by Joyce Ann Brown
If you like your cozies to star cute kids and cats, a timely message, and a surprising outcome, this is the one for you!
~Melissa’s Mochas, Mysteries and Meows!
…enjoy a quick paced cozy mystery about a clue finding cat or you can take your time and appreciate a well written full fledged mystery novel. Be prepared for your pulse to quicken when you think all is safe!
Nine Lifelines (Psycho Cat and the Landlady Mysteries)
3rd in Series
Paperback: 316 pages
E-Book ASIN: B01H0NIGGE
The elevator won’t go to the tenth floor, someone is breaking into condos, and the well-heeled Ukrainian renter isn’t paying the rent. Beth and Arnie have retired to the building where Beth’s last rental unit is located, and Beth, the klutzy landlady, has declared herself through solving mysteries. Then, her renter is arrested for the murder of the neighbor who fell (was pushed?) from the tenth-story balcony and the dead neighbor’s grandchildren are left with only their wheelchair-ridden grandmother to care for them. Beth feels compelled to help out.
Are Sylvester’s psycho-cat behaviors providing clues? Is the renter actually the killer? Do the break-ins and elevator problem have anything to do with the murder? Even Arnie, who has always told Beth to keep her nose out of police business, gets involved—for the sake of the children.
Cozy Pets, Kids, Careers, and Hobbies
Go to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or I-Tunes and search for cozy mysteries. You’ll find tons of them with cats on the covers and in the titles. Dogs are plentiful, too. Why? What roll do the animals play in these stories that involve amateur sleuths, charming locales, and murder mysteries with no graphic violence or profanity?
In my Psycho Cat and the Landlady Mystery books and in The Cat Who… series by Lilian Jackson Braun, the cats perform humorous capers with which many readers identify. Don’t all cats get stuck inside cabinets and scare people by jumping off of bookshelves? Patricia Guiver writes the Pet Detective Mystery Series which features the Doberman Pinscher, Watson, who helps the sleuth solve her cases, as do many cats in cat cozies.
Authors also use pets as a devise whereby characters can voice their thoughts aloud for the readers to hear—we all know people talk to their pets. Instead of thinking about the reasons her renter might be guilty, Beth, my landlady protagonist, tells Psycho Cat her thoughts while walking him. For the readers’ benefit, Qwillerin, Braun’s sleuth, tells Koko to stop destroying photos by licking them and then praises the cat for finding a photo with a clue he would have missed.
When cozy pets themselves become sleuths, they may lead their humans to clues or to the recognition that a character or situation isn’t to be trusted. There are a few animal mysteries that veer from realistic fiction into the realm of fantasy by giving human voices to the felines or canines.
Pets in cozy mysteries provide side stories, act as sidekicks, and provide chances for side remarks. Children work, as well, and so do careers and hobbies. Children ask questions. People talk to babies while holding them. A caterer might have a baking partner or employee to whom she directs her thought or depends upon for sleuthing assistance. Such is the case in Diane Mott Davidson’s Goldie in her culinary mystery series and in Joanna Fluke’s Hannah Swensen bakeshop series.
A bookshop owner has employees, librarians have co-workers and book club members, quilters and knitters rely on their fellow crafters. Priests have their parishioners. Realtors have assistants, journalists have editors, and little old ladies have little old men who stick around to help or add a little humorous contention.
Sylvester, the Psycho Cat in Nine Lifelines: A Psycho Cat and the Landlady Mystery, acts as a sidekick as he paws at doors where the lock has been picked and hisses at people he mistrusts. He provides humorous interludes of typical crazy cat behavior. Beth, the landlady, talks to him about mysterious goings-on in their condo building while she walks him on a leash or plunks him into a stroller for a longer walk on her Trolley Track trail in Kansas City. Eventually, the two provide lifelines to a better life for nine souls, and Psycho Cat’s nine lives remain intact.
Do you have a favorite pet mystery or series?
About the Author
Joyce Ann Brown, the author of the Psycho Cat and the Landlady Mystery series, set in Kansas City, was a librarian, a landlady, and a Realtor before becoming a short story and novel writer. She also has two mischievous cats.
Her actual tenants have never disappeared, murdered, or been murdered. Nor have any of them found a skeleton in the attic. Joyce has never solved a crime. Moose and Chloe, her cats, haven’t sniffed out a mystery, at least not yet.
Joyce spends her days writing (with a few breaks for tennis, walking, and book clubs) so that Beth, the landlady in the series, and Sylvester, the Psycho Cat, can make up for her real-life lack of excitement in a big way.
Author website with Blog: http://www.joyceannbrown.com
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/joyceannbrownauthor