Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Cat, The Quilt, and the Corpse-Leann Sweeney

The Cat, The Quilt, and the Corpse
Leann Sweeney
Obsidian, May 2009, $6.99
ISBN: 0451225740

Ten months a widow, Jillian Hart obtains solace from her three cats who she loves with all her heart. Jillian comes home from an overnight business trip to hear Chablis sneezing, which means his allergy to humans was triggered by a trespasser. She searches her house until she finds a broken window near a busted door. The only thing apparently missing is her Abyssinian Syrah; Jillian calls the police, but catnapping is not high on their list of crimes.

She finds a clue when she visits the animal shelter run by Alison and Shawn. They believe Flake Wilkerson abducted her feline because he was always looking at purebreds; additionally some of their sheltered cats, also purebreds, are missing. Jillian visits Flake’s home, but finds nothing. On her second trip, she sees Syrah leaving out the open from door, but also sees her go back in. She tries to catch her cat but instead she finds Flake on the floor with a knife protruding from his gut. The cops assume Jillian is the killer as she had motive, means, and opportunity until evidence leads to another suspect. Jillian is happy her cat is home with her but disagrees that the suspect in custody is guilty. She wonders if her South Carolina town is home to the Keystone Cops. She investigates and wastes one of her nine lives almost getting killed by the culprit.

Cat lovers will empathize with the grief the heroine feels when one of her felines goes missing. Already somewhat a recluse since her husband died, Jillian forces herself to rescue her beloved Syrah. Thus the catnapping leads her to make new friends and to start living again though she will feel incomplete until the killer is in custody. Fans will enjoy her amateur sleuth investigation though wonder why she risks her life to prove the suspect is innocent.

Harriet Klausner

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