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, June 25, 2018

Book Review: Claws of Death

Mysterious Monday

On this Mysterious Monday, we are pleased to bring you our short review of Claws of Death, the second Cat Lady mystery from Linda Reilly. We missed the first book in this series, but we had no trouble at all getting right into this book, which features a small cat shelter, a retired actress, and a mysterious ghostly cat that only one person can see.

The plot

Claws of Death, by Linda ReillyThe action happens in Whisker Jog, New Hampshire, where Lara Caphart and her aunt Fran run a cat shelter, and where famous but aging Hollywood star Deanna Daltry has decided to retire. Deanna adopts two adorable kittens—Noodle and Doodle—from the shelter. That’s terrific, but Lara has misgivings about the housekeeper, Nancy, who doesn’t like cats. Her misgivings tick up several  notches when she discovers a murdered man on Deanna’s property. Could he be connected to Deanna’s past somehow, or perhaps to Nancy’s past? Has Lara unwittingly adopted two innocent kittens out to a murderer? Everyone tells her not to get involved, but she can’t help herself, knowing that the kittens could be in danger.

Fortunately, she has help (see next section).

The cats

The main cats in this story are of course Noodle and Doodle and the cats at the shelter. We won’t introduce all of them here, but there’s Frankie, who wants to be an only cat; Ballou, a feral who’s learning to be more comfortable around humans; Bootsie, who’s been waiting forever to find a home; and Munster, the shelter’s unofficial greeter.

And then there’s the real main cat, Blue. She is a ghostly Ragdoll who appears at will but only to Lara. Blue has a talent for pointing out clues by pushing important papers and such in Lara’s direction (not that Lara always pays attention at first). And though she can’t be seen by others, Blue can influence them by moving objects to get their attention. The object-moving thing works for distracting crazed killers too!

Our verdict

So basically, we want Blue to come visit us (wouldn’t that be so cool?). And we want to go to Whisker Jog and visit Lara’s cat shelter. We would try to plan our trip for when they’re not having a murder, though, because it sounds like there are some dangerous people in the area.

What I am trying to say is that we loved Claws of Death. The plot is excellent and kept us guessing right up to the end (and no, we did not figure out whodunnit before the killer was revealed), and the characters are people (and cats) you really want to spend time with. We loved seeing the cats at the shelter meet their new families, even though things don’t always turn out as planned. And of course we loved seeing how the cats touch people’s lives, even if those people don’t like cats.

Claws of Death has just the right mix of charm and mayhem, and we highly recommend it!

Two Paws Up! A Great Read

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. This sounds like a wonderful book, and I love that there are so many cat characters. It also takes place in my state, and I really enjoy books that are set locally!

  2. This is hysterical...how do we do it?!?!?! I love your reviews, and adore this series!

  3. Sounds like this could be fun summer reading.

  4. I'm off to Goodreads now, to add this series to my, "to read" list! Thanks for the review!