The first book in the Cats in Trouble Mystery series, published May 2009.
Recently widowed Jillian Hart is rebuilding a life for herself and her three beloved cats--Chablis, Syrah and Merlot--as a quilter in a small South Carolina town. The quilts she makes are for cats as smart, special, and sweet as her own, and business is thriving.
But when she returns from an overnight quilting show, she discovers Chablis sneezing--and since Chablis is allergic to humans, that can only mean one thing: Someone has broken into her house. When she realizes her Abyssinian Syrah is missing, Jillian suspects catnapping.
Spurred by Chablis and Merlot's mournful meowing, she investigates--and discovers more missing cats and a murder. Now she's got to save more than one cat in trouble--not to mention herself.
This book grabbed me with the very first sentence: My cat is allergic to people. I just had to know about that.
Jillian Hart has been a widow for ten months now, and hasn’t ventured in the small town of Mercy where she and her late husband moved to shortly before his untimely death much yet. But that is about to change. One day when she comes home from a quilting show, she finds her cat Chablis sneezing. He is allergic to people, but how could he have gotten in contact with a stranger? Then Jillian discovers her window is broken, the tv she left on for her cats is off, and her beloved Syrah is missing. The local police isn’t much interested in the case, so she will have to start looking for her cat herself. And the best way to do that, is put up flyers, and talk to people. What she doesn’t know, is that the town has a no-flyer policy, and her flyers are taken down almost immediately. The local animal shelter hasn’t received a stray cat either, but Shawn, the owner, accuses an old man of catnapping her cat. But of course, they cannot prove anything.
Though Shawn takes her over to the Pink House, were the man is living, they get no answers. A cat escapes the house while they are talking to Mr. Wilkerson, but it is not her cat. Though Shawn takes it back to the animal shelter with hem, when he sees the cat again on the road.
A shaken Lillian has her window fixed, and an alarm system installed. And to her surprise, the next day (she has a life feed on her mobile phone) she sees evidence of a fight and rushes home to find another burglary. Luckily her two remaining cats are safe. But her alarm system is smashed to pieces. But on the computer she got some good pictures of the intruder, and recognises Mr. Wilkerson. She is determined to confront him, and calls Tom Stewart, who installed her security system, to meet her there in 5 minutes. This time, she does find her missing cat, but also the dead body of Mr. Wilkerson.
At first the police suspect her of being the murderer, but all Jillian cares about, are the cats kept prisoner in the house. She needs to have them taken care of. The police doesn’t believe that the motive can be found in the cats, so Jillian sets out to find out the truth for herself. With the help of Candace, a young police woman who wants to be a CSI, and who is severely under appreciated by her boss and collegues.
I really enjoyed reading this book. I like cats, but as I am very allergic to them, I am not really a cat person. The book is filled with great secondary characters who love their cats, and I learned quite a bit off funny cat-lore.
Jillian is just coming out of her grieving time, when this tragedy with her cat happens, and she discovers it was about time she got out the house some, and mingle with her neighbours and the other inhabitants in Mercy. Everyone goes to the coffeehouse, so that is a great place to talk, and hear things about other people. Jillian also makes quilts for cats, which is a good business, and for charity. I just didn’t learn very much about the art of quilting. Perhaps in a next book.
Tom hits a bit on her, and Jillian is very surprised to find herself warned away from him. And Tom is so not happy with that woman he wants nothing to do with.
Candace has a crush on a gorgeous firefighter, the man who repaired Jillian’s window, and one of the men on the calendar sold for charity … so you can imagine him I guess?
The police chief investigating the case, I am still not sure about him. Very insensitive, and he just doesn’t believe her ideas. She is just a suspect to him, and after that, fraternizing with other suspects. While in the end …
Yes, a good book, and I will be sure to read the other two in this series. If you are a cat lover, you will enjoy this book, I am sure of it.