Gizzy’s Roundup of Ghosts, Murder and Magical Cats

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Giz and I would like to dedicate this post to our good friend, Melissa over at Melissa’s Mochas, Mysteries and Meows. She’s been in our thoughts since she lost her beloved kitty and co-blogger Truffles. We hope that these books will lift her spirits as she’s grieving over both of her precious tortie kitties who recently crossed over the rainbow bridge.

Read on if you’re a fan of cozy mysteries filled with magical crime-solving felines, hot detectives and fearless sleuths!

If You’ve Got it, Haunt it by Rose Pressey 

20949514I’m a huge fan of the Crimes of Fashion mystery series starring Lacy Smithsonian, and amateur sleuth and vintage fashion maven. Throughout this book I kept thinking, wow Lacey and Cookie would be an amazing crime-solving duo! They both solve mysteries with fashion clues and adore all things vintage. I had a great time following Cookie as she hunted down the murderer of the town socialite Charlotte Meadows. In this first installment of Pressey’s Haunted Vintage Mystery Series, Cookie discovers her ghost-whispering gift (or curse, however you want to look at it). With the ghost of Charlotte Meadows constantly pestering her to find the killer,  she has no other choice but to solve the case. As she chases down leads, she must skirt around a sexy detective who’s constantly asking how she knows certain facts about the crime scene that only the murderer would know. Not only is she getting inside knowledge from the murder victim, she’s also getting some valuable clues from her magical cat who knows how to communicate with humans with a Ouija board. How cool is that?!?

Caught Dead Handed by Carol J Perry 

19083257I was going to save this one for Halloween, but couldn’t resist diving into it! The setting couldn’t be more perfect for fans of Hocus Pocus. Oh how I would love to visit Salem during the fall. Lucky for me, I can travel vicariously through Perry’s books. There’s murder, witchcraft, a tubby crime-solving cat, and even a smidge of romance. The mystery begins when Lee Barret returns to her hometown to take on a job as a reporter for the local news station. She doesn’t really need the money, but she’s desperate to occupy her time as she grieves over her dead husband. Turns out, the news station already gave the job to somebody else, but they had a sudden opening when somebody knocked off their late night call-in psychic host. With no other prospects in sight, Lee reluctantly accepts the job as a TV charlatan and soon finds out that she might not be so phony after all. With her newly discovered crystal ball-reading talents, she soon finds herself embroiled in a murky world of witchcraft, cat burglars, and arson! Trust me, this is one whirlwind of a mystery that will keep you reading until the witching hour!

Ghostly Paws by Leighann Dobbs 

21456951I stumbled across this one in my freebies and cheapies email from Barnes & Noble. For less than a buck, I got to travel to the White Mountains of New Hampshire and join a bookstore owner-turned amateur sleuth as she and her magical kitty tracked down the murderer of the town librarian. Now that’s what I call cheap entertainment! This is a solid little cozy that is sure to win over fans of Lorna Barrett’s Booktown Mystery Series. My only gripe is that the writing could’ve been tightened up, but that won’t stop me from picking up the second book in this charming series.

 

Gizzy’s Cozy Kitty Corner

019 (2)We may be in the dog days of summer, but this long, hot August has gone to the cats! Gizzy says that if you want to beat the heat, grab yourself a fruity umbrella drink and a cozy mystery filled with fiendish killers and feline shenanigans!  Here are a couple of his favorites from my summer reading list.

The Cat Sitter’s Nine Lives (A Dixie Hemingway Mystery #9)

18404321Even though Blaize Clement has passed on into the great beyond, her gifted son is keeping the beloved cozy mystery series alive. Dixie is still stumbling into mysteries in her trademark white Keds and cargo shorts. Her humble abode overlooking the tranquil ocean in Siesta Key is just as cozy as ever. Her boy troubles continue to get more and more complicated. Her regular customers are still counting on her to deliver quality service to their cherished pets of all shapes, sizes and species.

Yep, it seems as though John Clement has found a way to seamlessly continue his mom’s adorable cozy series without a hitch. In fact, this might be my favorite installment because of all the puzzling subplots. The various obstacles seemed totally random and unrelated, yet the pieces all had a way of fitting together toward the very end.  Well played, Mr. Clement!

Right after Dixie fearlessly rescued a man from a burning vehicle, the questions just kept multiplying.  Why is a strange man in a hospital bed insisting that Dixie is his wife? Did the missing bookstore clerk skip town, or is he sleeping with the fishes? The bloody paw prints on the checkout counter sure aren’t a good sign.

And in the midst of murder and mayhem, an unopened letter from Dixie’s ex-boyfriend could potentially ruin the good thing she’s got going on with Mr. Perfect. Should she open Pandora ’s Box or let sleeping dogs lie? You’ll have to read the book to find out! Trust me, this one is definitely worth your time if you’re a fan of strong female characters and four-legged sidekicks.

