Black Cat Crossing
A Bad Luck Cat Mystery, Book #1
By Kay Finch
Author Website: Kayfinch.com
In the first in this cat-filled cozy series, aspiring mystery author Sabrina Tate is about to discover that when it comes to solving murders, her new feline friend Hitchcock is a master of sleuthing…
Sabrina has never been the superstitious type. Still, when she moves to Lavender, Texas, to write her first novel and help her Aunt Rowe manage her vacation rental business, Sabrina can’t avoid listening to the rumors that a local black cat is a jinx—especially after the stray in question leads her directly to the scene of a murder.
The deceased turns out to be none other than her Aunt Rowe’s awful cousin Bobby Joe Flowers, a known cheat and womanizer who had no shortage of enemies. The only problem is that Aunt Rowe and Bobby Joe had quarreled just before the cousin turned up dead, leaving Rowe at the top of the long list of suspects. Now it’s up to Sabrina to clear her aunt’s name. Luckily for her, she’s got a new sidekick, Hitchcock the Bad Luck Cat, to help her sniff out clues and stalk a killer before Aunt Rowe winds up the victim of even more misfortune… (Goodreads)
Black Cat Crossing is a strong first entry in the Bad Luck Cat Mystery series. With the charm of a small Texas town and a plucky protagonist with a special cat, it is sure to be a long running and enjoyable series.
Sabrina seizes the opportunity to leave her paralegal job, with the dream of writing a novel, when her Aunt Rowe breaks her leg and needs help running her vacation rentals. Goodbye big city Houston; hello small town Lavender, Texas. Sabrina thinks she will have plenty of time to write and is settling in to the quieter life, but her complacency does not last long. She hears rumors about town of a black cat that is bad luck. Legend has it that the cat has had an unusually long life, and if he crosses your path you will be cursed. Not being superstitious, Sabrina is worried that those who feel most vehemently about the cat will cause it great harm, maybe even kill it. So, when the cat shows up at her cabin, she decides to stash him in an effort to keep him out of harm’s way and names him Hitchcock. Hitchcock returns the favor by leading Sabrina straight to a dead body down by the river. The recently deceased is Bobby Joe Flowers, and he happens to be Aunt Rowe’s ne’er –do-well cousin. Unfortunately, Aunt Rowe and Bobby Joe had a very heated argument earlier in the day. This and the body being found on Aunt Rowe’s property places her firmly at the top of the suspect list. Bobby Joe is a known womanizer, con artist, liar, and cheat. Sabrina knows there must be plenty of people out there who would have liked to see him perish so she takes it upon herself to investigate since the police seem unwilling to look beyond Aunt Rowe for a guilty party.
To complicate matters, Sabrina’s best friend and owner of the town’s bookstore has arranged a dinner party with a literary agent so that Sabrina has the opportunity to pitch her book. Problem is, she’s suffering a bit of writer’s block and must rush to put together a proposal. But, Aunt Rowe needs help. Sabrina finds herself torn between investigating and writing, but ultimately family must always come first.
There are plenty of leads for her to follow…nobody liked Bobby Joe, but she quickly begins to wonder if another death, one that took place thirty years ago with identical circumstances and location as Bobby Joe’s, might possibly be related. And, she is still worried about Hitchcock’s welfare. With Hitchcock leading the way through many plot twists and turns, Sabrina uncovers a sad tale of lost love, guilt, jealousy, and revenge. She is able to save Aunt Rowe’s reputation before everyone, including the police, starts to believe that rumors that Rowe did indeed commit the crime.
Sabrina is a bit lost in the beginning but soon puts her priorities in order to become a top notch amateur sleuth. Granted, she is a nosy woman in a sea of cozy mystery sleuths sticking her nose into police business, but she is endearing and means well. The police are not exactly portrayed as bumbling, but they could use a little more respect. I like the police chief a lot and hope he and Rowe work things out. As seems to be required with small town settings, there are plenty of quirky characters to round out the cast and gobs of gossip to propel the story along. Lavender seems like the kind of town I would like to visit, full of quaint shops and eateries in a lovely Hill Country setting.
And then there is Hitchcock. If I ever have a cat, I want Hitchcock. What is not to love about a mysterious, luxurious onyx kitty with a penchant for mystery and an escape artist. I am not sure if we are meant to think that he has paranormal abilities or not, but I think he is just a really cool, intelligent cat. He is sure to please animal loving readers.
Black Cat Crossing is an entertaining introduction to Sabrina’s world, and I look forward to Hitchcock’s future exploits. Recommended to cozy fans, especially those who love cats and have a secret desire to write their own “Great American Novel.”