Fat Cat Takes the Cake
A Fat Cat Mystery, Book #3
By Janet Cantrell
Author’s website: www.janetcantrell01.wix.com/fat-cat-mysteries
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Jeanie
Quincy the butterscotch tabby has a talent for sniffing out sweets—and uncovering crimes—in this Fat Cat mystery from the national bestselling author of Fat Cat Spreads Out.
When former classmate Rich “Dickie” Byrd throws a high school reunion to gather support for his mayoral campaign, it drums up some not so sweet memories for dessert shop proprietor Chase Oliver and her friend Julie Larson. Julie would rather not reconnect with Ron North, the creepy kid who had a crush on her back in the day. His social graces haven’t exactly improved with age, but is he creepy enough to kill?
The next day, Chase is in the park testing a new cat harness for Quincy—who quickly proves he cannot be leashed. But when his escape leads Chase to Ron’s body, the police wonder who else got away. Now, with Julie suspected, Chase must prove her innocence before the real killer plans another fatal reunion.
The adorable butterscotch-colored cat is back! Hero du jour, experienced napper with the ability to sniff out food with the best of felines is ready to help the person he owns, Chase, sniff out and find the bad guy/ gal. (Clue – only someone who would refuse a cat a treat could be a cold-blooded killer!)
Oh mercy, I have to admire a woman who would try teaching a plump puss to walk with a harness and leash! Especially one who is an escape artist no matter how well Chase could plan and triple check the closures. A determined cat can always find a way. I wouldn’t be surprised if Quincy stays politely in his harness in the future. Unless there is an edible treat he had sniffed out – what’s a body or two when he has a reward?
Chase and her best friend Julie attended their 14th year class reunion. 14th? Yes, the one organizing the reunion, Rich ‘Dickie’ Byrd is again running for Mayor in hopes that this time he would be elected after using the reunion as a platform for the race. He’s the same as he used to be, with his now-wife Monique as his campaign manager. Eddie, a man who Chase had dated, wants to see her again for old time’s sake as they each thought the other had broken up their high school romance. Mike, Quincy’s vet and the man Chase dated now, might not appreciate that memory lane trip. Ron, who had mercilessly stalked Julie in high school, just had to be at the reunion. After swiping her scarf and planting a drunken smooch on her, Julie’s date Jay intercepted him. Surely that couldn’t be a motive for murder, as it is Ron’s remains, strangled with Julie’s scarf, that Quincy found when he escaped his harness.
Chase begins to feel like a cat dancing atop a hot oven as, when Julie is the primary suspect, she tries to find who the real killer is. She also has to keep up with the day-to-day workings of Bar None, the dessert bar shop in which Chase and Julie’s grandmother Anna are partners. Anna has entered the Minny Batter Battle and is perfecting her recipe for the bake-off against Grace, her nemesis, and a handful of other bakers. Just to sweeten the batter, a rather pushy someone is offering elderly folks money for their homes.
Janet Cantrell provides excellent characterizations for several unique people. Chase and Quincy are the best defined, with Julie and Anna running a close second. They are very likable, part of a small town type neighborhood in Minneapolis where people are valued for who they are rather than what they do. These ladies (and the butterscotch tabby, in whom I see traits similar to those in my own tabbies) are three dimensionally complete. Peripheral characters are defined to a T, eccentricities and all, according to their roles. These characters include their employees, competitors at the Minny Batter Battle, and fellow high school alumni. A few of the alumni are a reminder that some folks may not change!
I always eagerly look forward to Quincy’s escapades with his person, Chase, her business partner and employees, and BFF. Fat Cat Takes the Cake, 3rd in A Fat Cat Mystery series, does not disappoint. I would have enjoyed seeing more Quincy action to ‘help’ Chase and Julie on the trail of a killer, yet his day-to-day activities and food-ivities delight this cat lover! The plot was complex; untangling the various strands was made more challenging with twists and turns. In turns it was suspenseful, exciting, and/ or just plain fun; it is a ‘tail’ that could make even a cat proud. The author brought all the strands together to tie up and execute these mysteries and give us another satisfying conclusion. I highly recommend Fat Cat Takes the Cake to those who enjoy their cozy mysteries with cats, good clean fun, a mystery within a mystery, and intelligent heroines. The next Fat Can can’t come quickly enough for me!
*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*