints an unflattering picture. Now this librarian and her furry friend have to put the investigation in high gear and catch the real killer before someone else checks out. (from Goodreads)
Tailing a Tabby, the second novel in the Bookmobile Cat Mystery series is even better than the first, Lending a Paw! Laurie Cass has another hit with Minnie, the Assistant Director of the library which sponsors the bookmobile she oversees and the not-so-secret cat Eddie, who adopted the bookmobile in general and Minnie in particular. The unlikely pair live on a small houseboat during the summer, and in the winter they live with Minnie’s Aunt Frances, after her summer boarders leave.
One day as the bookmobile was finishing its rounds, Eddie began to act strangely, then suddenly a woman was in the middle of the road crying out for help. The woman’s husband had just suffered a stroke and needed immediate medical care. Minnie and Barb, his wife, helped him to the bookmobile, laid him gently inside, then raced – as much as possible in a lumbering, book-laden bookmobile – over bumpy back roads to the hospital. Minnie and Barb not only became nearly instant friends, Minnie quickly guessed that Barb’s husband who they rushed to the hospital was a famous artist.
Russell “Cade” McCade went to a rehab when he no longer needed the special care of the hospital. Shortly after he was transferred, Barb called Minnie in the middle of the night, urgently needing a ride to the police station. Cade was a person of interest in a murder, having been found slumped over the body of a woman just murdered. The police were very hesitant to believe why he left the rehab at midnight, especially since the records at the rehab did not completely corroborate his whereabouts for the evening.
Minnie contacted the best criminal defense attorney in the area to meet Barb and Cade at the police station. When it appeared that the police were not investigating beyond the artist, even though he was still handicapped by the stroke effects, Minnie spent her time away from work trying to help find out who the real murderer was so her new friends could focus on Cade’s recovery. After all, she had experience now, having had recently been successful in determining who the murderer of an elderly friend was!
Tailing a Tabby can easily be read as a stand-alone novel – but why miss the fun of Minnie’s maiden “voyage” with the bookmobile in Lending a Paw? Characters are believable, three-dimensional folks who would (almost) all be welcome in my neighborhood. Laurie Cass has a cast of characters who are clever, witty, eccentric, and even one or two who are just plain obnoxious. But are any of them really a murderer?
Minnie is the kind of loyal, helping friend and employee that many of us would appreciate and is an excellent match as an information and service provider in the library or bookmobile. She is intelligent, well-read, and intuitive. She makes her choices independently of other people’s opinions, such as living on a houseboat, yet truly appreciates her friends as they mutually contribute to the richness of each other’s lives.
Minnie’s boss Stephen is a very prim and proper man who gives her tasks he doesn’t want to do, and it is Stephen who can’t find out about Eddie being on the bookmobile. Minnie isn’t his favorite person simply because she is a bit less conventional than he thinks the position requires. Stephen never saw the need for a bookmobile, but a bequest in a former friend of the library’s will purchased and stocked it well.
Eddie is a cat’s cat, with a ‘tude about almost everything. If only Minnie understood cat talk the way he understood English! She talks with him about her challenges and chores, but she just doesn’t get his suggestions (the next time my cats start shredding newspapers, maybe I should start looking at the articles they shred!). He insists on joining Minnie when she thinks she least needs his help, but Eddie is there to protect her – and enjoy himself! Eddie definitely owns Minnie, rather than the other way around.
Tailing a Tabby is at times laugh out loud funny, at other time touching, while many other times are fraught with hair-raising events of “investigating”. Twists in the plot are often unexpected, and the story is fast-paced. This reader found it nearly impossible to put down once started, and is looking forward to visiting Chilson, Michigan with Minnie and Eddie again.
I highly recommend Tailing a Tabby to adults of all ages as well as young adults. If, like me, you can’t get better entertainment than a novel that includes a cat, an intelligent, thoroughly modern Nancy Drew, and books that are part of a library or a bookstore, you will want to read this as soon as possible! The bookmobile and the setting in my home state are like icing on the cake. The wait for Tailing a Tabby to be released was worth every day, as I anticipate the wait for the next book in the series will be. Way to go, Laurie Cass! Four paws and all whiskers up for this awesome series!