CLEA SIMON BOOKS

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BOOK REVIEW: CATTERY ROW
BY CLEA SIMON

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Cats and mysteries are a controversial combination. Books featuring cats are popular with readers who enjoy lighter fare and are enjoyed by many readers who treasure their own pets. Nevertheless skeptics and those expecting a dose of reality rightfully question cats' abilities to be substantive help in solving a mystery.

Enter Clea Simon with her protagonist Theda Krakow. As in her earlier entry in this series MEW IS FOR MURDER, Simon's latest book is filled with cat lovers, cat owners, cat breeders, cat show judges, pet shop owners and at least one no-kill shelter. However instead of assisting in solving crimes, the cats themselves are victims of crimes; stolen, left abandoned on doorsteps, and used as incentives to extortion and blackmail.

Refreshingly, cats are not the whole story here. Theda works as a freelance journalist and her latest assignment has her interviewing a group of accomplished women who live and work in the Boston area. Theda and her friends are also active in the alternative rock music scene in Boston. Readers tag along for music filled evenings in small clubs and atmospheric jam sessions.

The interviews for Theda's freelance assignment are the threads which connect all the action nicely. Her interview subjects include a cat breeder and show judge as well as a blues vocalist resurrecting her interrupted career. When a brutal murder interrupts Theda's work, and mysterious break-ins continue to threaten cats' safety, Theda finds herself in danger as she searches for answers to her questions.

The presence of two men in Theda's life add a pleasant romantic spark to the story.

REVIEWED BY WOODSTOCK




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