Mimi Lee Gets a Clue
Sassy Cat Mystery, Book #1
By Jennifer J. Chow
Author Website: jenniferjchow(.)com
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele
Mimi Lee is in over her head. There’s her new Los Angeles pet grooming shop to run, her matchmaking mother to thwart, her talking cat Marshmallow to tend to—oh, and the murder of a local breeder to solve…now if only Mimi hadn’t landed herself on top of the suspect list.
Mimi Lee hoped to give Los Angeles animal lovers something to talk about with her pet grooming shop, Hollywoof. She never imagined that the first cat she said hello to would talk back or be quite so, well, catty—especially about those disastrous dates Mimi’s mother keeps setting up.
When Marshmallow exposes local breeder Russ Nolan for mistreating Chihuahuas, Mimi steals some of her cat’s attitude to tell Russ off. The next day the police show up at Hollywoof. Russ has been found dead, and Mimi’s shouting match with him has secured her top billing as the main suspect.
Hoping to clear her name and save the pups Russ left behind, Mimi enlists help from her dreamy lawyer neighbor Josh. But even with Josh on board, it’ll take Mimi and Marshmallow a lot of sleuthing and more than a little sass to get back to the pet-grooming life—and off the murder scene. (Goodreads)
As an avid pet lover, Mimi Lee Gets a Clue should make me happy. With a young pet groomer, a “talking” cat, and a murder mystery about a breeder, all should be good, right? Unfortunately, it is lacking in depth and entertainment value.
Mimi does a good deed saving a wealthy woman’s beloved dog at the beach. This leads to the appreciative owner investing in Mimi’s pet grooming business. But, just as the grand opening commences, Mimi can’t help but notice several of her new clients’ puppies don’t seem quite right. Finding that they all came from the same breeder, Mimi tries to file a complaint, bringing her to top of the police’s suspect list when said breeder is murdered. Mimi goes about trying to clear her name and help the puppies.
Being the first book in the Sassy Cat series, I expected to spend a lot of time learning about Mimi and her world, but the characters are pretty one dimensional. Mimi’s heart is in the right place, but she’s juvenile and not particularly likable, and I am not sure she knows how to do her job well. Simply brushing a dog or trimming another dog’s nails does not make her a professional groomer. She comes across as a young teen instead of a business woman in her mid-twenties. This is especially true with her romantic feelings and dealings with her neighbor Josh. And, Josh is not much better. Does he not notice that Mimi loiters, waiting for him to come home or open his apartment door? There is no angst or getting to know each other phase; they just instantly become a couple. What? I do not know if Mimi’s mother is supposed to provide comic relief or what, but I find her overbearing and unfunny. The pet owners are shallow, and everyone is rather forgettable. Marshmallow the cat and the puppies are the redeeming characters within the books pages.
My biggest problem with the story is that the murder victim is an irresponsible dog breeder. He did not deserve to die for his actions, but his breeding practices are disgraceful and make me angry. The puppy owners irritate me, too. They seem to have more money than sense and do not make their dogs’ welfare a priority. That said, the mystery itself is fair. There are a small number of suspects and not that many clues to work through. The killer’s identity did not come as a surprise nor was the big climactic moment exciting or worth the wait.
To my disappointment, Mimi Lee Gets a Clue was not the right fit for me, but other readers of pet cozies might feel differently.