The Fast and the Furriest
Second Chance Cat Mystery, Book #5
By Sofie Ryan
Author’s website: sofiekelly.com
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie
Sarah Grayson and her trusty companion, Elvis, race to tail the right suspects in the fifth installment of the New York Times bestselling Second Chance Cat Mysteries.
Sarah Grayson owns Second Chance, a shop that sells lovingly refurbished items, in the charming town of North Harbor, Maine. But she couldn’t run the store without the help of her right-hand man, Mac–or her dashing rescue cat, Elvis.
Mac’s life before North Harbor has always been a little bit mysterious, but it becomes a lot more intriguing when a woman from his past shows up in town, and then turns up dead. Suspicion falls on Mac, but Sarah–and Elvis–know he can’t be the killer, and they hope they can prove his innocence quick as a whisker.
I can’t help fallin’ in love … with Elvis? Yes, the sleek black cat is back, with his magical lie detection ability, who has to watch Jeopardy! every day, and whose mrrps and merows are well understood by his person, Sarah Graves. Love this latest in series! As in the prior novels, it can be read as a standalone or within the series. The characters, the plot, a touch of whimsy and wit, and Elvis work together for the best possible combination.
Mac has been working for Sarah at Second Chance for about a year; he is excellent at helping select furnishings that can be refinished or repurposed. Second Chance is a unique shop that specializes in vintage and repurposed clothing and other items, including quilts and musical instruments. They work very well together, so the man of mystery that Mac is is perfectly acceptable to Sarah, part-time employees Avery, her nonna Liz, Charlotte, and Rose, the last three of whom are part of Charlotte’s Angels.
Oh, the Angels? They have a space to work at Second Chance, partly so Sarah can make sure they don’t get in too much trouble as they investigate problems for their friends. Think of The Golden Girls finding the bad guys, a more seasoned, while still elegant, group of Charlie’s Angels. They are not old, make no mistake. Rose’s boyfriend, Alfred Peterson, has a PI license, and Rose is his apprentice, so to speak. They are good friends of Sarah’s grandmother who became kind of her fairy godmothers when she was a child.
Mac’s life story is about to flash before everyone’s eyes. A woman came to see him who errantly gave the first piece of painful info to Sarah. Later, she is found strangled. Since a reputable source claims eyewitness to the woman and Mac arguing earlier in the evening, he is a person of interest. One thing Sarah and the Angels are sure of, if he says he didn’t kill the woman, he didn’t. Even Elvis, the feline lie detector, doesn’t give the “he’s lying” signals. But what about all the secrets Mac has kept….Sarah, Mr. P and the Angels, and Elvis are on the case.
The characters are very well-developed and out of this world, fun to be around. Yes, they do get serious, especially when someone is murdered, yet they are rarin’ to go to get justice done. Sarah and Elvis are a great pair. Her store sounds like a fascinating place to work or shop in, and she seems to know what will sell, and delegates to others when it serves both the staff and the store well. She isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty, and can, most of the time, read Elvis like a book. The three “fairy godmothers” are wise, have great connections in and around North Harbor, Maine, and can be elegant or funny as the moment calls for. Give me Liz, Rose, and Charlotte any day over the golden girls! I also like Michelle and how Sarah and she are rebuilding their friendship, as well as Sarah’s admission to her teenage error. Sarah is more real and human when seeing her challenges.
There are great descriptions of North Harbor and the surrounding area, along with tidbits of history that make the story more real. The plot has twists that kept this reader on her toes, and there are many surprises. While I felt bad for Mac and the release of details from his private life, it opens a door for his North Harbor family to be more empathetic with his circumstances. I am more than happy with the resolution, especially since I didn’t figure it out for myself! I love the behind-the-scenes look at a cold case. This makes for an amazing addition to an already fabulous series, and I highly recommend it!