Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: November 8th, 2006
Challenges: NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | OmniLit* | BAM! | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble
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Blurb from goodreads:
Grandeur and opulence are everything in the famed New Orleans Garden District where pets are family and no bling is too big. Opening Furry Godmother, pet boutique and organic treat bakery, is Lacy Marie Crocker’s dream come true--until the glitter gun used to make her Shih Tzu tutus becomes a murder weapon. And Lacy becomes public enemy #1.
Now Detective Jack Oliver is hounding Lacy, and her Furry Godmother investor wants out before his name is tarnished by association. To make matters worse, a string of jewel heists with suspicious ties to the murder case has New Orleans residents on edge. To save her dream, Lacy must take a stand, put her keen eyes to work, and unravel what really happened at her shop that night. But can Lacy sniff out the killer cat burglar in time to get her tail-raising designs on the catwalk?
Witty and whimsical, Cat Got Your Diamonds, the first in a new cozy series by Julie Chase, will be the cat's meow for fans of Rita Mae Brown and Miranda James.
Okay, the blurb writer has clearly never read any of Rita Mae Brown's fiction books. There are no similarities between those books and this book other than they are mysteries set in the South. Though Ms. Brown did have some nice things to say about "Cat Got Your Diamonds" -
“In all that New Orleans heat and glitter, there’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. A fun read.”
—Rita Mae Brown, New York Times bestselling author of the Sneaky Pie mystery series
So, if you enjoy the Sneaky Pie books, don't expect that style of writing. What you will get is a Southern tale of mystery, intrigue, romance, family, the upper-class life, and an up-close look at spoiling your pets.
Lacy has come back home after an acrimonious split from her fiance. With help from a backer, she has opened a store where she creates one-of-a-kind costumes for a variety of animals and healthy pet treats (there are even recipes at the back of the book). She surprises a thief in her store who ends up dead. She sticks her nose into the investigation and spars with the detective in charge even as she's attracted to him.
I got irritated at times with Lacy. She really could be obnoxious and stupid about not listening to Jack, the detective, and she made some stupid decisions. But she was resourceful and determined and didn't lack for courage. Chase created an interesting cast of characters and a delightful setting with the pet boutique. She also made good use of the New Orleans setting, showing us a New Orleans beyond the touristy stuff and the stereotypes.
Chase threw in lots of red herrings and I was surprised several times by the turns the mystery took. Sadly, the romances were more predictable and there's the groundwork for a love triangle but maybe Chase will be merciful and resolve that quickly instead of dragging it out. Overall, "Cat Got Your Diamonds", despite a slightly misleading title, was a fun read with a mystery that kept me guessing. None of my guesses for the villains were correct. It's a good start for this new series.
About the author ~
Julie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three small children. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and Sisters in Crime (SinC). She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyons Literary Agency. Julie also writes as Julie Anne Lindsey.
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