Sunday, April 06, 2008

Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter by Blaize Clement

Holly sent me excerpts from the improbably named Blaize Clement's most recent (and third) Dixie Hemingway mystery, Even Catsitters Get the Blues. It seemed well-written, with an interesting sleuth, so I picked up the first in the series, Curiosity Killed the Catsitter. This was surprisingly dark and complex for a cozy mystery series. Dixie was a sheriff's deputy on Siesta Key (off the Sarasota coast) until the deaths of her husband and daughter sent her over the edge. She regrouped and started a pet-sitting business. When she finds a dead man in a client's home, she's sucked back into the world of investigation, both as a suspect and a person with some inside scoop. I thought Clement pulled off the edgier heroine in a cozy setting quite well. The lifestyle and characters are Siesta Key were an interesting setting, Dixie is sympathetic, and the mystery complex and satisfying. There was one Clue (that's a capital C, as in "Scooby Doo, you've found a Clue!"), let's call it a MacGuffin, that Dixie comes across without recognizing its significance. That's fine, but as it became increasingly clear that the MacGuffin was really important, it started driving me a little crazy that Dixie wasn't picking up on it. However, since she had quite a bit going on and I was paying more attention to details as a reader, I tried to let it go. At any rate, I thought this was a fun, really well-written mystery, and I'll be picking up #2 in the series! I'd recommend it to cozy mystery fans who are open to a little bit edgier book, and even to private detective-type novel fans who aren't usually into cozies.

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