Determined to clear a friend in a businessman’s murder, a Minnesota librarian gets invaluable help from her two magical cats, who are there for her as long as the sardines don’t run out.
Kathleen Paulson is psyched when her brother, Ethan, and his band, the Flaming Gerbils, come to stay with her in Mayville Heights, her adopted hometown. Ethan’s excited not only to spend some quality time with his sister, but also to get to know her closest friend, Maggie, who seems as if she could be more than a friend to him. Good vibes abound until Ethan’s newest band mate, temporary lead guitarist Derek Hanson, gets into a tussle with a man at a bar the whole crew is visiting. Though Kathleen doesn’t condone violence, the man in question, businessman Lewis Wallace, seems to have had it coming to him after kicking a veteran’s service dog. Kathleen doesn’t know much about Wallace, and what she hears isn’t good, but rumors that follow the skirmish suggest he’s come to town to turn over a new leaf. After the incident with Derek, Kathleen, a born animal lover, doesn’t find Wallace sympathetic until she stumbles on his dead body. Kathleen’s boyfriend, town detective Marcus Gordon, is fairly certain that Wallace has been murdered, but it’s hard to know who had a motive besides Derek. In an effort to clear the guitarist, Kathleen tries to figure out who else had reason to do Wallace harm. Variously supported by her two magical cats, Owen and Hercules (The Cats Came Back, 2018, etc.), Kathleen uses her research skills and social networks to suss out the truth.
Kelly’s cats are magical, but not magical enough to distinguish them from a clowder of kitty cozies.