Books by Garrison Allen

MOVIE CAT by Garrison Allen
Released: May 1, 1999

A double dose of bad luck for director C.D. Masterly: The Ears of the Elephant looks to be his last movie, and he's going to die far from Hollywood, surrounded by unfriendly faces, in Empty Creek, Arizona. Detecting honors go once again to Empty Creek bookstore owner Penelope Warren, sister of featured Elephant actress Storm Williams, and her feline sleuth Big Mike (Dinosaur Cat, 1998, etc.). Read full book review >
BASEBALL CAT by Garrison Allen
Released: July 1, 1997

Bookseller-sleuth Penelope Warren and her Garfield-esque pet Big Mike are back on the scene as Empty Creek, Arizona, fields a minor-league ball club and starts the season off with a losing streak and a murder—namely, of Peter Adcock. Adcock was much disliked—he was team owner as well as, it turns out, an abuser of women and a dabbler in drug deals—so nobody seems to mind when he's found brained by a bat on opening day. Which may account for Penelope's being unable to focus on this rather simple puzzle until the rattlesnake chili contest and Sexy Lingerie Night are history and the Empty Creek Coyotes, thanks to a field appearance by Big Mike, finally get a win. Allen's cat-plus-a-hobby series is so filled with characters that many are reduced to walk-ons. And most not only seem too sweet to murder (even the murderer is awfully nice) but too involved in sex scenarios with their significant others to do violence. In this fourth installment (Stable Cat, 1996, etc.), there are enough naked-lady jokes to make a cat laugh. But our Big Mike, named for Sherlock Holmes's brainier brother, doesn't. An unsubtle, eager-to-please yarn that will appeal less to admirers of Bull Durham than to those who miss the rather corny, Hugh Hefnerish eroticism of an earlier time. Read full book review >
STABLE CAT by Garrison Allen
Released: June 1, 1996

In his Big Mike series of pet-related mysteries (Royal Cat, 1995; the paperback Desert Cat, 1994), Allen is developing the sort of eccentric and benign if occasionally criminal small town that owes a lot to Andy Griffith's Mayberry and Joan Hess's Maggody. Sometime sleuth Penelope Warren runs an Empty Creek, Arizona, bookstore; her cat Mycroft (a.k.a. ``Big Mike'') goes everywhere with her to assist in tracking down one murderer or another, even when saddlebags may be involved. This time, a heavily insured Arabian stallion is kidnapped and his trainer killed. On the case are Penelope, Big Mike, insurance investigators, the newspaper editor (Penelope's lover), the bank president (her chum), the police chief (her actor sister's intended) and more. The crime is creditably solved and enjoyably so, thanks to an authorial sense of humor that misfires only about a third of the time (not a bad average in this subgenre). But Allen overstuffs his casserole: He's got everything here from a romance writer and an FBI agent on to cute dogs, bunnies, and snakes, not to mention multiple romantic couples cuddling with a boonies-style sexual smarminess. A fairly good series that needs to get leaner and meaner. Read full book review >
ROYAL CAT by Garrison Allen
Released: June 1, 1995

Murder comes, just barely, to the Authentic Elizabethan Spring Faire in Empty Creek, Ariz., when somebody ends Carolyn Lewis's reign as Queen Elizabeth with a bare bodkin and catapults bookseller Penelope Warren (the paperback Desert Cat) into her place. Follows a halfpenny's worth of mystery to an intolerable deal of naughty tomfoolery, replete with alarums, excursions, pillories, chastity belts, melons, tomatoes, and assorted lesser bosoms, all heaving like gangbusters in and out of Elizabethan dress. A decorously giddy costume romp strictly for the like- minded. Read full book review >