Kathleen Paulson needs to change her life NOW, her boyfriend goes away for two weeks and comes back MARRIED!!
Kathleen chucks her life in Boston and accepts a job in Mayville Heights, Minnesota, to supervise the renovation and modernization of their library. This turns out to be no small task, but the job is just the kind of distraction she needs.
Not long after her arrival in town she allows to stray cats two snuggle their way into her life. She names the tabby Owen and quickly learns he is addicted to catnip. The other is a stocky tuxedo cat she names Hercules. Hercules loves Barry Manilow music as much as Kathleen, but Owen hates Barry, no matter the song and has no trouble showing his distaste. It doesn't take Kathleen long to learn the cats are very special, maybe even magical.
Life in quiet Mayville Heights takes a drastic turn when a guest of the Wild Rose Summer Music Festival is found dead. For some reason all the clues seem to point to Kathleen. It is then she finds out just how gifted her four legged feline friends are when they help her work to clear her name and quickly bring this caper to a close.
I LIKED IT !!!!
The first thing that really drew me into this book was the cover, the cat's piercing eyes. I have been trying this year to acknowledge the cover illustrators and designers, because book covers today are truly small works of art. There is no information on the artists for this cover but click on the picture, the cats eyes alone will have you wanting to read the story.
The characters of Mayville Heights are so easy to enjoy from the quick wit of Roma, veterinarian by day to human doctor in a pinch, or coworker Abigail's sarcasm, and Detective Gordon's dry sense of humor. Add to that, loving neighbor Rebecca along with the newly transplanted Kathleen, the antics of her "magical" cats and so many more true characters in every sense of the word. There is someone for every reader to love or even hate as I do, the maddening contractor in charge of the renovation. As a former construction worker it took pure restraint not to jump right into the pages and slap him "up aside the head"!
You can't go wrong with a cozy if you have characters like these, a really good mystery, the perfect setting of a library and magical cats. A wonderful debut for what I know will be a "purrfectly" "cat-invating" series. This author has written several young adult books and has now left a paw print in the cozy mystery world with this story and I am happy to welcome her and will anxiously awaiting her next feline escapade.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Obsidian/NAL, a Division of Penguin Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
on July 15, 2011
This is by no means a future classic. The ending was easy to figure out, and the magical cat thing never really jived with me. It seemed like the cats were added later simply to spice up an otherwise dull mystery.
However, the book was cute. Anyone who enjoys easy-going mysteries, independent women, and of course, CATS, will enjoy this book. I found the main character a little annoying at times. But at others, I identified with her completely... especially some of her 'crazy cat lady' moments.
I will gladly recommend this to girlfriends. And I'm sure I will read Sofie Kelly's next magical cat mystery. I guess I was just expecting a little more...
on February 11, 2011
Curiosity Thrilled the Cat by Sofie Kelly was a debut novel in a new series coined "A Magical Cats Mystery." I do not know, for sure, that the cats were thrilled, but, I most certainly was.
A new Librarian, named Kathleen has moved to Mayville Heights, MN to oversee the restoration of the town's Historical Carnegie Library. She finds wonderful friends, and two rather talented cats there to greet her.
Alas, the next surprise is a dead body, the guest Conductor for the Wild Rose Summer Music Festival. Kathleen becomes a suspect and it is up to the small town to clear her name. Not so easily done when people are not whom they said they were, nor are the cats.
I laughed out loud in several places and even giggled at a story about a neighboring family, "The Bartletts," which had to be true. Us avid readers will thrill at that name.
This mystery was entertaining from page one until the ending. I enjoyed everything about it.
on February 5, 2011
Her boyfriend leaves Boston for two weeks without her only to return married. He informs her she is not spontaneous enough for him. Angry and hurt, Kathleen Paulson leaves her home and job to move to Mayville Heights, Minnesota where she is hired to oversee the renovation of the library. The townsfolk welcome her and Kathleen makes plenty of new friends; especially two stray cats, catnip addict Owen and Barry Manilow fan Hercules. Her only problem is that contractor Will Redfern has the knack of vanishing when needed.
Kathleen goes to the Stratton Theatre where she finds the body of guest conductor Gregor Easton on the piano seat. He died from a blow to the head. The lead detective makes Kathleen feel she is a suspect in the homicide case. So she decides not to wait for this idiot to continue to target her; she investigates the murder. She has unusual helpers including her new feline friends who appear and disappear as if they walk through walls and any solid surface. Her allies give her clues, but they remain enigmatic as she struggles to figure out who killed Easton before the cop busts her.
Curiosity Thrilled the Cat is a whimsical charming cat caper starring a determined intrepid amateur sleuth and two magical cats who affirm WC Fields' comment on never performing with animals as they steal the show; except in this case Kathleen needs their help. Readers will appreciate this fun murder mystery as the librarian and her magical meows seek who killed the quiet artist before that insistent cop arrests Kathleen.
on February 14, 2011
This book is a quick read and lots of fun. If you like cats at all this author has really nailed kitty behavior! I hope Ms. Kelly writes lots more, and soon. The lead character is very likeable and I found it easy to relate to her.
