Nine Lives Last Forever
Rebecca M. McHale
Berkley, Jul 6 2010, $7.99
Her last blood relative Uncle Oscar died and within a week of his death, Rebecca lost her job at an accounting firm. She moves into the apartment above the Green Vase antique shop she inherited from Oscar, accompanied by her cats Rupert and Isabella. She quickly learned that her uncle used the store as a front to locate hidden treasures of historical figures he researched.
Life turns dangerous when Frank tries to kill her using spider venom. She knows he still stalks her so she s so frightened she rarely leaves the shop. Her cats notice frogs in the apartment and give chase. Rebecca learns city hall has a frog infestation too. She ponders what her late uncle meant when he advised her with a note to “follow the frogs”. Desperate and confused she visits Oscar’s friend. Meeting Oscar’s eccentric friends, Rebecca asks about the enigmatic note, but none of them grasp the meaning. However, dealing with betrayal and a stalker, Rebecca needs to know rather quickly what the hell is going on.
The protagonist makes the tale work as she just wants to live a serene ordinary life, but is caught up initially in failure and fear, but quickly moves on to eccentricity as Uncle Oscar’s zany crew welcome her as their leader. With a nod to the late Academy librarian Margaret Herrick for claiming claimed the annual awards statue looked like her Uncle Oscar; this tale crosses Charlie Chan with the Three Steps to give readers an idea of Nine Lives Last Forever, a wild refreshing over the top of Nob Hill thriller.