Published by Berkley
Publication Date: December 2, 2014
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Nora Charles doesn’t believe in fate, even if she is a crime reporter who shares a name with a character from The Thin Man. In fact, she’s moving back to Cruz, California, to have a quieter life. But after finding an online magazine eager for material, and a stray cat named Nick with a talent for detection, Nora’s not just reporting crimes again. She’s uncovering them…
Back in her hometown, Nora reconnects with old friends and makes some new ones, like Nick, the charming feline who seems determined to be her cat. But not everything about Cruz is friendly. Writing for a local online magazine, Nora investigates the curious death of socialite Lola Grainger. Though it was deemed an accident, Nora suspects foul play. And it seems that her cat does too.
Apparently, Nick used to belong to a P.I. who disappeared while investigating Lola Grainger’s death. The coincidence is spooky, but not as spooky as the clues Nick spells out for her with Scrabble letters—clues that lead her down an increasingly dangerous path. Whether fate put her on this case or not, solving it will take all of Nora’s wits, and maybe a few of Nick’s nine lives.
Meow If It’s Murder by T.C. Lotempio is pitched as a cozy mystery, and that it was! It was the perfect book to cuddle up with in bed at night and read. It was a cute read with mystery and murder and an adorable cat, but wasn’t scary to the point that I couldn’t sleep at night. Even though the narrator is an adult, young sleuth fans will surely enjoy this murder mystery.
Nora is used to chasing down mobsters in Chicago as an investigative journalist. When she has to move back to her small hometown to take care of the family business, she doesn’t expect to get back out there investigating. That is until she starts researching the death of one of her mom’s most loyal customers. Now she is hot on the trail of a possible murder and can’t seem to stop digging deeper into the death of Lola Grainger. With the help of an unusual new feline companion, she may just be able to rule this accident a murder.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and being inside Nora’s inquisitive mind. She’s insanely smart and can’t seem to shed herself of her old sleuthing roots. I read this book in one sitting and loved every second. I was kept on my toes and thought I had it figured out, only to realize Nora wasn’t quite done yet snooping. She got herself into some sticky situations but her charm always seemed to help her get out of it, thankfully. There was also a nice cast of secondary characters that I like reading about, mainly her best friend, Chantal, and a certain hunky Detective Daniel Corleone, who is temporarily in town. Chantal is a psychic and her predictions were usually spot on. She had an eccentric personality that made this “cozy mystery” even more cozy. She was great! I just wish we got to see more of them. They made their appearances here and there but this book was really focused on Nora’s ability to rely primarily on herself to solve a potential crime. Since this is the first in a series, I hope we get to see Chantal and Daniel more next go around.
Overall I’d definitely give this book a solid 4 thought clouds. It was interesting, had a great narrator, and the overall plot was well drawn out, leaving the reader curious to see how it all ended. There were a couple of phrases that were used a little too much, in my opinion, but I was easily able to look over that. If you’re looking for something you can sit down and read enjoyably in one sitting while lounging in your favorite chair with a warm cup of coffee, Meow If It’s Murder would be a great pick!
I received an ebook ARC from the author as part of the blog tour in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic. She lists among her favorite mystery/suspense writers Erle Stanley Gardner, Mary Higgins Clark and James Patterson, as well as EJ Copperman, Steve Hockensmith, Victoria Laurie, Ali Brandon, Rita Mae Brown, Miranda James and Sofie Kelly to name only a few! Toni is also passionate about her love for animals, as demonstrated with her four cats: Trixie, Princess, Maxx and, of course, ROCCO, who not only provided the inspiration for the character of Nick the cat in the Nick and Nora mystery series, but who also writes his own blog and does charity work for Nathan Fillion’s charity, Kids Need to Read! Toni’s also devoted to miniseries like The Thorn Birds, Dancing with the Stars, reruns of Murder She Wrote and Castle (of course!). She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – the first volume, MEOW IF ITS MURDER, debuts Dec. 2, 2014. She, Rocco and company make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York.
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