Monday, July 7, 2014

Lending a paw by Laurie Cass

Minnie  Hamilton is going where no librarian in Chilson, Michigan has gone before - out on the road in a bookmobile!  Despite the attempts of the library director to keep everything happening in the library with a minimum of expenditure, a generous donation from a wealthy benefactor means that Chilson is now the proud owners of a brand new, state of the art bookmobile.  Minnie has made the seemingly impossible happen, finding a way to bring books to the small communities who have lost their branch libraries due to budget cuts, and right from the start the service is a huge hit.  Minnie's success is not down to her hard work and careful planning however, it is more to do with a little stowaway who sneaks on board on the first day - a stowaway in the form of her recently acquired cat Eddie.

Having Eddie sneak a ride is bad enough, but when he takes off at one of the stops Minnie discovers a dead body.  The dead body is none other than Stan Larabee, the generous benefactor of the bookmobile.  For Minnie he was the man who made her dream possible, even though she had to provide plenty of evidence to earn the money for the project, but to other people he was a mean spirited miser who didn't give money to anybody.  With such a bad reputation for refusing to help people there are plenty of suspects who might have wanted him dead, and some of them are very close to Minnie.  Drawn into the mystery Minnie finds herself using all her reference searching skills to find out who the killer is, but she may be getting a little too close to the murderer for their liking, and when you have murdered one person what's to stop you adding another, or another?

I picked up Lending a paw because I have really enjoyed reading the Cat in the stacks mysteries by Miranda James and while searching through the online catalogue I found Lending a paw and decided to give it a go - and I was not disappointed.  Minnie is plucky, determined, and some of the messes she gets into are all too familiar as she helps the various people in her life with their problems (often taking on their problems when she shouldn't).  Eddie, the charming rogue of a cat who strayed into her life, is just as charming as Diesel but is still a unique individual rather than a carbon copy or cheap knock off.  There were a few moments when Eddie feels very much like one of my cats, who looks absolutely gorgeous, looks like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth, and is determined to get her own way (and often does through sheer stubborn determination).  

I easily slipped into the story and the town, which quickly felt like a real place complete with real dramas.  The murder mystery at the centre of the story was interesting, and it took me some time to figure out who the murderer was, and even then I wasn't 100% convinced I had it right because there were quite a few viable suspects.  This was an extremely enjoyable read and I hope that Cass can come up with some more murder mysteries based around Minnie and Eddie - because there is a lot of potential for these two.  A healthy dose of murder mystery with a dash of humour and a pinch of human drama.

If you like this book then try:

Reviewed by Brilla

No comments:

Post a Comment