Sleight of Paw: A Magical Cats Mystery
by Sofie Kelly
Review by Mel Jacob
Obsidian Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451234537
Date: 06 September 2011 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Librarian Kathleen Paulson and her mystical cats Owen and Hercules are paw deep in solving the murder of Agatha Shepherd, a retired school principal, in Sleight of Paws, Sofie Kelly's latest Magical Cats Mystery. Finding a body in the alley paralyzes her friend Ruby so Kathleen checks the corpse while her friend Maggie calls 911.
Owen, the tabby, is feisty fighter and saved Kathleen from an attack in Curiosity Thrilled the Cat, Kelly's best selling debut novel. Hercules, a black and white cat, has a talent for walking through walls and retrieving valuable clues. Both were feral cats from the mysterious Wisteria Hill. They allow only a few humans near them and have adopted Kathleen and her best friend Maggie. Maggie and another friend, Rebecca, supply Owen with catnip stuffed chickens and Hercules with kitty treats.
Before her death, Agatha was seen arguing with several other people, most of them former students she helped rehabilitate. She was clutching a brown paper envelope, but it was not found with her body.
When news surfaces that Agatha left a half million dollars to Ruby's boyfriend, the police arrest Ruby for murder. Her truck or one like it may have hit Agatha. No one knew Agatha had money and had recently changed her will.
The close relationship between Kathleen and her many friends will please readers. Friends also try to encourage a romance with Marcus Gordon, a hunky police detective, that Kathleen continues to resist. The novel focuses on her efforts to find the killer, the cats, and her relationships with friends. The lack of foul language and overt sex will please many.
For cat lovers and those who like cozies with a touch of whimsy this series is a winner. Some will criticize Kathleen as too foolhardy when she puts her life in danger through her determination to find the evidence to convict the killer. In any event, most readers will have worked out the killer well before the ending. Another Magical Cats Mystery in planned for 2012 and an excerpt is included with Sleight of Paw.