Author: Linda Reilly
Series: A Cat Lady Mystery #1
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Lyrical Underground
Publication Date: December 26, 2017
Description: For the first time in sixteen years, Lara Caphart has returned to her hometown of Whisker Jog, New Hampshire. She wants to reconnect with her estranged Aunt Fran, who's having some difficulty looking after herself-and her eleven cats. Taking care of a clowder of kitties is easy, but keeping Fran from being harassed by local bully Theo Barnes is hard. The wealthy builder has his sights set on Fran's property, and is determined to make her an offer she doesn't dare refuse.
Then Lara spots a blue-eyed ragdoll cat that she swears is the reincarnation of her beloved Blue, her childhood pet. Pursuing the feline to the edge of Fran's yard, she stumbles upon the body of Theo Barnes, clearly a victim of foul play. To get her and Fran off the suspect list, Lara finds herself following the cat's clues in search of a killer. Is Blue's ghost really trying to help her solve a murder, or has Lara inhaled too much catnip?
Linda Reilly is a new author to me and I am happy that I took a chance on this first book in her new Cat Lady Mystery Series. I thought this was a charming start to the new series. The author did a nice job of balancing the mystery with introducing her characters. Lara and her Aunt Fran are very likable characters and I enjoyed the story line that centered on them renewing their relationship after not really seeing each other for a good number of years. Lara is very personable, warm and comes across as genuine. There is a nice cast of secondary characters as well. I also think there is a nice hint of something a bit paranormal or other worldly involved in the story as well.
The mystery was woven into the story nicely. The victim was not well liked by people in the town so this allows the author to weave in clues that misdirect the reader about the killer's identity. There were some twists and turns to try and throw the reader off the scent of the real culprit (which worked on me). I was surprised by the identity of the killer. This person was never even on my radar.I found this first book to be an enjoyable read that kept me entertained. I voluntarily read an advanced copy provided to me by Lyrical Underground, the publisher, through Netgalley.