by Esme Addison
Completely by accident this summer, I’ve read four cozy mysteries that all featured cats. I’m not necessarily a cat-person but you have to admit they’re cute and cuddly and add a nice element to cozy mysteries – especially when they are an active element in the story’s narrative.
Today I’m sharing four of my recent cozy mystery reads that feature those friendly felines we all know and love. And each cat is completely different from the other – in appearance, temperament and personality.
First up is a gorgeous fluffy white cat with an attitude.
Mimi Lee Gets A Clue by Jennifer Chow
Set in a smaller community within Los Angeles, Mimi Lee Gets A Clue features a 25 year-old who has just opened up her own pet grooming business. This fast-paced, light and fun read features Malaysian-Chinese food, a fun loving family, lots of animals and a solid mystery that will be a challenge to figure out – my kind of mystery!
And watch out for that sassy cat with unexpected abilities and talents. 🙂
My book club is discussing this mystery in July 2020. Join in the fun!
Mimi Lee Gets A Clue: Mimi Lee hoped to give Los Angeles animal lovers something to talk about with her pet grooming shop, Hollywoof. She never imagined that the first cat she said hello to would talk back or be quite so, well, catty—especially about those disastrous dates Mimi’s mother keeps setting up.
When Marshmallow exposes local breeder Russ Nolan for mistreating Chihuahuas, Mimi steals some of her cat’s attitude to tell Russ off. The next day the police show up at Hollywoof. Russ has been found dead, and Mimi’s shouting match with him has secured her top billing as the main suspect.
Hoping to clear her name and save the pups Russ left behind, Mimi enlists help from her dreamy lawyer neighbor Josh. But even with Josh on board, it’ll take Mimi and Marshmallow a lot of sleuthing and more than a little sass to get back to the pet-grooming life—and off the murder scene.
Get ready for another cat that is as curious as the saying goes.
Dead As A Door Knocker by Diane Kelly
Being from the south, I LOVE reading cozy mysteries with southern settings. Dead As A Door Knocker, the first-in-the-series is one of my favorites. Set in Nashville, Tennessee, this mystery features a young woman working in home management and renovation. It’s a non-traditional setting for a cozy and I enjoyed it.
The south is very present in this book, in the food, the atmosphere, the culture and dialogue and brings a nice deep-fried flavor to the mystery. There’s also a cat always keeping an eye on his owner and the mystery, providing an interesting POV on the story.
Dead As A Door Knocker: Meet Whitney Whitaker. A hopeless romantic when it comes to real estate, she knows what it takes to find―and flip―the home of one’s dreams. A fixer-upper is like catnip to Whitney: she can’t resist the challenge of turning an eyesore into a priceless work of art. So when one of her clients decides to liquidate a crumbling property, Whitney seizes the opportunity to purchase it for a song. But soon a curious incident of the cat in the night-time leads to a change in tune. . .
Sawdust is the name of Whitney’s cat―of course. Whitney’s passion for gut-renovation may be a mystery to him but one thing Sawdust knows for sure is this: Dead bodies don’t belong in flower beds. So why is there one in this new, albeit old, house? Now it’s up to Whitney, along with the help of hot-and-cold Nashville Police Detective Collin Flynn, to find the truth about what happened before the mortgage property forecloses and Whitney loses her investment. . .and maybe her own life.
This cozy mystery features a cat (who is actually on the back cover – not the front) who always winds up helping his owner thwart the villain.
Penne Dreadful by Catherine Bruns
One of my favorite culinary cozies, Penne Dreadful features a recently widowed Italian chef on a mission to find out what really happened to her husband. Set in a charming upstate New York community called Harvest Park, this cozy has all the Italian food (plus recipes) you can wish for.
Penne Dreadful: Local chef Tessa Esposito is struggling to get back on her feet following her husband’s fatal accident. And when the police knock on Tessa’s door, things just get worse. They’ve discovered Dylan’s death wasn’t an accident after all, and they need Tessa to start filling in the blanks. Who would want her beloved husband dead, and why?
With the investigation running cold, Tessa decides it’s time to save her sanity by reconnecting with her first love-cooking. And maybe the best way back into the kitchen is to infiltrate Dylan’s favorite local pizza parlor, which also happens to be the last place he was seen before he died. But the anchovies aren’t the only thing that stink inside the small family business, and with suspects around every corner, Tessa finds that her husband’s many secrets might land her in hot water.
Death In A Budapest Butterfly by Julia Buckley
With my own cozy mystery based on Polish culture, history and mythology, I constantly seek culturally-diverse cozy mysteries for my reading pleasure as well as to educate. Death In A Budapest Butterfly, one of the rare cozies to feature non-Western European culture is a favorite of mine. This mystery features all the Hungarian food you could want (yes, please!), tea reading and interesting Hungarian fairytales. There’s also a very subtle paranormal element that may surprise you.
And oh yes, there’s a cat! He’s very judgmental as cats can be.
Death In A Budapest Butterfly: Hana Keller and her family run Maggie’s Tea House, an establishment heavily influenced by the family’s Hungarian heritage and specializing in a European-style traditional tea service. But one of the shop’s largest draws is Hana’s eccentric grandmother, Juliana, renowned for her ability to read the future in the leaves at the bottom of customers’ cups. Lately, however, her readings have become alarmingly ominous and seemingly related to old Hungarian legends…
When a guest is poisoned at a tea event, Juliana’s dire predictions appear to have come true. Things are brought to a boil when Hana’s beloved Anna Weatherley butterfly teacup becomes the center of the murder investigation as it carried the poisoned tea. The cup is claimed as evidence by a handsome police detective, and the pretty Tea House is suddenly endangered. Hana and her family must catch the killer to save their business and bring the beautiful Budapest Butterfly back home where it belongs.
I know there are plenty more cozy mysteries with cats! In the comments section, tell me which one is your favorite and why.