A chance meeting with a kitten on a sidewalk in Cambridge, Mass., leads a freelance writer into a mysterious maze with murder at the center.
Theda Krakow is still down in the dumps over the loss of her beloved cat and the breakup of a relationship when she follows Musetta the kitten to a run-down house where an old woman lives with numberless felines. She returns to interview Lillian Helmhold for a story on what she thinks may be cat hoarding only to find her dead. Now Theda’s interest turns to saving the cats and helping purple-haired rocker Violet Hayes prove her friend’s death was murder. Lillian has a schizophrenic son living in a group home that has recently been robbed and nearly lost to arson. Apart from the rumors that Lillian had a treasure hidden, the house itself proves valuable enough to interest Patti Wright, the realtor next door, to apply to oversee the estate. Theda encounters a sexy artist, an investigative reporter, the police officer in charge of the case, and divers cat lovers and denizens of the clubs she cruises in her attempt to find answers to her questions.
Newcomer Simon’s exploration of the real-life relations between women and cats (Feline Mystique, 2002) gives her and her complicated heroine an edge on other ailurophiles.