Lending a Paw (A Bookmobile Cat Mystery #1)  

17707766I love this series for several reasons. One: the picturesque Upper Peninsula setting invoked my happiest summertime memories at Mackinac Island. Oh how I was craving homemade fudge while reading this thing!

Two: the leading lady, Minnie Hamilton, is a cat-rescuing, bookmobile-driving, crime-solving librarian. Enough said.

Three: Minnie’s rescue kitty plays a big role in nabbing the killer. I’ll stop right there before giving anything away, but I will say that this little hero has some seriously impressive sleuthing skills. It’s also very amusing when he responds to his humans with a resounding “merr.”

Four: There’s a twinge of spookiness when Minnie discovers her houseboat neighbors might be potential killers. How very Cape Fear! Okay, so maybe there isn’t a blood-soaked Robert De Niro clinging to the undercarriage of her car, but there’s still something very creepy about sleeping alone in a houseboat with a killer on the loose!

And need I say that the story revolves around a library on wheels? What more could any cozy fan ask for?

So there you have it. Two incredibly paw-some cat-infused mysteries that are bound to make you purr as you’re whizzing through the pages.  Gizzy says, “GOW.” In translation that means, “You’re welcome.”

Extra, Extra! Get Your Copy of ‘Love Saves the Day’ and Donote to Blind Cat Rescue

1175341_10152174909652538_625629755_nAttention all cat lovers! Between now and 10/27, Gwen Cooper will be donating 100 percent of her royalties on all pre-orders and sales of the paperback edition of her new novel, Love Saves the Day to Blind Cat Rescue in honor of her recently departed Homer.

If you aren’t familiar with Homer, you can read all about him in Homer’s Odyssey! I didn’t have the honor of meeting Homer, but I did get to visit with Gwen at an Austin Pets Alive fundraiser event. You can read all about it right here!

Speaking of incredibly adorable felines, my book blogger pal, at Melissa’s Mochas, Mysteries and More, has just welcomed new family member/co-blogger named Truffles. Stop by her blog to welcome this adorable tortie kitty into the blogosphere. Melissa (who I swear is my doppelganger!) is an animal

Isn't Truffles a doll!

Isn’t Truffles a doll!

rescue advocate and a cozy mystery maven! I always go to her blog whenever I’m shopping around for an atmospheric whodunit.

Melissa’s beloved Tara recently crossed the rainbow bridge, and I hope more than anything that she’s chasing butterflies and rolling around in the sun with Homer and that famous little library cat named Dewey.

At that I will leave you with this poignant quote from Homer’s Odyssey,

“A friend once asked me why it was that stories about animals and their heroism…are so compelling. …we love them because they’re the closest thing we have to material evidence of an objective moral order–or, to put it another way, they’re the closest thing we have to proof of the existence of God.  They seem to prove that the things that matter to and move us the most–things like love, courage, loyalty, altruism–aren’t just ideas we made up from nothing.  To see them demonstrated in other animals proves they’re real things, that they exist in the world independently of what humans invent and tell each other in the form of myth or fable.”   ―  Gwen Cooper

Gwen Cooper Reads & Signs “Love Saves the Day” at APA!

Me (the awkward blond on the left) and Gwen Cooper.

Me (the awkward blond on the left) and Gwen Cooper.

Oh happy day! I had the pleasure of meeting Gwen Cooper, the celebrated author of Homer’s Odyssey, at an Austin Pets Alive event! She spoke to a full house of crazy cat lovers about all my favorite topics: Kitties, books and how to break into publishing.

I’ve never heard of  Love Saves the Day, but the cover is super cute and the author is one of the bests in the animal memoir biz, so I went ahead and swooped it up. How could I go wrong with a story about an adorable little orphaned kitty that helps a woman through a long, complicated road of bereavement? I love a good tear-jerker about healing and self-discovery, so I’m sure I’m going to fall in love with this book.

Here’s a little snippet from the author’s website about the book, love_saves_the_daywhich is narrated by a kitty named Prudence who’s struggling with the death of her beloved owner. Sniff…where did I put that box of tissues?

Suddenly Prudence finds herself living in a strange apartment with humans she barely knows. It could take years to train them in the feline courtesies and customs (for example, a cat should always be fed before the humans, and at the same exact time every day) that Sarah understood so well. Prudence clings to the hope that Sarah will come back for her while Laura, a rising young corporate attorney, tries to push away memories of her mother and the tumultuous childhood spent in her mother’s dusty downtown record store. But the secret joys, past hurts, and life-changing moments that make every mother-daughter relationship special will come to the surface.  With Prudence’s help Laura will learn that the past, like a mother’s love, never dies.

Bumped into these little dudes at the event. They're up for adoption, y'all!

Bumped into these little dudes at the event. They’re up for adoption, y’all!

Oh and did I mention that I scored a free Litter Genie at the event? Now that’s some cool swag! With some help from corporate sponsors, she’s traveling from shelter to shelter to promote her new book and give back to the little animals in need. Be sure to check your local events calendars to see if she’s coming your way!