I'm perfectly willing to exert intellectual attention on books. Goodness knows I read enough of them. But when I have a long plane ride, I want lightweight entertainment. Just tell me a story, darnit, so that I can ignore the squalling baby seated next to me.
Curiosity Thrilled the Cat was just what I wanted. It has all the ingredients for "summer reading:" an appealing protagonist, a believable premise, entertaining characters, and a dead body. It's even better with cats, and these cats are utterly catlike. What more could I ask for? (Well, I could ask for the baby to sleep for more than half an hour...)
Our basic story: A few months ago, Kathleen left Boston to reboot her life and run the library in a small town in Minnesota. She's struggling with the effort to renovate the library, but she is also making friends and getting to know the two cats she adopted (or, rather, who adopted her). But when a visitor dies and circumstantial evidence suggests that Kathleen might be involved, she -- and her cats -- have to find out what really happened. Which is made more curious because the cats seem to have distinctly uncatlike behavior... or do they?
That sounds just so-so, and in some hands a "yeah, right, whatever" novel might indeed be the result. What makes this book sparkle is the writing. Sofie Kelly created a protagonist who has a sense of humor, and a sense of proportion, too. The cats really are wonderful, and I totally buy Kathleen's relationship with them. When one purrs, Kathleen describes it, "The rumbling was kind of like being in the service bay of a Volkswagon dealership." The author could easily have overdone it, but never falls into that trap.
Really: This is fun. There's sweet humor, not much laugh-out-loud funny, but if you are a cat person it will all seem so very familiar. Like this: "'What are you eating?' I asked, and I swear he put both paws on top of whatever it was he'd been gnawing on. 'Oh, like that's going to work,' I said, crossing the kitchen floor. 'Let me see.' ...He dropped his head and lifted one paw."
I won't give away too much of the plot (not that it's that hard to figure out), but I *will* assure you that this book is a winner -- enough so that I already pre-ordered the next in the series. Curiosity Thrilled the Cat is not deep thoughtful literature that will stand the test of time. It's just a fun story that will take you away for a little while. Just what the doctor ordered.
on February 17, 2011
I'm not a very good writer, but thank goodness Ms. Kelly is. She has created a wonderfully funny and charming book. Her characters are those I would love to have as friends. I love cats (I have 13), and I love books with cats in them. You won't be disappointed!
on February 19, 2011
This was a fun read, and I was tickled by the whiskers of Kathleen's two cats Owen and Hercules--the two stray cats who have adopted Kathleen. They have some magical abilities that confound her, although she is learning to accept and respect them.
She worries about her quirkiness--for example, she talks to her cats, occasionally takes one or the other with her when she goes to yoga or to visit friends, and makes 'stinky biscuits' cat treats of sardines and cheese for them.
Kath is a likable protagonist who has a back story that is told in brief vignettes, while she is experiencing the current activities of her life. We learn that her parents are actors who have been on the move for much of Kath's life. Because of this, Kathleen now wants a place where she can make a home and a life for herself. She is beginning to see that she might prefer the small town of Mayfield Heights, MN where she has been hired to oversee the renovation of the town's Carnegie Library.
While I realize that Kathleen's frequent near-injuries were a vehicle to move this story along, I look forward to Kath growing beyond her refusal to manage her health. Yes, it's charming that the veterinarian takes care of Kath when she is injured in this story, and the reasons for Kath's multiple refusals to go to the hospital make sense, but it quickly becomes tiresome that she says she 'is fine' when it is clear she is not.
I was a little disturbed about the author's description of the summer weather in Minnesota. It's likely that the humidity would be quite high with temperatures to match.
Even with these small criticisms, I look forward to the further installments of the 'Magical Cats Mystery' series, and hope the author is already hard at work on the next one!
on September 7, 2011
Easton gave me a practiced celebrity-greeting the-little-people smile. Unpack one of those computers just for him? When pigs fly, I thought. Unfortunately, it wasn't a pig that suddenly launched itself onto the conductor's head. It was a cat.My cat. Owen. For a moment Owen perched on top of Easton's head, tail twitching, like some sort of kitty Davy Crockett hat. Before any of us could move, he leaped over to the top of one of the bookshelves, shook himself and gave us a wide-eyed stare. What was he doing at the library? How the heck had he gotten into my bag without my noticing?~~~
A Magical Cats Mystery
First in Series
"Something Whiskered This Way Comes..."
By Sofie Kelly
Hello! My name is Owen and I'm one of the two main characters in this book! I'm the one that...disappears...
Actually, I think I was asked to tell the story about the murder because I set up the storyline, sort of... You see, I jumped and appeared on the head of Gregor Easton. No, it wasn't a head statue, it was the real guy, who just happened to be criticizing my Mom at the time! I had to do something, didn't I?
