Sunday, 23 October 2022

The Cat Who Caught A Killer

 by L T SHEARER;  

An Adventure Book Review by Erin the Literary Cat©, International Book Reviewer.

 


Hello, and welcome to my weekend Book Review featuring Adventures in Middle-Grade Fiction.
 
This week, we have no news from Upper Much-Mousing due to poor internet service. According to the rushed telephone I got in the potting shed, this was caused by the wrong sort of leaves falling on the overhead telegraph wires. And if you'll believe that excuse, you are probably the sort that accepted British Rail's 'leaves on the track' explanation or the wrong kind of rain and wind. Rumour has it Erin was out celebrating Halloween, when someone dressed in a cloak and pointy hat whisked her away on a broom! The UMM police have put out a search warrant for the local parkkeeper. Mrs H, however, has other thoughts on the matter and is currently out following a trail of catnip chewy sweet wrappers. She was last seen heading out of the village in her Sou'wester and oilskins, muttering unrepeatable things!
 
Anyways, it falls to me, Ol' Ned, to push the button marked ENTER on the laptop so all you good folk can read about this week's fabulous book!

 

Image ©




AUTHOR:  L T SHEARER

 

Cover art by: Not stated.

 

Published by:  Pan MacMillan


Publication date: Hardback on 27 October 2022

 

 

Publication date: Paperback on 22 June 2023

 


Paperback ISBN:   978 1529097993

 

Cover price for Hardback £10.09, Paperback £8.99

 

Pages: 400.

 

Age range: Adult


Any dogs or cats? Oh yes, Conrad the talking cat!


 

 

SPOILER ALERT


Some as to plot direction and characters. 

 

 

Thank you to... 

 

We are exceedingly grateful to Pan MacMillan Publishers and NetGalley for the privilege of getting to Read & Review this much-anticipated book before publication. 

 

As ever, our views are our own, and we only share reviews of books we like and feel our readers deserve to know about and that we hope they will enjoy. 

 

 

The plot


This delightful modern cosy mystery is set just before and after the death, seemingly from dementia, of Emily Lewis, who had been in a care home of outstanding repute.


The book opens with Lulu Lewis, Emily's daughter-in-law, looking out the galley window of her canal boat, moored at Little Venice, not far from Maida Vale in London. She moved there two months earlier after her husband's death, and since Emily went into the care home. 

 

A calico-coloured cat, unusual as its a tomcat where most calicos are female, strides purposefully by the window and jumps aboard. Welcoming her first visitor to the barge, she casually asks the cat if he would like a saucer of milk. Much to Lulu's surprise, the cat answers quite matter-of-factly that he's not one for milk. He goes on to say that most cats aren't due to lactose intolerance. Not unsurprisingly, Lulu is aghast and thinks she's dreaming. Which of course, she isn't, and the cat, Conrad, is a 100% talking, thinking, rational cat, though the glass of wine he then asks for is purely in jest. 

 

With Conrad neatly wrapped around her shoulders for comfort and safety, Lulu heads to see Emily. Conrad senses Emily is a good person and the two bond. One of the nurses takes a picture of the three, so it can be placed on Emily's wall to help her remember. Taking a chocolate from Emily's box, Lulu and Conrad leave. It is the last time either will see Emily alive, for when Lulu arrives the next day, Emily has passed away. But why wasn't she informed? 


Now, cosy mysteries being as they are, things start to unfold. As Lulu is a retired police detective, a first-rate detective, she starts to question the suddenness of it all. As Conrad points out, Emily's aura was one showing good health and a person at ease. She definitely wasn't sick. Yet, the doctor has stated her cause of death as old age and dementia. 


From here on in, we get into the thick of family arguments, wills, missing evidence, and some shady characters. With little to go on, save a visitors list at the care home, and some pictures taken by the nurse, Lulu and Conrad set off to investigate, calling in favours from pals still on the force.




So, what did we think?

 

I have to say I loved this mystery. More so than many other feline-based cosy mysteries. It may be considered by some a cosy mystery, but it has a much bigger feel, worthy of the Morse of Colin Dexter, Danny Boyle, or even Agatha Christies's Hercule Poirot! 

Conrad's arrival on the scene is pure magic. The dialogue in the opening pages is fluid and just what one might expect from a feline encounter of the talking kind. I found myself laughing at the retorts and hoping the story would continue in the same vein, which I am happy to say it does, without the feeling of ever getting old or worn. 


The book also deals very well with the subject of dementia for those left behind and those afflicted. I found this hard as this has touched my family, like many others. There was never any sense of the subject being given anything other than due respect. 

