The Black Cat Sees His Shadow
A Bad Luck Cat Mystery, #3
By Kay Finch
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie
Mystery novelist Sabrina Tate and her cat, Hitchcock, set out to catch a conniving killer in the next Bad Luck Cat mystery from the author of The Black Cat Knocks on Wood and Black Cat Crossing…
The town of Lavender, Texas is buzzing with tourists, and local businesses are pulling out all the stops for the annual Pumpkin Days Festival. On the eve of opening day, Sabrina comes face-to-face with her doppelganger, Tia Hartwell, a caricature artist at the festival. The similarities between the two women are striking, including their matching black cats.
Sabrina learns that her new twin Tia has an enemy: bad-tempered jewelry vendor Calvin Fisher. When Fisher is found slumped over dead in his pickup, Tia tops the suspect list. With the help of her feline sidekick, Sabrina must clear her new look-alike friend before she finds herself in a deadly case of double jeopardy. (Goodreads)
I absolutely love this intriguing third offering in the Bad Luck Cat Mystery series! What a treat, to be back in Lavender, Texas with Sabrina and Hitchcock! This time we are stunned to meet – they have a double! Hitchcock is such a cool cat; he has been known to “hitchhike” into town in vehicles of unsuspecting tourists.
Pumpkin Days Festival is beginning in Lavender, bringing many vendors and tourists. Aunt Rowe’s “Around the World Cottages” are fully booked, and she has an impressive spread of desserts, snacks, and beverages for vendors staying at the cottages. There are so many distractions that it is no wonder Sabrina finds it challenging to work every day on her second novel while awaiting sale of the first.
One of the first surprises about the Festival is Tia, a vendor who looks almost exactly like Sabrina – right down to owning a black cat named Merlin! Tia also has a young son, Damon. Another surprise is the chairman of the festival, Herr Schmidt, who has rules about everything, including more rules. And while there isn’t a rule about it, he is trying to tell Aunt Rowe that she can’t fire off a pumpkin cannon during the festivities. He also doesn’t want to allow Tia to trade vendor spaces with another seller, Calvin Fisher. He has threatened her, hates her son and their cat, and doesn’t want her booth anywhere near him.
Even though It has been unsettling to see someone who looks like her, Sabrina hopes to get to know Tia during the festival. Especially when Tia is accused of Fisher’s murder, who Sabrina has the bad luck of finding dead while trying to catch Hitchcock. She doesn’t believe that Tia killed him and wants to help.
The week just keeps getting better! Gabe, another vendor, seems to be stalking Sabrina. She then has an unscheduled visit from her mother and stepfather. Her mother sees Lavender as a backwater town and never comes to visit without an agenda. Sabrina wants to keep the guy she is dating from meeting her family, but Luke, a game warden, wants to meet her mother and stepfather. Who has time to write with all this going on?
The characters in this tail…er, tale…are very eclectic! Sabrina is three dimensional; she and Hitchcock could step off the pages and into any pumpkin festival or cottage court. Aunt Rowe and Tyanne, Sabrina’s best friend, are probably next best defined. Some vendors travel from one event to another throughout the year, their sales providing their primary income. Several could easily be considered delightfully eccentric, and a couple downright creepy. This wide range of characters provides a huge suspect base, and Sabrina sees herself as helping Sheriff Crawford, who is sweet on her aunt, solve the murder before the festival ends.
There is much light hearted wit and banter among those in Lavender. The younger people such as Sabrina and Tyanne and Tyanne’s loyal staff add energy to the town’s activities. Aunt Rowe and her other senior friends act younger than those in their 20’s and 30’s sometimes! I like Sabrina and Hitchcock best, possibly because we see everything through Sabrina’s eyes and I do adore cats with personality plus! Plot twists and turns continued to surprise this reader, and the real bad guy(s)/ gal(s) was truly a mystery to me. Only in Lavender could the post-festival dismantling be as explosive as the firework show! Only Hitchcock and his shadow, Merlin, could be credited with the final outcome – with surprising bad guys/ gals – getting their due reward. Oh, and Sabrina’s mother? She has a few surprises of her own! I highly recommend The Black Cat Sees His Shadow to those who love cats, the Texas hill country, well-written cozy mysteries and their authors. This ride is too much fun to miss!
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review as part of their ongoing blog tour*