A Story to Kill by Lynn Cahoon

28109703  A Story to Kill is the first in a new series, A Cat Latimer Mystery Series.  Cat Latimer has recently inherited a house and the estate of her ex-husband, an economics professor at a small college.  She is a writer and is turning the house into a writer’s retreat B and B type business.  The book opens with the first group of guests due to arrive including a famous novelist who is writing a revealing memoir about his youth at the college.

Once the murder occurs, Cat has her hands full trying to clear her guests’ names and keeping them calm, hosting the victim’s spouse, worrying about keeping her fledgling business afloat and meeting her own editor’s deadlines.  Along with the main plot line, there is a subplot that concerns Cat’s ex-husband, his death and what really happened during their marriage, this is part is not resolved in this first book and appears as though it will be an over-arching mystery for the series.  There is also a romantic subplot, in the form of a hunky handyman, Seth.

Very enjoyable cozy read, classic college town atmosphere, engaging writer’s retreat theme, and an intelligent educated sleuth.

 

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Even Cat Sitters Get the Blues by Blaize Clement

1378386  Even Cat Sitters Get the Blues, is book 3 in the A Dixie Hemingway Mystery Series.  This is one of the series that I have been reading out-of-order as I have come across the books.  I started with one of the later books in the series and was immediately drawn to the character of Dixie and her world in the Florida Keys.

This book doesn’t involve the usual cats or dogs, but instead an iguana.  The reader is led on a twisting chase of government agencies, bioterrorism, biochemical weapons, secret labs, murder, and industrial espionage.  Dixie reluctantly investigates the murder while visiting her regular clients, including the recurring character Billy Elliott.  This is still early on in the series but you can see growth from where Dixie started out in the first book, recovering from the death of her husband and child.   There are some references to previous events, but not so much that it interferes with reading the book out-of-order.

This is a great series, well written  with detailed plots and rich characterizations  that are a cut above the average cozy mystery!