A note about The Cuddlywumps Chronicles

This blog is written and maintained by Miss Cuddlywumps, a fluffy-tailed calico cat who is both classically educated and familiar with mysteries. She receives creative input from the Real Cats and clerical assistance from She of Little Talent (old SoLT, a.k.a. Roby Sweet). Comments or complaints should be addressed to Miss C rather than to old SoLt (Ms. Sweet). Ms. Sweet accepts no responsibility for Miss C's opinions.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Of Cat Sitters, Counterfeits, and Murder

Miss Cuddlywumps reviews The Cat Sitter’s Pajamas by Blaize Clement

I, Miss Cuddlywumps, have no personal experience with pet sitters, but I have always imagined their lives as being interesting but rather tranquil. Apparently, though, cat sitting is far more exciting—and dangerous—than I thought. At least it is in Blaize Clement’s excellent Cat Sitter series.

Most recently, we read The Cat Sitter’s Pajamas (2011), in which Dixie Hemingway—pet sitter extraordinaire and “no relation to you-know-who”—discovers a live but mostly nude woman in the locked home of a football star whose cats she is watching. Dixie calls 911, naturally, to have the police remove the offender, but deputies arrive to find not the live woman the cat sitter saw but a totally different dead woman.

Now, Dixie is no ordinary pet sitter. She was once a deputy and knows how to handle things like this. She packs up the cats, Elvis and Lucy, to take them to the pet boarder. (Elvis has a cute paper fetish, and he even takes a little slip of paper in the carrier with him. I enjoy cats who have hobbies.) Dixie also arranges to have the home cleaned before Cupcake Trillin (football star) and his wife return. This is all above and beyond a pet sitter’s normal duties.

Oh, and Dixie also gets mixed up with one Briana (no last name), the famous model who is both the nearly-nude intruder in Cupcake’s home and a murder suspect (because who else could have killed the unidentified victim?). Of course Briana claims to know nothing of the murder. She does claim to know Cupcake, though, from when they were kids breaking into homes in Louisiana. But Cupcake claims to know nothing of Briana.

It is all so mysterious, all this claiming to know or not to know, to be or not to be. And it only becomes more mysterious as Dixie gets drawn in to the dangerous underworld of counterfeit fashion, of what is real and what is not. For some reason, various criminals think she has something they want, and they are willing to use violence to get it back. Unfortunately Dixie has no idea what she has that is so important.

The Cat Sitter’s Pajamas is a satisfying page-turner. The writing is light and engaging, the plot intriguing, the Florida setting beautiful, and the characters likeable (though Briana is a little weird). The book is also funny, with some laugh-out-loud lines, like this one on spending $6,000 for a handbag from a famous designer: “Any woman who would do that should just go whole hog and spend ten thousand for a new brain.” We agree, and we cannot wait to read more of Dixie’s adventures.

I give this book a heartfelt

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