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Kittens Can Kill: A Pru Marlowe Pet Noir Paperback – March 3, 2015
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At the start of Simon’s fluffy fifth Pru Marlowe mystery set in the Berkshires town of Beauville (after 2014’s Panthers Play for Keeps), pet trainer Pru arrives at the home of David Canaday to find him lying dead on his kitchen floor with a tiny kitten playing nearby. The wealthy lawyer appears to have died naturally, perhaps of a heart attack. Or could he have suffered a fatal allergic reaction to the kitten, named Ernesto, whom one of his three grown daughters had recently dropped off at his house? Pru’s own kitty, Wallis, grudgingly agrees to look after Ernesto, while Pru tries to prove the kitten’s innocence, despite the amused misgivings of her boyfriend, Det. Jim Creighton. The solution to Canaday’s mysterious death may be predictable, but cozy fans will enjoy spending time with Pru and her two- and four-legged friends. Agent: Colleen Mohyde, Doe Coover Agency. (Mar.) (Publishers Weekly)
Another suspicious death in Beauville, Massachusetts, leaves animal empath Pru Marlowe (Panthers Play for Keeps, 2014, etc.) babysitting a new kitten as she stumbles around trying to figure out who's settling old scores.The medical evidence says that David Canaday died of an acute myocardial infarction. That's not good enough for Pru, who's convinced that Ernesto Vuitton, the kitten beseeching her to play as Canaday's body cools in his kitchen, knows more than he's saying about the lawyer's death. As if on cue, Canaday's daughters, three weird sisters who might be opening a roadshow Macbeth, stir the pot of Pru's suspicions. Jill, the youngest, attaches herself worshipfully to Pru and Doc Sharpe at the County Animal Hospital, even though she's in line to inherit the bulk of her father's estate. Her older sister Judith, who sent the kitten before arriving herself from LA, is very interested in the contents of her father's will. And Jackie, the resident sister who first asked Pru to come out and take care of the kitten before she knew her father would die, is alternately defensive and combative. When another of her clients, attorney Laurence Wilkins, turns out to be Canaday's partner, Pru knows she's in for the long haul. So is the gentle reader, who'll be asked to sit still for pages on end while Pru goes over and over the same ground with the human suspects and tries to worm more information out of the animals whose minds she can read without tipping off other humans to her special gift. No wonder she keeps hitting the bottle. Spoiler alert: The kitten doesn't kill anyone. Fanciers of chatty cat mysteries will be happy to know that all the animals survive in fine fettle. (Kirkus)
Animal whisperer Pru Marlowe arrives at a client’s house, only to find a kitten next to the owner’s body.
Pru’s gift of being able to understand animals helps her decipher what the kitten knows about the dead
man and his feuding family. While trying to sort out the issues behind the victim’s death―Was it really
just a heart attack?―Pru must revisit her own past to find a pattern in all the human and animal activities. Simon’s renderings of what the animals are thinking tend at times to push the boundaries of reason, but this quirky series has a devoted following among the Animal Planet crowd, and the unique premise has its own appeal. (Amy Alessio Booklist) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
Clea Simon is the author of the Pru Marlowe, Dulcie Schwartz, and Theda Krakow mystery series, as well as three nonfiction books. A former journalist, she lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, with her husband Jon and their cat Musetta.
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Full Disclosure: I received a free copy from Poison Pen Press through Netgalley for an hint review. I wIshed to thank them for the opportunity to read and review this book. The opinions are my own.
This mystery was a pleasant surprise that kept me guessing until the end of the book. The dynamics of a family following a death was clearly delineated. The emotional roller coaster caused by grief was on the spot. The fact that Pru Marlowe has a special gift with animals was a nice touch. Pru's relationship with Wallis her own cat & interaction with the new kitten revealed a knowledge of cats that was delightful.
Can Pru tread the waters of the emotional tsunami of the three sisters? Can she keep her own gift as a secret?
I highly recommend this five star book.
Link to purchase: http://www.amazon.com/Kittens-Can-Kill-Marlowe-Noir-ebook/dp/B00TZ89XQA/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=
Pru is not the most likeable protagonist, but she is very real and the author makes her behaviors and motivations easy to understand. Pru's flaws add dimension to her character. Her love for and connection with animals is clear throughout. Clea Simon does a fantastic job with her characterization of animals. The animals within the book are not simply humans with fur. They behave in a recognizably species specific manner.
The mystery keeps the reader guessing until close to the end. I would highly recommend this novel to animal lovers and to anyone who enjoys a well crafted mystery.
I received an advanced reader copy from Poisoned Pen Press and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
I'm sorry if this is a spoiler, but -- the kitten didn't do it. While kittens are both adorable and ruthless, the crimes here are purely human.
Pru Marlowe, our first-person narrator, is somewhat psychic, in that she not only talks to the animals, but they also talk back. In terms of crime detection -- which she is not necessarily keen on doing -- this is not as much help as it may seem, because critters have their own agendas and priorities, and can be maddeningly obtuse about human ones. (Of course, they think the same of us!)
Pru is an interesting character. She is both compassionate and prickly, and she has little trust in the world or other humans. This is the fifth book in this series, and I don't know her backstory, but I am curious.
I thought she and the other characters -- human and not -- were well-drawn and seemed very individual. However, sometimes their actions did not jibe all that well with their characters as depicted; while the plot was nicely convoluted, it was complicated by a lot of seemingly arbitrary refusals to communicate, misunderstandings and similar. While this is arguably realistic, it does make for a less-satisfying mystery plot.
Nonetheless, I definitely enjoyed this book, and will be seeking out more in the series and by the author.
I received this book via Rambles.nret in exchange for doing an objective review.
(A Pru Marlowe Pet Noir)
Pru Marlowe, who lives in a small Berkshires town, hears intuitively and speaks to animals, domestic and wild. She gets by as an unofficial (I. E., not officially trained) animal behaviorist, including dog walking and squirrel control. Pru carries a lot of emotional baggage, which makes her all the more admirable as a protagonist--she admits her imperfections, and does what she can. In this episode, she is hired to supply food and necessities for a very young pedigree kitten, to a senior citizen. Better if she had demanded payment in advance; better yet if she had refused that job. But intrepid Pru is not a quitter, so she perseveres, despite increasing dangers.
I reviewed a digital ARC via NetGalley, and also Partners in Crime Tours, for review purpose only and without remuneration.