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, January 5, 2015

Book Review: Death of a Dapper Snowman, by Angela Pepper

I think we could all learn something from Death of a Dapper Snowman, and it is this: If you ever happen upon a well-dressed snowman with a creepy, off-kilter grin, do not, under any circumstances, remove his head. Also, you probably should not plunk the snowman’s top hat on your noggin for a selfie.

Unless, that is, you want to get all mixed up in a murder investigation, which is exactly what happens to protagonist Stormy Day when she discovers a dead man concealed within a creepy snowman in her father’s neighbor’s yard. What got Stormy into this odd circumstance, you ask? A cat, of course.

See, she had gone to her father’s house to retrieve his girlfriend’s nameless cat who needs to be spayed. Only the cat—a Russian blue who actually needs to be neutered, not spayed—runs into the neighbor’s yard and climbs up this snowman, after which, things start to get weird (I am referring here to the body in the snowman).

But weird seems to suit Stormy just fine, even if she might not see it that way. She is thirty-three and accustomed to handling high-dollar venture capital deals, only now she’s back in her hometown of Misty Falls running a little gift shop and living in a duplex, the other half of which she recently rented to a bearded man she’s now trying to avoid. Oh, and apparently she’s also the new caretaker of this cat.

You could say that life has not worked out quite according to Stormy’s plan, so having a good mystery to solve (with the help of a great cat, of course) could be exactly what she needs. The fact that her father, a former police officer, is a suspect gives her a little extra incentive to get involved in the investigation.

Death of a Dapper Snowman is a fun read. We loved Stormy’s character, especially her habit of dropping sarcastic remarks at nearly every opportunity. Misty Falls is the kind of quirky place that is the perfect setting for a cozy mystery series. (Come on, nobody would conceal a body inside a snowman in a so-called “normal” town, would they? And what kind of weirdo does that, anyway?)

Beyond being an entertaining and appropriately cozy book, Dapper Snowman is also about a still-young woman coming to terms with where she is in life, compared to where she used to be or where she thought she’d be. (And if you ask us, Stormy Day is better off in Misty Falls with Jeffrey and her father, good friends, and that bearded renter than she ever was in the venture-capital world.)

Finally, there is a nugget of sweetness at the story’s center, and in its ending, that help make Death of a Dapper Snowman a truly satisfying read. We look forward to future books in the Stormy Day series.

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