Age Group: Adult
Release Date: June 8, 2013
When Savannah Jordan agrees to help her aunt while she recovers from a broken foot, she doesn’t expect to walk into a mystery, become part of a not-quite-legal surveillance team, be kidnapped by a deranged stranger and meet a steaming hot veterinarian.
Beloved neighborhood cats are missing—the community can only guess at their fate—and Aunt Margaret’s life is being threatened. Is it because she has a clue to the missing cats or is it something more sinister?
If you like light mysteries with only a little terror, if you’re infatuated by interesting cats and if you love a love story, you must read this book.
Cat-Eye Witness (Klepto Cat Mystery, #2) by Patricia Fry
Age Group: Adult
Release Date: October 7, 2013
Savannah and Aunt Margaret open the old Forster home to the Hammond Cat Alliance for a fundraiser to help rehabilitate the abused horses rescued months earlier from the catnappers. Before the afternoon is over, the collected funds go missing and someone is murdered in an upstairs bedroom.
Suspicion surrounds Iris, a local waitress and Savannah’s new best friend. The only witness to the murder is Rags, Savannah’s cat. With the assistance of a cat psychic and Rags’s good friend, Charlotte (the young girl with Downs), the cat helps to “paw” the killer…but not before an attempt is made on Rags’s life. The case is solved only after Rags comes face-to-face with the killer for the second time.
Detective Craig Sledge is new to this book, as is Damon, Iris’s errant son. Sledge finds this to be one of the muddiest cases he has ever worked, with inconsistent clues and no apparent motive. He’s constantly surprised, perplexed and impressed by the cat’s uncanny ability to come up with clues he has missed. His fascination with the attractive Iris Clampton also mystifies the detective.
In this story, one of the rescued horses goes into labor and there’s a night of high drama at the ole corral as veterinarians Savannah and Michael work to save the foal. This experience renews Savannah’s deep interest in horses and riding, which ultimately serves to help her bond with a very important surprise character who finds his way into her life and Michael’s just as they prepare to say their wedding vows.
Savannah saw something scurry past her in the near darkness—a cat! It’s one of the missing cats. How frightened he must be in this desolate spot where nothing is familiar—where danger is imminent. Now she could relate to the cat’s fear. It had become personal. If only she could find a way to keep her kidnapper at bay until help arrived. But no one knew where she and Aunt Margaret were—no one would come in time.
She thought about the circumstances that had landed them in this terrifying predicament—a situation that could very well end in torture and death for both of them.
It was a week and a day earlier. All but one occupant in the old Forster home slumbered peacefully. He couldn’t (or wouldn’t) sleep. He’d rather explore. He’s considered nocturnal, after all. No, he isn’t a werewolf or a vampire, but a mere cat—an incredibly curious cat.
What the…? Savannah raised up on one elbow, tilted her head and listened for a moment. Must have been dreaming or hearing things, she thought as she scrunched back down under the warm blankets.
There it is again. It’s coming from downstairs. “Aunt Margaret,” Savannah whispered under her breath as her feet hit the floor. There was just enough moonlight shining through the sheer curtains to illuminate the small lamp at her right. Savannah switched it on and reached for her robe, grateful that she had packed the newer one. No one ever saw her lounging in her favorite, well-loved robe. Not if she could help it.
She rounded the last post at the bottom of the staircase and rushed toward the guestroom, wondering what calamity had occurred at 5:30 a.m. “Auntie, are you all right?” she asked as she peered into the room around a slightly ajar door. In the dim light from the bedside lamp, Savannah saw her aunt sitting on the edge of the bed still in her nightshirt, staring down at Rags.
“What happened?” Savannah asked hesitantly as she entered the room.
“Oh nothing. He just startled me; that’s all. Right, Ragsdale?”
“Are you sure? It sounded like you saw the ghost of old Grandpa Forster,” Savannah quipped.
“No, Vannie. I heard something scratching around in that dresser over there. You know, we get all kinds of vermin and critters out here in the country.” She winced. Then, looking up at her niece, she continued, “That’s something you don’t have to deal with in the big city.”
“I didn’t realize you were so squeamish, Auntie. What kind of vermin are you talking about, anyway?”
“Oh, you know, snakes, raccoons, mice. I don’t mind these animals, but not in my house.” Margaret shuddered.
“So there’s a snake in here? Or a mouse?” Savannah asked.
“I’m getting to it,” she snapped playfully. “Do you want to hear my story or not?”
Savannah nodded submissively while suppressing a smile. “Yes, please go ahead.”
“Okay, so I turned on my little lamp here and I saw something moving in my lingerie drawer. I don’t know why I left it open. Just forgetful, I guess. And with this danged broken foot, I’m not taking care of business like I usually do.”
“Which is why I’m here, right?” Savannah smiled. Then creasing her brow into a frown, she asked, “So what was it in your drawer?”
“There he is right in front of you.” She pointed at Savannah’s cat, who seemed to be the epitome of innocence at the moment. “I saw something dive for cover under my pink slip. Well it started moving around and I didn’t know what was about to jump out of there. It scared me. I mean, how would I escape if it decided to attack?” Margaret asked, her face tingeing pink as she relived the experience.
“When the creature popped out of the drawer with a pair of my pantyhose trailing across its back, I wasn’t sure what I was seeing. I didn’t have my glasses on, and the bulb in this tiny lamp is so dim. I couldn’t tell what it was—a possum, an alligator…or maybe a wild boar!” Her eyes grew larger along with her imagination.
Savannah couldn’t contain her urge to laugh. “Oh Auntie, you’re exaggerating. When is the last time you had an alligator or a wild boar anywhere near this house? And since when are you afraid of Rags?” she asked, reaching down and roughing up the fur on the cat’s head.
“Since he disguised himself and snuck up on me in the dark.” She chuckled, watching the cat roll from side-to-side on his back while wrapping his front paws around Savannah’s out-stretched hand and kicking it playfully with his back feet. “Anyway, I thought we closed my bedroom door last night—didn’t we?” She cocked her head slightly to the left, her bobbed brown hair swaying across her shoulder.
“Yes, I closed it. But, unless you lock it, Rags can open it.” She pointed over at the door, saying, “He’s an expert with those lever door handles of yours. No room in this house is safe from him unless the door’s locked. When he wants in or out, he just jumps up, hits the lever, and the door opens.” Savannah stared off into space for a moment and then continued, “I almost lost him once when Travis and I spent the weekend at friends. They had those lever door handles, and he just helped himself outside one night while we were sleeping.”
That was a mistake, she thought. I vowed his name would not cross my lips nor would thoughts of him enter my mind. Not for a while. Yet, it may not be possible, what with Travis having been so much a part of my life. Not now, Savannah, she willed herself. Not yet. It’s too soon. Let the memories die. It’s best.
Patricia started writing for publication in 1973. Her first book was published by a New York publisher five years later. She published her second book, a comprehensive history of the Ojai Valley, California, through her own publishing company, Matilija Press, in 1983. Currently, she has 35 books to her credit, representing an eclectic mix of subjects including several writing/publishing-related books. Her books are showcased here: http://www.matilijapress.com.
Patricia is the Executive Director of SPAWN (Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network), a networking organization which she helped form in 1996. (http://www.spawn.org.) Currently, she writes the monthly SPAWN Market Update for the member area of the SPAWN Web site.