Miss Cuddlywumps reviews Leighann Dobbs’s latest tale from Mystic Notch
It is with great pleasure that we return to the intriguing town of Mystic Notch in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. And it seems we’re just in time for the fifth annual Mystic Notch Art Show, which is especially exciting because we love a good art show. But will this one be marred…by murder?
You see, there is one slot left for entries into that art show (and a chance at its $20,000 prize), and one Paisley Brown seems willing to do whatever it takes to make sure she gets it. Get it she does, in more ways than one. First, she gets that slot, allowing her to enter her truly terrible photography into the show. Second, she gets murdered in her photography studio, which just happens to be across the street from a certain bookshop owned by one Wilhelmina Chance.
Chance inherited the shop from her grandmother, and it is no boring old chain store, let me tell you. Last Chance Books happens to be haunted, by a couple of resident ghosts (poet Robert Frost and President Franklin Pierce—go figure) and by some who are just passing through—in this case Paisley Brown, who needs Chance to find out who killed her. Fortunately Chance is a former Boston crime journalist, so she has some idea of how to go about an investigation. And she finds a clue, though she can’t quite believe the conclusion it leads her to. More importantly, she is also fortunate enough to have the help of Pandora, the lovely gray cat who came along with the bookstore.
Now, Pandora is no ordinary cat. In fact, it seems that few of the cats of Mystic Notch are ordinary. Many of them are elite mystical cats deeply involved in the eternal struggle of good versus evil. Pandora has her own task in this story, and that is to find a mysterious young cat with a unique appearance—and then to rescue that cat from the evil white Persian (named Fluff) holding her under his influence.
Of course, Chance knows nothing about any of that, busy as she is sorting through potential suspects—and secrets. Secret affairs, secret loves, secret hobbies—A Mew to a Kill is full of secrets, and it is a joy to ride along with Chance as she uncovers them. The most important secret, of course, is the one that led to Paisley’s murder. The question is, will Chance and Pandora figure it out before someone else gets hurt?
A Mew to a Kill is an enjoyable, witty read peopled with well-drawn characters in a setting we love visiting. The story is satisfyingly complex, and the society of mystical cats is one of the best cat tales we know of. We just can’t wait to find out what Fluff the evil Persian will do next.
We highly recommend A Mew to a Kill and the whole Mystic Notch series!