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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Review - Crime and Catnip

I reviewed the first book in this series, Meow if it's Murder (click here), the second book, Claws for Alarm (click here), and the author did two guest posts for us (click here), and second interview (click here). I was looking forward to this next installment in the series.  So let's see what else Nora and cat sidekick Nick investigate.  

Author: T.C. LoTempio

Copyright: December 2016 (Berkley) 304 pgs

Series: 3rd in Nick & Nora Mystery series

Sensuality: Mild

Mystery Sub-genre: Cozy

Main Character: Nora Charles former crime reporter, now a small business owner

Setting: modern day, Cruz, California

Obtained Through: Publisher for honest review

From the book cover: "While catering a gala for the Cruz Museum, Nora Charles agrees to look into the disappearance of director Violet Crenshaw’s niece, a case previously undertaken by her [cat] Nick’s former owner, a private eye whose whereabouts are also currently unknown.
As Nora and her curious cat Nick pull at the string of clues, they begin to unravel a twisted tale of coded messages, theft, false identities, murder, and international espionage. Nora dares to hope that the labyrinth of leads will not only help them locate the missing young woman, but also solve the disappearance of the detective. That’s if Nora can stay alive long enough to find him..."

Nora's stubborness is on full display and at times she was reckless. She is not trying to help, but flat out solve the murder herself. Detective Leroy Samms, the old college fling, is back working on the case with her FBI love-interest. He continues to repeatedly tell Nora to stop asking questions or generally being involved. This gets old tiresome quick. FBI Agent Daniel Corleone gets a few good moments in the story, but is mostly alongside Samms.  This is clearly a Samms vs Corleone sub-plot and I have already stated I'm team Corleone. Sister Lacey who was prevalent in the last book was absent this time around. Nick the cat is still the intuitive wonder, giving Nora clues via scrabble tiles and even helps rescue her. He adds a subtle touch of whimsy to the story.

The museum is an effective setting used to add another layer to the story.  The plot was rewarding and more involved than I anticipated - Kudos.  The pacing was maintained and I would read past my bedtime because I was enjoying the story.  

The killer reveal is a two-part puzzle and with some good twists that I thouroughly enjoyed.  The wrap up involves Nora's completion of her task for Violet Crenshaw.  

I have to say, this series keeps getting better. It incorporates some plotting that could easily be in a grittier sleuthing book, but maintains the lighter cozy air for a wonderful escape.

Rating:  Near Perfect - Couldn't Put it down. Buy two copies, one for you and one for a friend. 

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Mystica said...

I like the titles too.

Lori L. Robinett said...

What a cute series - how have I missed these? Thanks for the review! Adding these books to my TBR List!

Lori L. Robinett
author of Fatal Impulse

A.F. Heart said...

Thanks for the comments, glad to be of some assistance! Yay. Whoop, whoop. :-)


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