Fat Cat Spreads Out
A Fat Cat Mystery #2
By Janet Cantrell
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie
Butterscotch tabby Quincy is back and hungrier than ever in this frisky follow-up to Fat Cat at Large…
A booth at the Bunyan County Harvest Fair seems like the perfect opportunity for Charity “Chase” Oliver and Anna Larson to promote their Bar None bakery business. Unfortunately, plus-sized pussycat Quincy has plans for their delicious dessert bars other than selling them to customers. After tearing through their inventory, Quincy goes roaming the fairgrounds in search of more delights.
But what he finds is murder. One of the top contenders in a butter-sculpting contest has been killed, and Chase is churning on the inside when she sees Quincy’s handsome veterinarian, Dr. Mike Ramos, being led away by the police. With a little help from a kitty with butter on his whiskers, Chase needs to find the real killer and clear the doctor’s good name…(From Goodreads)
This is one of my favorite new series! The Fat Cat Mystery Series is a delectable blend of lovable cat, mystery, baked delights and friendship. Janet Cantrell has WOWed us again with Fat Cat Spreads Out, the second in the Fat Cat Mystery series. Chase Oliver is owned by Quincy, a gorgeous butterscotch-colored tabby cat who will do anything for a treat. Who could be a better owner than Charity “Chase” Oliver, as she and adopted grandmother Anna Larson are co-owners of a dessert bar shop in Dinkytown, Minnesota, The Bar None? No matter how hard Chase tries to keep the ‘fat cat’ from snacking, even creating healthy Kitty Patties for him, he charms people into those little extras. And at the Bunyan County Harvest Festival, Quincy has no end of snack-providing buddies.
Anna and Chase have a booth at the Festival while their assistant, Inger, watches over the shop. Quincy has a few surprises for them to unpack; he managed to escape his carrier, gobble his way through some of the stock they brought, then escape. Chase ran to find him, as did her friend and Quincy’s vet, Dr. Mike Ramos, who found him in, of all places, the walk-in cooler where butter sculptures were being designed for the Minnesota Sculpture Contest. Unfortunately, when Dr. Ramos goes into the sculpture room, he also finds acclaimed Butter Sculptor, Larry Oake, dead on the floor. Entering behind him is Elsa, Larry’s…new widow, who screamed and accused Dr. Ramos of the murder. If only Quincy could talk! He could tell who the murderer really was….if he hadn’t been so busy searching for tasty butter out of eyesight of the men who were there.
Thus begins this Fat Cat chronicle. Quincy, of course, is my favorite, as I completely empathize with his desire for snacks and his desire to bring comfort to his humans. Chase runs a close second, as a very likable, hard-working young entrepreneur. She loves the life she has, with her very own shop with the woman who raised her after the death of her parents. Anna is the grandmother of Chase’s best friend, Julia, an attorney building her business. Dr. Mike Ramos is a friend of Chase, and the vet who is trying to help sweet Quincy lose weight. The characters are well-developed, comfortable, and uniquely invested in each others’ lives. Janet Cantrell demonstrates the long history that Anna, Julia, and Chase have together and their love and respect for each other by their interactions. Even the short-term and peripheral characters, those who are in attendance at the Festival and the detective are defined sufficiently for their roles.
The cover art is adorable! The colors and animals surrounding Quincy are as cuddly as he ist! A big shout-out to the publisher and designer for this appealing package!
The plot is a delicious blend of ingredients that bake up into a great new mystery. Included is Dr. Ramos’ niece Patrice, who is a fortune teller at the Festival with sticky fingers. She ‘borrowed’ a diamond-studded collar that would be awarded by the Picky Puss Cat Food Company to the winner of the Fancy Cat Contest to see how it would look on her fluffy pet. Someone tried to snag up the diamond-studded collar from Patrice’s booth so she took it into the sculpture room and hid it in a sculpture, from where it disappeared. There is no shortage of suspects, including the murdered man’s widow, who learned that he had planned to leave her after the Festival and contest. It seems that the sculptor had a mistress and had pulled out enough of their funds to rent a love nest in Costa Rica. But was the murderer and the thief one and the same person, or two separate people? Was the motive and attempt to eliminate competition in the Butter Sculpture contest? There are enough twists and turns in the plot to keep this reader guessing right to the very satisfying end. And Quincy? His part in the plot is so unforgettable that it might be time for another snack…just to keep the stress level down. I highly recommend this intriguing tale to cozy and cat lovers, and those who enjoy a well-crafted mystery. Included is a human and a cat treat recipe that look tasty and tempting. I think that my cats might join Quincy on a treat run soon…
*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*