Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Mew is for Murder by Clea Simon

"I'm just going to put her in a traveling box," Eva explained and then turned to me. "We'd been planning on taking one of Lillian's cats, but I thought Luisa would rather have a kitten." She Shrugged. "This one will be easier to care for." She placed the pliable beast in the cardboard carrier the young vet tech had brought over. "It's the little one I feel sorry for." She motioned to Luisa's friend, Kristen, who stood quietly in front of a cage that held a large black cat. Without a word the girl pushed her fingers between the bars and the cat reached back. Claws sheathed, it gently batted a velvet paw at the small girl's hand. ~ Mew is for Murder, page 112 ~

One day, out for a stroll in her Cambridge neighborhood, Theda spies an adorable stray kitten. This charmer leads Theda to an old woman holed up in a decrepit house full of cats. Is this one of those "crazy cat ladies," a classic hoarder or is the old woman a neighborhood do-gooder? More important: is this the story to catapult Theda out of the dumps? But when she returns to interview Lillian Helmhold, Theda finds her fascinating subject dead of an apparent accident. The neighbors are celebrating, the police aren't interested, and the cats are removed to a shelter. End of story? Not for Theda - one or two things don't compute. So Theda marshals her investigative journalism skills to turn gumshoe.

I had really high hopes starting this book which soon took a down turn. This book was more about the main character, Theda Krakow, and her life as a freelance writer than about a murder mystery. The author spends a considerable amount of time having Theda track down stories to jump start her career and her evenings clubbing then she spends trying to solve the murder mystery. It almost felt as if the mystery of the murder was a side note to the rest of the story. And the clues to the whodunit were quite obvious and left little mystery. Also, none of the other characters such as Bill Sherman, Violet or Ralph were very appealing to me.

Being a cat lover and hoarder myself, we have nine rescues sharing our hearts and home, my heart went out to those fictional animals when they were mentioned in the story. I understand the plight of these wonderful creatures. That being said there wasn't enough to bring me back to this series again. This book was just so so for me. If I had nothing else to read then I might continue with the series.

1 Comment:

Literary Feline said...

I tried to post earlier today, but blogger wasn't being cooperative. Hopefully this time will go smoothly. :-)

I am sorry you were disappointed in this one. I didn't go into it expecting too much, I admit, but I ended up really liking it. I did have a little problem with the ending--a bit too over the top, but the next two books in the series have more than made up for it. You are right about the mystery. It sort of just happens around Theda as she goes about her business. I don't mind so much, perhaps I've grown used to it with books like McCall Smith's #1 Ladies' Detective Agency series that rare much more about the characters than the mysteries themselves. Unlike you, I really took to the characters in the novel and all their eccentricities. For that reason alone, I imagine you wouldn't care for the other books in the series. At least you tried! Not every book can be for everyone.

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