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Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter (Dixie Hemingway Mysteries, No. 1) Hardcover – December 27, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (December 27, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312340567
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312340568
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,397,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Clement's assured cozy debut introduces an appealing heroine, 32-year-old Dixie Hemingway, who's given up her stressful job as a sheriff's deputy in Sarasota, Fla., to become a professional pet sitter. When Dixie calls early one morning on her latest client, a silver-blue Abyssinian named Ghost, she finds a dead man face down in the cat bowl. The contact person (a requirement when you leave an animal with a sitting service) has no clue where Ghost's owner, gorgeous Marilee Doerring, could have gone or why her locks were changed before she left. Unfortunately, when Dixie locates Marilee, she, too, is dead. And that makes Dixie suspect number one. With sensitivity and insight, Clement develops a plot line involving a bigoted, Bible-thumping radio psychologist, Carl Winnick; his repressed wife, Olga; and their gay teenage son, Phillip, who's a talented pianist. The difficulties and humor inherent to the pet-sitting business, a local law-enforcement hunk with romantic potential and crisp writing all bode well for future entries in the series. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Despite the title, which suggests yet another cute kitty cozy, this first-rate debut is more dark than light. Set on Siesta Key, near Sarasota, Florida, the story features Dixie Hemingway, whose family tragedy drove her from the police force and into the bars. Still healing, Dixie is clean and working again, only this time as a pet sitter. When a dead man is found inside one of her client's homes, Dixie must get involved with police work again, this time as an outsider. Clement weaves interesting subplots into the story, such as the story of a young gay man who can't come out to his militant parents and Dixie's own struggles with the loss of her husband and daughter in a senseless accident. When Dixie finds another body--this time that of her client--she becomes of more than passing interest to the police. Despite the grim subject matter, Clement lifts the mood with descriptions of the cute pets Dixie tends each day. A nice mix of lite and dark. Jenny McLarin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Blaize Clement created the Dixie Hemingway Mystery Series, which includes Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter, Duplicity Dogged the Dachshund, Even Cat Sitters Get the Blues, Cat Sitter on a Hot Tin Roof, Raining Cat Sitters and Dogs, Cat Sitter Among the Pigeons, and The Cat Sitter's Pajamas. Cat Sitter's Cradle, the next book in the series by her son, writer John Clement, will be published by St. Martins/Minotaur in the Spring of 2013.

Customer Reviews

Just a great, fun read.
S. B. Wolven
I throughtly enjoyed this new mystery and I'm looking forward to the next books in this series.
Mrs. O
Dixie is a great character.
L Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By R. Kelly Wagner on January 31, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Some of the hardcover dust-jacket blurbs compared this book to such things as Lillian Jackson Braun's "Cat Who" series, which worried me a bit, since the farce and the lightweight writing in the Cat-Who books wore thin on me a while back. However, I picked the book up anyway - and was pleasantly surprised. This is NOT a comedy mystery featuring talking or psychic animals. The book has occasional touches of humor, but humor isn't the main point of the book.

Our protagonist is a former sheriff's deputy, now turned pet-sitter. The tragedy that led her to change careers is exposed in bits and pieces as the book goes on; it remains a strong motivator in Dixie's life. The private lives of several of the other characters also contain dark moments and some skeletons in the closet. In fact, while the book falls somewhat into the "cozy" family, it's quite dark for a cozy. There are police procedural elements here too. I was pleased that our heroine cooperates with the police, and does her best, most of the time, to instantly convey any new information she has to the police detectives. There are a few cozy series where it seems as if the amateur detective is usually willfully trying to keep the police in the dark and/or maintain an adversarial relationship, or is always proving that she (it's usually a she) is smarter and faster than the bumbling police, and that's another conceit that's wearing thin over the years; I am glad this book isn't one of them.

It's also well-written and well-plotted, with twists and turns, legitimate red herrings in the mystery tradition, and a few surprises. The setting is in a spot I'm not familiar with, in the Florida Keys, so I can't really tell whether one gets an accurate sense of place and of the neighborhood(s) Dixie is in.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Former Sheriff's Deputy Dixie Hemingway is now a pet sitter in Florida after her Husband and child are tragically killed by an old man who shouldn't have been driving. One of her clients and lover is tragically killed and Dixie gets drawn further and further into the mystery. The book is excellently plotted and deals with modern issues including those particular to Florida such as the elderly who shouldn't be driving but still do with tragic consequences. If you're wondering about the title. It's a direct reference to a newspaper headline that Dixie thinks up. Very good book has a lot of substance and interesting characters to keep the series going for a long time.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By L Smith VINE VOICE on May 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In the 1st book in what promises to be the Dixie Hemingway Mystery series, we meet Dixie, a pet-sitter with a past. Dixie is a former police officer who leaves the force after the tragic, accidental death of her husband and daughter. After their death, she feels that she cannot deal with people anymore (a skill she feels she has always lacked), and decides instead to provide care to animals. One morning, in the home of a wealthy client, Marilee, she discovers a man who has seemingly drowned to death in her cat's water dish. When she is unable to locate the client, Dixie wonders if Marilee was responsible for the death. She quickly becomes involved with a complicated plot of deception, blackmail, and bigotry. And in trying to solve the case, Dixie ends up with a whole lot more than she ever bargained for.

I love to find new mysteries to read, and I can happily say that I was unable to put this book down! Dixie is a great character. I found her to be vulnerable and tough at that same time. The descriptions of how she felt after the death of her family tore at me, and I kept hoping that she would find a romantic interest. However, unlike many other cozies, she doesn't immediately fall for the detective in charge, although that may happen in future installments. The plot was interesting, the mystery had enough twists and turns to keep me interested, and I was surprised at the ending. It did leave some unanswered questions, and I am eagerly anticipating the next installment. I am hopeful this is a long running series for years to come!

As I was reading the book, I kept thinking of the Kinsey Millhone series by Sue Grafton. The books are definitely different in many ways, but the style of writing is very similar. If you like the "Alphabet" series by Sue Grafton, you might want to give this new book a try.

Enjoy!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By B. Hunter on April 18, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
You can read the synopsis elsewhere. I just want to comment on things that drove me crazy about this book. The author has her character give tips on raising cats that are SO wrong. She has her main character change clothes 7 times/day. The sweet as sugar main character has a really foul mouth at times & the ending left about 5 sub-plots up in the air with no hint as to how they turned out.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Annie on October 30, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this first book in the Dixie Hemingway series - Curiosity Killed the Cat - and was impressed with Blaize Clement's writing - riveted by it - but it contained a some upsetting thematic elements about the way pets are treated (not by Dixie Hemingway - by others) and ended with an unnecessarily violent scene.

I was saddened to read online Ms. Clement died in 2011 but glad to know thee were more books in the series. So, I read Ms. Clement's second book about a Dashound and was really horrified! This series was presumably written for an audience of pet lovers, so reading about a cat being tortured and killed early in this second book was abhorent to me. Again, I was riveted by Ms. Clement's writing, so I finished the book, but it was filled with murder and violence throughout (including terrible, continuing fear on the part of the main character, Dixie Hemingway) and, toward the end, contained a description of the dashound we have come to love dying of old age and a scary threat of another dog (whom we have come to know) being killed.

Now I have to draw the line! As much as I would like to, I cannot continue reading this series because it has upset me so much, and I would NOT recommend it to anyone who does not like to read about pets being frightened, ill-treated and actually tortured and killed. Given what is contained in Ms. Clement's first two novels in this series, I cannot imagine what will be in the third novel. If you are at all upset by pets being hurt, please don't read this series.
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