Today on Mysterious Monday, we are pleased to bring you Cat Got Your Diamonds, the first book in Julie Chase’s Kitty Couture mystery series. This is a fun read and a promising start to the series, which is set in New Orleans.
Jewelry heists, murder…and leg warmers for llamas
We have never been to New Orleans, but we imagine it to be the sort of place where a pet couture shop would not be out of place. Where such a shop might be in demand, even. In any event, we catch up with Lacy Crocker in her Garden District pet boutique, Furry Godmother, in the midst of a bit of a crime spree. There’ve been two jewelry heists in a week, and the area is a bit on edge. Plus, Lacy has some demanding customers who are counting on her to create just the right thing for their animal companions—I don’t think it would do to call them “pets”—for an upcoming festival. We’re talking about little outfits for Shih Tzus and leg warmers for llamas—you know the sort of thing. She’s just trying to get her shop off the ground, so the business is welcome.
But the local tension ticks up a notch when Lacy is confronted by an intruder in her store. In desperation and in fear for her life, she aims gold glitter spray paint into his face (one must use whatever weapon is at hand in these situations) and gets away. The intruder, though, ends up dead. Now the police are looking not just for a jewel thief but also for a murderer, and they seem to think that Lacy could be the killer. There’s this guy, Detective Jack Oliver, who is just so annoying…and so good-looking…and he likes cats…and Lacy is so lonely…
But this detective seems to be just another of Lacy’s problems as she has to clear her name and save her shop (investors get so skittish about little things like murder) while also trying to get her tabby cat, Penelope, back from her creep of an ex-fiancé and while making all those costumes for various animals.
Now to the really important stuff… Yes, there are some cats in this book. We hear about Penelope the tabby and keep our fingers crossed that Lacy’s fink of an ex will do the right thing for once and send her, safe and sound, to Lacy. There’s Voodoo, the family’s black cat, and there’s Jack Oliver’s cat, Jezebel. As long as we’re listing animals, I will mention the goldfish (Buttercup) Lacy buys to cure her loneliness (spoiler: it doesn’t work).
The animals aren’t major characters in the book, but we did enjoy their presence. And what with Lacy running a pet boutique, you know that there will be plenty of animals to meet in future installments in this series.
We found Cat Got Your Diamonds to be a thoroughly enjoyable read. It is funny in places, it has just the right amount of quirkiness, and the descriptions of New Orleans are evocative and sensual—meaning we could almost feel the humidity of a New Orleans afternoon. The only thing we will say about the gripping climactic scene is that we will never think of the song “On the Good Ship Lollipop” the same way again. (I lied a little bit. I will say one more thing, and that is that the scene reminded old SoLT of the time she got stuck on the “It’s a Small World” ride at Disney World, with the song on a loop that for some reason, the ride operators would not stop. She thought that was torture, but it was nothing like what Lacy goes through. And that’s all I’m going to say on it.)
If you're looking for a good, fun mystery with animals and some complexity but not so much it makes your head spin, give Cat Got Your Diamonds a try.
A note on the "Paws Up" system: Miss C gives either one or two paws up. One paw is for a good read; two paws is for a great read. She never gives three or four paws because that would require her to lie on her back...and Miss C does not do that!
We received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. We wouldn’t tell you it was good unless we really liked it!
The link below is an Amazon Associates link. If you purchase the book through this link, old SoLT and I could get some coin for our kibble account. Thank you!