Mom had been hired to become the head librarian and oversee a major renovation to The Mayville Heights Free Public Library. It was almost done but the contractor seemed to be taking sooooo long. And that had caused Gregor Easton, a well-known composer and conductor who was guest artist for the Wild Rose Summer Music Festival, to be frustrated because no internet access, as promised in the new brochure, was yet available!
Although things became calm and Easton finally left, Mom was concerned enough to get up early the next day and go to find an independent contractor, Oren, to ask for his help in getting the computer tables put together and try to move the renovation along while the main contractor handled the power. She knew Oren worked mornings at the Stratton Theatre. But she couldn't find Oren right away and started looking. She found, instead, Gregor Easton...He was dead!
Worse, a note was later found that indicated that Mom had invited Gregor to meet her at the Library, where the police found other clues that revealed that he had probably been killed there!
Mom was in bigggg trouble, so Herc and I knew we had to help. We took turns guarding Mom because she decided she was going to try to find out what was really going on since she knew she was a suspect! But while we were doing it, Mom caught on to our secrets big-time! We were busted! But Hercules was to blame! Let her tell you...
"My knees started to shake. I sat down. Hard. Hercules had vanished. He hadn't darted past me. He hadn't run around the corner. He'd walked through a solid wooden door just as if it wasn't there. I could see it again in my head without closing my eyes. He'd vanished through that door and it was almost as though there was a faint pop as the end of his tail disappeared..." Hercules," I called. "C'mon, puss. Where are you?" There was silence and then a faint "Meow" from the other side of the closed door. He was in there. Somehow he was in there. I grabbed the doorknob. Locked. I twisted the knob in frustration. Of course it was locked. The room was part of a murder investigation..."
You all will see that both Herc and I found many clues--even though Mom didn't realize what they meant right away. Then she began to put things together until, wow, a killer came after her! Well, needless to say, we were right there to save her life. While Herc went for help, I took a flying leap--well, let Mom tell you, I get mad just thinking about it!
"Owen appeared in midair, teeth bared, ears flattened against his head. He landed, yowling on [the killer's] head and dug in his claws..." Mom took over once she was able and then help was coming!
I have to tell you, folks, that this was really a very complicated case. The police were trying, and we were gathering clues, but it was Mom who, after her own life had been saved, finally put together who had killed Easton. A truly great whodunit for all you readers!
Oh, Mom thinks that you might want to know a little more about me and Herc. Well, Mom came to visit an old abandoned mansion near to her new home when we were just kits. We recognized her love as soon as we saw her and followed her home! But she didn't know we could do tricks...and, frankly, I'll bet she now wonders sometime if we are ghost cats, since that old mansion is supposed to be haunted...
I just know we'll be back at BRH (her blog) in the future, cause the owner here loves cats too and even collects cat mystery books! How Cool is That! She said to add that this book is highly recommended as a great whodunit, especially for all of you who love cats too!
on June 21, 2011
Kathleen Paulson is a librarian who has moved from Boston to Mayville Heights, Minnesota to take on the job of head librarian and to help with the renovation of the library there. Kathleen has been stung by a former boyfriend and getting away from Boston is a new beginning. Every year Mayville Heights has its Wild Rose Summer Music Festival, and this year the guest musician is Gregor Easton. Kathleen meets him at the library where he demands the use of a computer when no computers are installed yet, due to the renovations. As Easton gets more demanding with Kathleen, suddenly one of her very curious and extremely interesting cats appears to jump on Easton's head. That didn't go over too well with Easton, so Kathleen arranges to have a nice breakfast served to his hotel room the next morning as a token of apology.
When Kathleen goes to the Stratton theater later on to find someone to help put the computer tables together in the library, she finds Gregor Easton slumped over the piano with a big gash in his head and not breathing. Kathleen, being at the site, becomes a suspect.
The two magical cats, Hercules and Owen, along with Kathleen take on the mystery of who killed Easton. The cats seem to communicate with each other and Kathleen swears that they give each other knowing looks at times. They seem to understand what she says and also find a lot of clues for her. When not investigating, Hercules likes to listen to Barry Manilow with Kathleen and Owen loves tripping out on catnip. And they do love to snoop.
I really liked this debut book in a new series about the magical cats and their caregiver, Kathleen Paulson. I think that Sophie Kelly has tapped into a new way of entertaining cat-focused mystery readers with a bit of the supernatural as it applies to Owen and Hercules. In this first book we're introduced to a lot of characters and to the abilities of these two cats. Kathleen can hardly believe what they are capable of, but I have a feeling that they aren't revved up to their full potential in the field of magic yet. Kathleen is a very likeable and sensible woman who makes friends easily in Mayville Heights. Other characters will likely show up in subsequent books, if my guess is correct.
I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment in this series and already have it pre-ordered. Anyone who loves cats, mysteries and just a touch of magic should enjoy this book. The magic isn't overdone at all. These kitties give you a touch of magic, just enough to make you laugh a little and wonder if that really just happened.