There is a lot going on, investigation-wise, which is why I haven't gone into too much detail. The ending is, however, satisfying. 



So . . . . 



Crunch time. 


All in all, I desperately want to see this detective due, placed wonderfully in the heart of London and uniquely on a barge, go from strength to strength and on to equally as interesting new cases. 

 

Undoubtedly a MUST BUY 5 Star book for lovers of mysteries with a modern flavour and compelling characters and storyline.




Want to buy a copy?

 

To get a copy, please sail or saunter down to your local independent bookshop. Of course, a feline on the shoulders is optional. There are plenty out there (both book shops and cats), and each shop is just waiting to serve up whatever kind of mystery, fun and adventure you desire.

 


Pan MacMillan's Author web page can be found HERE or type this: https://www.panmacmillan.com/authors/l-t-shearer/44065 


 

 

I shall leave you with a picture of Erin, from before the 'catnapping'! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

 

 


 

Till laters!

ERin

29 comments:

  1. That's a lovely picture of Erin.
    The book sounds precisely Our Cup of Tea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. It is really good. Great intro and ran along so nicely. A good bedtime cosy read. I hope you get to see a copy in Israel.
      Purrs
      ERin

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  2. You look gawjus as always ERin. Big hugs to you and Mrs. H.

    Luvs ya'

    RaenaBelle and Zebby

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    Replies
    1. Many thanks, and Mrs H and I offer the same to you all!
      ERin

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  3. That sounds like a pretty interesting plot and your selfie is really pretty sweet Princess!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is, and I thought it was so well set out, careful and yet also fun.
      ERin

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  4. Replies
    1. It is both fun and a great clue solver. I think any cat lover will really tune into the characters.
      Purrs
      ERin

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  5. Erin, our favorite part of your post is, of course, that photo of you! But that book also sounds quite good, and one we would like to read. :)

    Sorry to hear about your balky internet. If it makes you feel any better, the rail service here uses that same "leaves on the track" line...

    Hugs to you and Mrs. H!

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    Replies
    1. The picture is my sort of fav bit. The post selfie snack however is the best! If you get the chance to read on a kindle, or in any form, I am sure you'll appreciate the humour as well as plot.
      Purrs
      ERin

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  6. I think your WP blog ate my comment when I tried to post it...


    So you went on a secret adventure, eh, Erin?? LOL!

    Your book sounds like an excellent read.

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    Replies
    1. Alas it just took a time to come through. It is there now. As to adventures, well, Mrs H says I have way way too many. Me, I just sleep too much and dream and eat. πŸ™‚
      Purrs
      ERin

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  7. Lovely selfie, Erin! Mum says that book sounds really good.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! And yes, is is one for the feline criminologist lover and no mistake πŸ™‚
      ERin

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  8. Thanks for the review, Erin. It does sound like a very good read!

    Purrs,
    The Chans

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. The fun of reviews is picking good books to share, and this, being a cat cosy crime mystery, certainly is a great read.
      ERin

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  9. Thanks for the tip- looking forward to reading it!

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  10. That book sounds great, we were into it until the end of your review, to bad it was finished. Your Selfie is more than awwdorable, I like your white paws, you're really a cutie Erin😸Double Pawkissies from us to you and Mrs H tooπŸΎπŸ˜½πŸ’ž

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    Replies
    1. Well, best solution is to grab yourself a copy asap and settle down for a read and a cup of tea πŸ™‚πŸ“š

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  11. Grandpa adores mysteries, and i know this would be one he hasn't read. If i can get it, i'll do so as it would be a great holiday gift!

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    Replies
    1. It will certainly be fresh off the printing press and no mistake. I do hope you can get a copy for your Grandpa. If you are in the US, Amazon may well be your best bet. If they dont do it, you can open a UK account then ship it to the US?
      ERin

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  12. Erin, We just dropped in to wish you Happy Howloween. We hope you aren't still having internet troubles.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I hope you all have a fun, but quiet time in Israel. I will be comforting Mrs H under the bed for the next week or so as we are also heading up to Bonfire Night and more fireworks.
      ERin

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  13. Replies
    1. Thank you. It certainly isnt my best angle. I am sure Conrad would have a lot to say on this, too. πŸ™‚.
      ERin

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  14. Thank you SO much for a simply lovely review! There will be a second Conrad book next year!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for commenting. Delightful books are so much fun to share. News of another Conrad story is joy to our heart, and we will take great pleasure in sharing this news to our readers.
      ERin

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  15. You always review the best books Erin, and this one certainly has got me interested. I love the idea of the talking cat. Great news to that there will be another one next year.

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