This is a really sweet cozy mystery and is the first, that I know of anyway, that is set in a cat cafe! Ms. Witty Kitty would so love to open her own cat cafe someday, so she was overjoyed when she saw the back-cover blurb on this one!
It’s actually set in a Deer Park, North Carolina cat rescue called Friendly Paws, which is owned by sleuth Sydney’s sister, Kat, but in order to raise funds for the rescue, the sisters organize a cat event in a local cafe (which is how the current craze of cat cafes in the U.S. began :)) Well, everyone in the small town is super excited for the cat cafe event, thinking it’s a fabulous idea for a fundraiser – which of course it is – except for Kat’s landlord, Trowbridge Littleton (what a great name!), who promises to do everything he can to keep the event from happening. He also owns an art gallery down the street, and, when Sydney shows up there to try to convince him to reconsider, she finds Kat already there, along with Trowbridge’s dead body. Sydney now has to prove her sister’s innocence and find the real killer. Of course Trowbridge is not very liked among the townspeople, so there are lots of possibilities for who the real killer is, and LoTempio keeps us guessing until the end.
I found all of the characters delightful, as well as the well-described setting, and Sydney is a savvy, endearing sleuth you really want to root for. What I always love about cat or dog mysteries, though, is watching the animal help solve the crime. Here, an orange tabby named Toby performs that function quite well. Toby is a bit of a wandering tom whose ways leads him to see certain things, making him very helpful to the woman whom it seems will become his chosen human, sleuth Sydney.
This is a fun cat cozy and only the first in what I hope will become a long series. Five delicious bonito flakes!
Above sister Katusha checks out our copy of the book, which WK found at the Scottsdale Civic Library’s little Friends of the Library bookstore.