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A Tale of Two Kitties

A Magical Cats Mystery

By Sofie Kelly

Berkley Prime Crime


Set in Minnesota (Mayville Heights)

Sept. 5, 2017

326 pages, which includes a short story


I received the book in exchange for an honest review.

In Sofie Kelly’s new Magical Cats Mystery, Mayville Heights librarian, Kathleen Paulson takes on the task of reuniting a box of undelivered photos to their owners. The photos, along with other mail, had been found after a wall was torn down during the library’s renovations. The staff volunteered to handle the situation.

Shortly after, Kathleen takes a walk during her lunch break and happens to meet Victor Janes who needs directions to the library. Turns out that Victor, who is Simon Janes’ uncle, has been out of town for a number of years. He had an affair, years ago, with his sister-in-law and allegedly convinced her to run off with him. Whether that was the truth or a fabricated rumor, Victor’s sister-in-law died in a car accident.

Kathleen meets Leo Janes, who is nearly identical in appearance to his twin brother. The exception being, love and genuine warmth are part of who he is when it comes to his granddaughter, Mia, who works at the library, and his son. The first sign that something isn’t kosher in Mayville, with regards to Leo, is when Kathleen witnesses Leo arguing with Harry Taylor. Though she couldn’t hear what they were arguing about. The strange thing is that Harry got along with a lot of people and Leo seemed like a decent man.

A second mysterious situation arises when Kathleen picks up her friend, Rebecca, for tai chi class. Kathleen notices a woman rushing out of Rebecca’s boyfriend’s two-story Georgian brick house, where Leo lives. Then while attending the class, Kathleen learns that one of her friends was followed by a drone. Shortly after, Kathleen finds Leo Janes dead in his apartment.

Now, Detective Marcus Gordon, Kathleen’s boyfriend, has to learn who murdered Mia’s grandfather and why? Is there a connection between Leo and the photos? Did his brother arrive to right the wrong he committed years ago? Did the mysterious woman have anything to do with Leo’s death? Was Leo involved in something his family didn’t know about? Chances are Kathleen is going to do some investigating along with her magical cats Owen and Hercules.

A Tale of Two Kitties is a small-town mystery that has two curious magical cats working right beside Kathleen. Like most small towns, everyone knows everyone’s strengths and flaws and if there’s a rumor it gets around like electricity in an electrical outlet. These people also look out for each other. This book was tricky, setting you up with a car accident, told through a memory, that ends the life of Leo’s wife. That leads into the possibility of a confession in an undelivered letter, several possible suspects, and which has you wondering why they’d want to kill a man who lost his wife years ago and was a loving grandfather. Several possible explanations could lead to the truth so the reader really doesn’t know until the end. I liked that Kathleen was responsible and tapped into natural intuition. That she wasn’t afraid to stick her neck out for justice and to protect Mia. Would have loved to learn more about how she connected with her magical cats and their history. Would also have liked for Detective Gordon to have played a more official role. It always seems that amateur sleuths know more than the police department.

Three and a half Funky Chicken cat toys out of five

Denise Fleischer


September 24, 2017