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, December 18, 2017

Book Review: Jamie Quinn Mystery Collection

Mysterious Monday

On this Mysterious Monday, we bring you a review of three books in one: it’s the Jamie Quinn Mystery Collection, by Barbara Venkataraman. The collection includes the first three books in the series: Death by Digeridoo, The Case of the Killer Divorce, and Peril in the Park, all set in Hollywood, Florida, and featuring family lawyer Jamie Quinn and her favorite private investigator, Duke. And of course there is a cat, whom we’ll tell you about a little later.

Death by Digeridoo

Jamie Quinn Mystery Collection, by Barbara Venkataraman
In this installment, Jamie’s cousin, Adam, is accused of murdering a former rock star named Spike with—you guessed it—a digeridoo. Adam has Asperger’s syndrome, making the ensuing investigation a little more difficult. Jamie gets drawn into the investigation because, even though she doesn’t practice criminal law, Adam obviously needs a lawyer immediately. Fortunately Jamie has a best friend, Grace, who’s also a lawyer and gives great advice. And she knows a PI, Duke, who can help investigate. Now the question is, which of Spike’s associates would hate him enough to kill him, and how will Jamie protect Adam long enough for her to find the answers?

 The Case of the Killer Divorce

Since she practices family law, Jamie often works with clients seeking a divorce. In this installment, her client, Becca, is going through a divorce and custody battle, when her husband suddenly dies. And unfortunately for Becca, she had told her husband she’d kill him if he tried to take the kids. Also, it looks like it was her sleeping pills that did him in. Can you say, “Suspect number one”? Again, Jamie investigates, but she does have to wonder if Becca might just be guilty after all. This story also introduces Kip Simons, Jamie’s high school heartthrob, who’s back in town and is very interested in her. But will he stay interested once he finds out Jamie’s not into lots of outdoor adventures?

Peril in the Park

The third story brings Jamie’s new boyfriend, Kip, firmly into the picture. Kip’s new job puts him in charge of all the county parks—and in the middle of a lot of discord in the parks department. A lot of people are angry at him, the parks are being vandalized, and then someone calling themselves ICU sends Jamie a threatening email with pictures of her and Kip, meaning they are being followed. Kip is also acting kind of weird, so that Jamie knows he’s keeping some things from her—it’s all just “work stuff” that he can’t talk about, he says. Things ramp up when a murder occurs at a Renaissance festival … and then when Kip disappears, well, it sure looks like someone is trying to get him out of the way.

The cat

The cat in this series is a kind of cranky 12-pound gentleman named Mr. Paws. He was Jamie’s mother’s cat, and Jamie took over his care and feeding after her mother died. At first, Jamie and Mr. Paws do not like each other. So much so that Jamie temporarily changes his name to Mr. Pain in the Ass. When her mother was alive and Jamie would visit, Mr. Paws would hiss at her—and Jamie hissed back. We're happy to say that this relationship evolves through the series. In Killer Divorce, Mr. Paws starts purring and crawling into bed with Jamie. And in Peril in the Park, he becomes her dependable companion when she’s home. He’s still cranky though!

Our verdict

We liked each of these stories a lot, and we enjoyed Jamie and her friends. Duke and Grace are both fun characters, as is Jamie herself. She is so relatable, and she seems like she’d be a great person to hang out with. Our favorite of the stories was Peril in the Park, because we found it the most suspenseful of the three, but each story is a good, quick read with fun twists, humor, and mystery. One thing I did not mention yet is the ongoing story of Jamie’s attempts to locate her long-lost father. This thread was actually one of our favorite things about the series as we hoped for things to work out for Jamie to first find her father and then be reunited with him. We did wish for more cat, as Mr. Paws makes only occasional appearances and isn’t important to the plot. I do have to withhold one paw because of that (we are a cat-centric blog, after all), but we still would recommend Jamie Quinn to any reader looking for a light-reading, quick-paced cozy mystery filled with some pretty great human characters!

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!


  1. Gosh, I haven't cracked a book open since Da Boyz arrived! Guess I've got to find a way to read and play with a wand toy!

  2. These sound good- not as good as Miss Cuddlywumps though :)