Second Chance Cat Mystery #8
By Sofie Ryan
Author’s Website: Sofiekelly.com
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie
Sarah and Elvis can always be found at a charming secondhand shop in the village of North Harbor, Maine. Despite the small-town setting, the daring duo often find themselves wrapped up in murder, but luckily they have help–a quirky group of senior citizens runs an amateur detective agency called Charlotte’s Angels out of the store.
The Angels are hired to look into who is sabotaging cat shows in the state, and they decide the best way to do that is to send Elvis the cat undercover as a contestant. But then one of the cat show volunteers is murdered just before the latest competition, and Sarah and the Angels have to catch a killer in two shakes of a cat’s tail! (From Goodreads)
I loved this latest cozy mystery in its series! I look forward to each new one and was not disappointed. The mystery is complex, the characters continue to grow, and Elvis is, no doubt, the star of the series. No, not Elvis Presley, but Elvis The King, the black cat with a scar on his nose and personality that doesn’t quit who hopped into Sarah’s truck a couple of years ago and never looked back.
Sarah owns Second Chance, part collectibles, and part secondhand store that appeals to locals and tourists alike. They get antiques, collectibles, and other items that can be repurposed into useful, salable treasures. It wasn’t her original goal in life, but she wouldn’t trade it now for anything. She moved to North Harbor, Maine, where Gram lives, during a crisis, and found a better life. She also has Gram’s close friends, friends from when she grew up there, and Mac, her second in command in the shop who is first in her heart other than her family.
Gram’s friends Liz, Rose, and Charlotte, plus Rose’s beau Mr. P, have a PI agency, Charlotte’s Angels. They office out of Second Chance and help police solve murders and other crimes due to their extensive network. These are not a bunch of ditzy oldies, but very intelligent, resourceful, lovable seniors who Sarah couldn’t imagine being without.
Rose and Mr. P have drafted Elvis, the feline lie detector, to be part of their new case. The Angels are providing security at upcoming American Feline Association cat shows in Maine until they can catch the source of vandalism being done at their shows. Elvis will be their “cover” to enable them to move about the shows freely. Sarah and Mr. P will enter Elvis in the household pet category. Mr. P will show Elvis to the judges at the assigned times, Rose and Mr. P will both get to know some of the other people showing cats to see what they can learn about the inner circle.
Elvis takes to being a show cat as if he were born to it. His personality enhances his natural handsome features and roguish charm. At his very first show, he takes second place!
Rose and Mr. P learn there could be several motives behind the sabotage, so there is much for them to do. Sarah was happy to see Debra, the woman showing purebred Socrates next to Elvis. Debra and Rose had once been in a class together. She introduces them to her close friends Christine and Tim.
Sarah and Christine had lunch one day and were on their way to becoming fast friends until the worst happened. On a night when Christine would normally be in class, her apartment burned down, the only unit in her building destroyed. Christine’s professor had called off class at the last minute and Debra had borrowed her car, so nobody knew she was home. Christine, who shut out the world when she studied, died from smoke inhalation.
Debra is devastated, as are Sarah and the Angels. Whether or not this fire was related to the troubles at the cat shows has yet to be seen. If her death was not related to the cat shows, then the Angels have a new case, as Sarah will hire them. If she has the patience to wait for the fire investigator’s report.
I always enjoy learning more about Sarah, the Angels, and their friends! Sarah’s new relationship makes me happy for her. The characters are three dimensional, ready to step out of the pages into the cat show or Second Chance. While I missed seeing Liz more often in this novel, I did appreciate the possible new circumstance in her life. As always, I loved seeing Elvis, and already am looking forward to seeing his next adventure! His purple blankets and accessories for the show are not only perfect as Elvis Presley’s favorite color but the color of royalty for the very popular Elvis “The King” house cat.
This can be read as a standalone, as there is sufficient backstory for the new reader or one who has missed parts of the series. Plot twists and turns kept this story moving and this armchair sleuth on her toes! I didn’t realize who the bad guy might be until a heartbeat or two before Sarah did. I love how Elvis and Socrates were heroes! There were still surprises in the resolutions, and the end is very satisfactory. I highly recommend this and am looking forward to the next one!