Monday, September 17, 2012

What the Cat Saw-Carolyn Hart

What the Cat Saw

Carolyn Hart

Berkley Prime Crime, Oct 2 2012, $25.95

ISBN 9780425252741

Out of work investigative reporter Nela Farley, though in denial, can “hear” the thoughts of cats when she looks them in the eye ever since her fiancé died. When her sister, Chloe decides to take a last second vacation with her squeeze Leland in Tahiti, she persuades Nela to fill in for her at the Haklo Foundation. Thus Nela arrives in Craddock, Oklahoma where she stays in the apartment of charity organization’s deceased chief operating officer Marian Grant, who recently died in an alleged accident

Marian’s cat Jugs implies his beloved owner tripped on a rolling board on the second step. Though she prefers to ignore what she heard, Police Detective K.T. Dugan conducts a wrongful death investigation and has found anomalies that lead him to suspect Chloe may have committed a homicide since she fled the country in a hurry. Nela using her cat sense looks closely at the others at the Foundation.

With Annie Darling taking a well-deserved respite, Carolyn Hart begins the Nela Farley paranormal amateur sleuth series with a strong opening act. The heroine’s uncanny one-way communication skill comes across as genuine partly because of her defense mechanism posture to ignore it as she fears her ability is irrational behavior and partly because of cat-speak somehow seems right. The whodunit is clever as fans will appreciate this enjoyable Dr. Doolittle cozy.

Harriet Klausner

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