Second Chance Cat Mystery #10
By Sofie Ryan
Author Website: sofieryan.com
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie
Secondhand store owner Sarah Grayson and her affectionate rescue cat, Elvis, will scare up a few leads to find a killer in the newest installment of this captivating New York Times bestselling series.
After a long, cold, and snowy winter, it seems as though spring may be arriving early in Maine. Sarah Grayson is busy at her store, Second Chance, and she’s looking forward to an afternoon break from the hustle and bustle, tagging along to the North Harbor Spring House Tour with her friend Detective Michelle Andrews.
But it turns out one of the houses has a haunted history, and when a ghost hunter is found dead on the premises, Sarah knows the best way to uncover the killer/to solve the mystery is by investigating the not-so-dearly departed. With help from Elvis and Charlotte’s Angels, the crew of senior citizen private detectives who work out of the store, she’ll close the case on this creepy crime. (From Goodreads)
I was very happy to see Sarah, her rescue cat Elvis, her friends, and Charlotte’s Angels again! Sarah owns Second Chance, a repurpose shop in North Harbor, Maine. I enjoyed reading about the items that she and Mac, her right-hand man and more, give new life to merchandise in creative ways that keep locals and tourists coming back.
Elvis, a black cat, is an amazing feline lie detector. He has never been wrong, especially about the clients that Charlotte’s Angels take on in their private investigations business. Elvis is spoiled, loving, and loyal, with the ‘tude of rock-n-roll royalty. He loves Jeopardy! and the music of Elvis Presley.
Charlotte’s Angels came into being when one of their friends was accused of a crime they didn’t commit. It is made up of Rose, Charlotte, and Liz, and Mr. P – Alfred or Alfie – who is Rose’s beau. All except one of these wonderful seniors is a long-time friend of Sarah’s grandmother, with whom Sarah spent many summers when growing up. Gram has remarried, and she and John are often traveling.
Charlotte, Liz, Rose, and Liz’s granddaughter work at Second Chance. Charlotte’s Angels rent the enclosed sun-porch at Second Chance, in part so Sarah can keep an eye on them for Michelle and for Nick, Charlotte’s son. The Angels know that as seniors, most people don’t pay attention to them and would never imagine them as investigators. Sarah and Elvis have also been involved in their cases.
Sarah and Michelle were going to the North Harbor Spring Home tour, of which the proceeds go to help the local animal shelter. It may help Michelle with ideas for the home she hopes to purchase, as the best she can hope for is a fixer-upper. The Gladstone House might be Sarah’s favorite. In the family for over 200 years, the family line ends with Emily, granddaughter of its current owner, Annie. They run it as a B & B while keeping the charm and accuracy of the era it was built in. Reputed to be haunted, some people on the tour might be looking at more than its historical elegance.
They were on the second floor, where some of the rooms are cordoned off, when Sarah saw what looked like someone lying on the floor in one of the blocked off rooms. Michelle, a detective, went to check on the man, who she found to be dead. He looked like someone Sarah saw recently, and finally recalled where. Michelle’s day off turned into a new case.
The man, Mark Steele, was from a TV reality show. In this show, he and his co-host went to places reputedly haunted and tried to prove there were no ghosts. He had talked with and harassed Annie many times, as he wanted this home on his show. Why he was so insistent, his executive producer Delia, either didn’t know or wouldn’t say, other than that he was like a dog with a bone, and refused to take no for an answer. The police department had its hands full with the murder of this very well-known man, as do the very persistent Charlotte’s Angels.
The characters are very well defined, and I learn something new about them with each installment. Elvis and Sarah are my favorites, as well as the Angels as a whole. They are engaging and loyal, and each have a unique sense of humor and skills from their lives in business and teaching. The Angels could stay home and put up their feet, but they prefer to help their friends and community.
It was initially hard to come up with a suspect, since the man only knew Annie and Emily. Annie had severe arthritis and had been unable to climb the stairs to the second floor for a couple years. Emily, her granddaughter, had gone out on an errand for Annie, got a flat tire, and had not been at the house when he died. Delia had not attended the tour with him, and nobody else had been to the second floor. Plot twists revealed new suspects and motives, and in tracking his movements and what he was researching, a picture took shape. Just as fast as the suspects were added, one by one were eliminated. I was very surprised at who the killer was! This mystery was, as others in the series, plotted and executed well. I highly recommend this cozy mystery and series, and look forward to seeing Sarah and Elvis again!