After a slightly screwball, cutesy-poo beginning – the first 100 pages or so – the story settles down into a decent who-dun-it. After several false starts, by the end, they get the right guy! And thank goodness for that! Of course, in the meantime, Lacy Marie Crocker and Detective Jack Oliver will have gone through half-a-dozen other possibles, but no real harm done.
Lacy is one of the new breed of heroine–with money behind her, she’s determined to do it all on-her-own, which doesn’t always bring the desired result. As a consequence, she’s constantly scrabbling for new clients for her exclusive new shop: Furry Godmother, a pet boutique and organic treat bakery. (The book also includes recipes for some of the treats.)
Don’t be misled by the sub-title either – A Kitty Couture Mystery – as the only cat mentioned is Penelope, who is indeed Lacy’s cat, but for most of the book, the cat is in Virginia with Lacy’s ex, being held hostage. Lacy’s family and her store are in New Orleans, where her mother is a highly-ranked society lady, while daddy is a much-loved veterinarian.
However, there are lots of doggies, and llamas, turtles, bunnies and even a fish in here, so there is little pet discrimination to be found. (Not to worry – the fish does NOT get a costume!) The trouble begins when the shop is burglarized, and said burglar is found dead, battered (and sprayed) by a glitter gun, a handy-tool used in costuming.
The need for more, new customers is constant, as the investor behind the business threatens to pull out, citing the scandal that could spread to include his other business ventures. The threats are real, although Lacy tends to ignore them while searching for a more serious threat, until finally, her dad and Jack persevere. Penelope ends up back where she belongs, and presumably, all is well until the next adventure!
First and foremost, Kelly is a reader, then a writer and editor. She adores Regency-set novels, and cozy mysteries. Every now and then, however, she finds something else to enjoy if it has a great premise with characters who belong in there, and fabulous writing! She writes under her own name, as well as her pen-name, Hetty St. James.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Crooked Lane Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.