In their latest lively adventure, the crime-solving duo of literary agent Jane Stuart and her canny cat, Winky, find themselves at an isolated writers retreat, where one of the authors is exploring a hidden talent for murder.
As this is a series, I am going to be forced to reveal some details but as always will try to limit the damage for those who have not read the earlier books. In Missing Marlene, Ivy and Jane Stuart had a terrible falling out. Ivy and Jane had been roommates in College and still considered themselves best friends these many years later. Though separated and going through many life changes, they still kept in contact. Marlene was Ivy's daughter and soon after arriving in town to be a nanny to Nick, Jane's son, Marlene vanished and was later found dead. Despite the fact that Marlene was responsible for what happened to her by dealing with some unsavory types, Ivy blamed Jane for her death as well as a laundry list of other issues and ended the friendship.
Truth be told, Jane was somewhat relieved that the friendship ended as she had slowly come to the realization that Ivy was using their friendship as leverage against Jane for whatever she wanted at the moment. But guilt and a deep sense of wanting people in her life to be happy drives Jane and when Ivy suddenly arrives in town, Jane goes once again against her gut feelings. She allows Ivy to shoulder her way back into her life and her home. Soon she learns that Ivy now lives in New York City, a short distance away and has stared a new job and new career. She also has a new boyfriend in her life, John Baglieri.Read more ›
When Ivy lets it slip that she has no place to go for the holidays, Jane invites her former best friend to spend them with her and then go out with her to a writer's treat at Mt. Munsee Lodge. Johnny shows up at the retreat but seems more interested in another guest then he is with Ivy. The last anyone sees of Johnny is a man with a gun chasing him into the nearby woods. Shortly after that Ivy's frozen body is found in the snow, knifed to death. Knowing she won't be able to live with herself if the killer isn't found, Jane starts her own investigation not realizing that if she gets too close to the truth, the perpetrator will have no qualms about killing her too.
Fans of Winky the cat will be delighted to know that she is pregnant and gives birth to six kittens during the course of this book. The childish wonder Jane's son exhibits at this miracle of birth is a joy to behold. The mystery itself is well drawn with so many suspects that Jane, once Johnny is eliminated, doesn't have a clue who did it. She has to go to motive and none of the possible perpetrators have one. Evan Marshall has written a fiendishly clever who-done-it, one that the heroine and the audience will work hard to figure out.