Monday, June 9, 2014

XBR4OF#1: The Whole Cat and Caboodle

Xyra Book Review For Older Followers #1

The Whole Cat and Caboodle by Sofie Ryan

While the girls are at camp, I thought I'd jump in and give you a book review on a mystery novel written for older readers. Actually, there is nothing in this novel that all our Tea Time followers couldn't see/read. I don't remember and strong language. I do remember Mr. Peterson prepared to be a model for a human figure drawing art class, but there was absolutely no detail. If it were a movie it would be PG, but it could easily be an 8 PM TV show as well. 

However, the main characters are adults between the ages of 30 and 80 with one teenager and one very smart cat. So if you prefer your characters to be teenagers this might not be for you. But, if you like Murder, She should enjoy this novel.

So on with the review...

The Whole Cat and Caboodle (Second Chance Cat Mystery, #1)The Whole Cat and Caboodle by Sofie Ryan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Out of all the cozy mysteries I have read recently, I liked this best.

There were a couple things that kind of stuck in my craw so let's get them out of the way (they may not matter in your eyes - that's okay).

First, on page 10 Elvis and Sarah are at Sam's and Elvis is eating eggs and salami. This is a HUGE no no and it really bothers me when people do this. The eggs are fine, but salami is not. Salami and other meat products like it are seasoned with garlic or onion - both are toxic to dogs and cats and will cause kidney damage. Yes, Elvis is a fictional cat, but even fictional cat owners should be aware and feed their cats properly. I was happy to see better treats later in the book.

Second, Sarah continually thinks it is silly to talk to or believe she understands Elvis. It was endearing in the first few chapters, but by the middle it got a little old.

That's it. That's all I have that I would consider negative. The rest was very interesting and a lot of fun. Sarah is a very good-hearted and good-natured main character who is surrounds by loyal, loving, intelligent, and well intentioned matriarchs. (I can't wait until her grandmother gets home; her mother and stepfather too.) She also has a great network of friends her age and a feisty teenager to help out.

One of the great things about this mystery is the body didn't show up on page two. The reader is treated to (almost) two full chapters before we meet the victim.

Another great thing is the character development. At first we don't know much about Sarah or her friends, but through the 323 pages we get to know her better and better. Some of the secondary characters get deeper too. There is potential for Sarah to be a heart breaker as well as a part of a super sleuthing team. Sofie lays the ground work for three separate suitors.  They are all gentleman  (at least for now) and I love that! So many times the guys and romantic interests turn into jerks.

Then there is Elvis. He is one of the best feline sleuths in the genre. Very much like Lilian Jackson Braun's Koko. Love him and the way he helps the case.

The story flows well. A good, fun read from start to finish. There is tension and intrigue without graphic gory details. The author mentions Nancy Drew and Murder, She Wrote and Charlie's Angels...if you like those then you will like this novel. Seriously, if you like cozy mysteries you should add this to your reading list.

Not only does this story have a fabulous cat and cast of characters...there is tea! So we'll add a tea quote to our posts now and then.

I held up both hands, "I'm just making tea. Have a seat."  - Sarah Grayson to Liz, the Whole Cat and Caboodle by Sophie Ryan (Obsidian Mysteries; Penguin Books)

Happy Reading!

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