Miss Cuddlywumps reviews The Round House, a Ghost Sensitives mystery by Kate Townsend O’Keefe
The Round House is a mystery that combines cats with more than a hint of the supernatural. Kitza the cat can see spirits so clearly she can’t always tell if the being she’s encountering is alive or dead. Her best friend and fellow feline, Petey, is also able to see human and animal spirits, but he mostly likes to eat and sleep, so Kitza is the primary ghost hunter of the pair.
The story begins when Kitza encounters a mysterious blue cat in a dream. She is in a strange place, and there she meets a blue cat who is desperate for help. The mysterious cat leaves Kitza feeling restless—he and his situation seem so real, and even after seeing him while she’s awake she isn’t sure whether he is alive or dead.
Kitza and Petey ask other animals in the neighborhood for information about this cat, and soon learn of a British shorthair named Remington, who used to compete in pet shows and even won best in show sometimes. Neither Remington nor his owner has been seen in quite a while. To find out more, our two heroes need to get themselves entered in the next show, so Kitza cleverly manipulates … sorry, I mean persuades their person to do just that.
Which brings me to Sally, who is the cats’ main human and is just emerging from a long bout of severe depression. She’s been having dreams too, about a mysterious house with a round first floor—it’s the most beautiful house she’s ever seen. After Sally creates a drawing of this house, Kitza realizes that it is somehow connected with Remington.
It is clear that something is very wrong, and that the solving of this mystery requires a trip to that round house, but this is a trip that Remington has warned will be dangerous. The question is, how dangerous will it be and what will they find there?
The Round House is an enjoyable, fairly short read. The front of the book warns that the story can get a little heavy and may not be suitable for children, but we doubt it would be disturbing to any but the most sensitive. The story pulled us right in, and we love the concept of a mystery series featuring cats who are sensitive to spirits that need help from the living. (She of Little Talent remains skeptical about whether this happens in real life, but she is kind of an idiot.) The characters of Kitza and Petey take center stage throughout, something we have been longing for in much of our recent reading.
That said, we did wish for some deeper development of the human characters in the story, and especially for more insight into Sally’s character. This is several books into the series, though, and the first one we’ve read, so perhaps more of Sally’s story was told in earlier books. If cats and ghosts are your thing, The Round House is definitely worth a try.
All in all,