When a disastrous event promoting the local animal shelter leaves an employee as a potential murder suspect, her colleagues and friends rally to clear her name.
Returning to her hometown of Deer Park, North Carolina, wasn’t in Syd McCall’s plan for her life, but it’s suiting her—and Toby, her recently adopted tabby—just fine. She and her nearby sister, Kat, run the Friendly Paws Animal Shelter along with their friend Maggie Shayne, who works with the sisters to make sure all their cats and dogs have safe and loving homes. Their newest promotion, cleverly dubbed Caturday, pairs a book signing with bestselling author and Deer Park native Dudley Simmons with a social adoption event for the shelter. All systems are go until Dudley has an accident that prevents his attendance. Luckily, last-minute guest Ulla Townsend, the hostess of a television shopping show, agrees to fill in. Another Deer Park native, Ulla hasn’t been embraced by her former town the way Dudley has. In fact, when Maggie learns about the new guest, she uncharacteristically refuses to take part in the event. Once Syd meets Ulla, she understands Maggie’s reluctance. Since Caturday is meant to be a one-off, it shouldn’t matter much, but Ulla has what seems like a panic attack. Before Syd even realizes what’s happening, the surprise guest is being led away on a stretcher. Ulla, who doesn’t even make it to the hospital, has evidently been the victim of foul play. What’s worse, Maggie, who’s known to loathe Ulla, becomes a top suspect in her murder. To clear Maggie’s name, Syd has to rely on her boyfriend, homicide detective Will Worthington, as well as her own instincts to pluck the murderer from a sea of enemies.
The second in LoTempio’s series (Purr M for Murder, 2017) reprises her signature blend of cozy and cats in a mild mix sure to please fans of the subgenre.