Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter: The First Dixie Hemingway Mystery Mass Market Paperback – Jan 2 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
In the third Dixie Hemingway mystery (after 2007's Duplicity Dogged the Dachshund), Clement blends elements of cozy and thriller to produce an unusual and enjoyable hybrid. Pet-sitter Dixie, a former sheriff's deputy on leave after the death of her husband and daughter, finds a corpse in the gatehouse of a mansion, but leaves the body for someone else to find. Traumatized by having killed someone recently, Dixie wants nothing to do with homicide, but fate decrees otherwise. Her new client, a mysterious scientist wracked by pain, owns the mansion, and Dixie ends up caring for him and his pet iguana as she tries to solve the murder and juggle her conflicting feelings for heartthrob Lieutenant Guidry and seductive attorney Ethan Crane. Clement's deft hand with plot and characters is sure to delight readers. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Despite the title, which suggests yet another cute kitty cozy, this first-rate debut is more dark than light. Set on Siesta Key, near Sarasota, Florida, the story features Dixie Hemingway, whose family tragedy drove her from the police force and into the bars. Still healing, Dixie is clean and working again, only this time as a pet sitter. When a dead man is found inside one of her client's homes, Dixie must get involved with police work again, this time as an outsider. Clement weaves interesting subplots into the story, such as the story of a young gay man who can't come out to his militant parents and Dixie's own struggles with the loss of her husband and daughter in a senseless accident. When Dixie finds another body--this time that of her client--she becomes of more than passing interest to the police. Despite the grim subject matter, Clement lifts the mood with descriptions of the cute pets Dixie tends each day. A nice mix of lite and dark. Jenny McLarin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Our protagonist is a former sheriff's deputy, now turned pet-sitter. The tragedy that led her to change careers is exposed in bits and pieces as the book goes on; it remains a strong motivator in Dixie's life. The private lives of several of the other characters also contain dark moments and some skeletons in the closet. In fact, while the book falls somewhat into the "cozy" family, it's quite dark for a cozy. There are police procedural elements here too. I was pleased that our heroine cooperates with the police, and does her best, most of the time, to instantly convey any new information she has to the police detectives. There are a few cozy series where it seems as if the amateur detective is usually willfully trying to keep the police in the dark and/or maintain an adversarial relationship, or is always proving that she (it's usually a she) is smarter and faster than the bumbling police, and that's another conceit that's wearing thin over the years; I am glad this book isn't one of them.
It's also well-written and well-plotted, with twists and turns, legitimate red herrings in the mystery tradition, and a few surprises. The setting is in a spot I'm not familiar with, in the Florida Keys, so I can't really tell whether one gets an accurate sense of place and of the neighborhood(s) Dixie is in. (I enjoy reading series set in places I am familiar with, and if you are familiar with south Florida, this book would probably give you that same pleasurable sense of recognition.)
Family reading alert: part of the plot hinges on finding some pornographic photos. While there's no major sexual content in the book, those of you keeping an eye on the family reading may want to check those parts out to see whether they're safe for your family. There are several gay couples, the coming-out of a gay teen, and scenes in a gay bar, which shouldn't bother anyone - if you don't like hearing anything about the gay lifestyle, you probably wouldn't want to be reading murder mysteries or books set in the south Florida area in the first place.
One small thing: the cat-sitter is not the person who gets killed; the title is just a tad misleading there.
I look forward to picking up the next in the series; given the back-story we acquired in this book on our protagonist, I will be eager to see how her pet-sitting career vs. the possibility of returning to the sheriff's department plays out.
I was saddened to read online Ms. Clement died in 2011 but glad to know thee were more books in the series. So, I read Ms. Clement's second book about a Dashound and was really horrified! This series was presumably written for an audience of pet lovers, so reading about a cat being tortured and killed early in this second book was abhorent to me. Again, I was riveted by Ms. Clement's writing, so I finished the book, but it was filled with murder and violence throughout (including terrible, continuing fear on the part of the main character, Dixie Hemingway) and, toward the end, contained a description of the dashound we have come to love dying of old age and a scary threat of another dog (whom we have come to know) being killed.
Now I have to draw the line! As much as I would like to, I cannot continue reading this series because it has upset me so much, and I would NOT recommend it to anyone who does not like to read about pets being frightened, ill-treated and actually tortured and killed. Given what is contained in Ms. Clement's first two novels in this series, I cannot imagine what will be in the third novel. If you are at all upset by pets being hurt, please don't read this series.
I love to find new mysteries to read, and I can happily say that I was unable to put this book down! Dixie is a great character. I found her to be vulnerable and tough at that same time. The descriptions of how she felt after the death of her family tore at me, and I kept hoping that she would find a romantic interest. However, unlike many other cozies, she doesn't immediately fall for the detective in charge, although that may happen in future installments. The plot was interesting, the mystery had enough twists and turns to keep me interested, and I was surprised at the ending. It did leave some unanswered questions, and I am eagerly anticipating the next installment. I am hopeful this is a long running series for years to come!
As I was reading the book, I kept thinking of the Kinsey Millhone series by Sue Grafton. The books are definitely different in many ways, but the style of writing is very similar. If you like the "Alphabet" series by Sue Grafton, you might want to give this new book a try.