Sofie Kelly's series about a librarian in small-town Minnesota is unlikely to make it onto anyone's list of Important Fiction. This is just good "entertain me" storytelling that helps me unwind after a long, stressful day: fun characters, a puzzle or two to solve, and a dollop of romance. I've read the earlier books in the series, so when I saw this one on the shelf at my local bookstore, I grabbed it. I'm glad I did.
In this installment, Kathleen has been librarian in Mayville Heights for about a year. When a long soaking rain causes the ground to shift at Wisteria Hill, she (literally) uncovers a long-dead body... who, it appears, is the father of one of her friends. And then an artist at the co-op is discovered in the flooded basement. Some things don't add up... and, of course, Kathleen pokes around to find out the real story -- aided by Hercules and Owen, Kathleen's cats, who appear to have some extra-special powers. And, oh yeah, helped by that hunky detective, too, who Kathleen is beginning to admit might be more cute than annoying.
If you have read the earlier novels, you'll like this one as well. (You COULD read this standalone, but I think you'd miss a lot.) The "charming" setting isn't quite as high as it was in Curiosity Thrilled the Cat, and the mystery was only okay, but I certainly kept reading all the way through.
But the cats are in fine fettle, and that makes all the difference: "He didn't exactly look innocent -- that's hard to do when your fur is all messed up, you have dirt on your nose, and one ear is turned inside out -- but he tried." I love the cats and Kathleen's relationship with them.
I've been saying since the first book that this is a mystery series for us cat people, and it's continued to be so. If you liked the previous books, you can buy this one with confidence.