The Cat, the Quilt and the Corpse: A Cats in Trouble Mystery Mass Market Paperback – May 5 2009
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"A welcome new voice in mystery fiction." -- Jeff Abbott
"The most likable sleuth to come along in years." -- Rick Riordan
"An intriguing puzzle which has buried layers that must be uncovered."
About the Author
Leann Sweeney lives in Friendswood, TX.
Top Customer Reviews
Our heroine is recently widowed in a new house and new town. Her felines are now her sole family. It’s no small ordeal for <i>Jill</i> when one is missing, upon her return from an overnight quilt-selling convention. A sour, elderly policeman investigates with an energetic, young partner. Without stolen objects, he is hasty to assume the cat wandered; she doesn’t see why they should waste her talent for crime scene investigation. It takes most of the novel to convince their chief of what readers know: the town’s cats are the victims at risk. The details and people behind it are complicated. Many more characters are introduced along the way and very well identified in their particular traits. Adding interest throughout these goings-on, is <i>Jill</i>: making friends and getting to know her townspeople for the first time.
The plotting really is well done in that it takes such widespread effort to siphon out each piece of information and suspicious personalities. <i>Jill’s</i> kindness and warmth despite some of their gruff exteriors, makes you rally for this new protagonist all the way. Not least of all: she, the lady officer, the shelter husband & wife team, and an elderly man demonstrate a true love for cats that I enjoy reading with all of my own heart.
Things would soon be flip flopping big time and Jillian feel like she was living in Mayberry rather than Mercy after someone broke in and stole Syrah, her Abyssinian, while she was away on a business trip. Barbara Lynne, the 911 dispatcher, was a crooning darling until she found out those `babies' were dumb old cats. Did anyone mention ice cubes? Deputies Morris Ebeling and Candace Carson (don't you ever, never call her Candy) were quickly dispatched to the scene of the crime. Morris couldn't have cared less, but Candace was getting ready to have one of her "evidence obsession seizures" right there in Jillian's living room. She'd try to collect everything from cat hair to dandruff if you let her.
The nuttiness (and we're not talking pecans here) was only just beginning. There were any number of potential suspects, but if anyone had a weirdo complex in Mercy, Flake Wilkerson would top the list. The rest of the lineup could probably be easily squeezed out of lips of the Piggly Wiggly gossip crowd. Jillian just knew that man had stolen Syrah and went over to his pink house to see for herself. What she saw was a bit more than she bargained for.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The cats are "this worldly" - not "other", which is probably harder to write well as characters, but Mrs. Sweeney is certainly up to the task. The cats are their sweet selves, somewhat more normal than Koko in Lillian Jackson Braun's series, but don't think for a minute that ordinary is boring. Not with this author.
Oh yeah, the human characters are appropriately developed and the plot has just enough hints to let you play along in the mystery.
Touches of humor are never far away, and "Mercy, SC" becomes an almost yearned-for hometown, even if you weren't raised there.
The modern touches (I-Pod, laptop, Cat-Cam, etc) are fun. The only thing that wasn't modern in this post-Katrina setting was the police chief's "service revolver" (virtually all officers use semi-automatic high capacity handguns these days).
We're looking forward to the next one(s) of hopefully a long series.
The lady is certainly nuts about cats - a "cat cam" where she can view her cats on her phone while she's away???? Someone needs to get a life. But the "cat cam" does have a role to play as do the cats.
Cat trivia - I learned a group of cats is a klowder and all cats hate closed doors (thought it was just mine). Also that "cat quilts" are a big thing if the author can be believed. Obviously she has had different experiences than I have had.
Other reviewers have described the plot. The author does have a gift for description and detail and you can almost imagine living in the small town she describes. I will most likely purchase her future books.
It frankly took some good writing to overcome the sugar in the iced tea (which always makes my stomach turn) and the cats. I had to pretend they were dogs in my mind in order to understand the protagonist's devotion to them, but those are my hang ups, not the author's. Also, I was a little uncertain about earning money making quilts for cats, but there are a lot of areas where I have no expertise, and that is apparently one of them. The fact I liked the book at all is a credit to the writing.
I confess I expected a bit more. I am, after all, a quilter, an avid mystery reader, and owned by two cats. You might think this makes this book perfectly suited for me (and for you, if any of those qualities also apply to you), but while the cats are definitely in evidence, the quilts are pretty much in the background. The protagonist is a quilter, yes, but a reader wouldn't learn very much about "how quilting works" as in common in most cozy mysteries. If you're hoping for a mystery with a quilt at the center of it... well, maybe in the next installment.
Jillian Hart is a recent widow who's moved to a small town in South Carolina, but has mostly kept busy with quilting until someone breaks into her home -- and the only thing taken appears to be one of her three cats. In the process of trying to convince the police that her missing cat is worth investigating, she gets to know some of the folks in town... and discovers a dead body. The "whodunnit" is a little thin, but most of the characters are believable -- though I don't know if non Cat People whould agree with Jillian's constant attention on what her cats are doing.
It's a nice story and "okay" on the mystery part; it kept my interest during a long plane flight. I enjoyed it, but I'm not going to press the book into your hands and say earnestly, "You MUST read this."