Saturday, January 3, 2015

Kittens Can Kill

Kittens Can Kill
A Pru Marlowe Pet Noir
Clea Simon
Poisoned Pen Press
Scottsdale, AZ
Trade paperback
ISBN: 978-1-4642-0360-2
March 2015
$ 14.95
294 pages

In the Berkshires, life is relaxing. This a not a high-crime area and murder is usually non-existent. So when an elderly and retired attorney passes away, a heart-attack would be the logical reason for his death. When poison is suspected though, who could or would poison him? Was it an accident? Could a new kitten have accidentally dropped something in his tea that could kill him? What do you do with a murdering kitten?

When asked to check on a new kitten, the last thing you expect to find at the residence is a dead body. Prudence Marlowe had been knocking on the door for over twenty minutes when she finally decided to enter the house. Imagine her surprise to find the body of an older man and a kitten batting around what appeared to be a button from the dead man's sweater vest.

It would have been easy to just pick up the kitten and to back out the door but it would be leaving a crime scene. The right thing is seldom the easiest. Pru chooses the correct path and informs the local law enforcement, Jim Creighton who just happens to have a special relationship with her.

What Jim suspects but does not know is that Pru has a special ability. She understands the language of dog, cats, birds, etc...she can talk with the animals. Now only if these creatures would answer her questions and speak in complete sentences. However humans are not usually privileged to the secrets the animals confide in her.

Added to that, Jim has used the “love” word with Pru. She definitely does not want him to believe that she is mentally unstable. She prefers to describe herself as an animal behaviorist.

So how did the old man die? What was the cause of his death? What did the kitten do? What did the kitten witness?

It turns out that the deceased is a retired attorney, David Canaday who has three surviving adult daughters. Sibling rivalry still continues into their single adult lives and include fighting over her father's will and of course, the kitten.

Clea Simon is a former journalist who lives in Somerville, Massachusetts. She is the author of three non-fiction books as well as three separate mystery series featuring the characters Pru Marlowe, Dulcie Schwarta, and Theda Krakow.

Kittens Can Kill is a fun cozy novel which is a very quick read. The story is well-organized with excellent character development as the possible culprits are slowly revealed. I would recommend one of the earlier books in the Pru series if you are not acquainted with the series.

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