Fool’s Moon: A Tarot Cats Mystery by Diane A.S. Stuckart (Midnight Ink, 323 pages, $15.99)
Attention cat mystery lovers – we’ve been gifted with a new series! Brother and sister cats are the featured characters in this mystical, tarot card-centered tale. Brandon Bobtail and Ophelia are one-year-old kitties that have lived a pampered life in Palm Beach, Florida up until they are dropped by the side of the road in a less desirable neighborhood. Moreover, they are trapped inside of a taped up box. (Sigh.)
This jarring experience begins their quest to find food, shelter and the means to return home. The perilous events of the following days provide the young cats with ample opportunities to learn lessons in patience and avoid making snap judgments.
Ruby Sparks, a tarot card reader who has been tasked with minding her half-sister’s New Age shop, is kind hearted as well an animal lover. She takes in the abandoned kitties and discovers that they possess some very useful powers. The shop cat, Brandon Bobtail, Ophelia and a street-savvy pit bull join forces to thwart evil and enrich Ruby’s life.
Ms. Stuckart wisely sets up a smooth segue to the next adventures in the Tarot Cats Mysteries. She is also the author of the Black Cat Bookshop Mystery series, which this reviewer intends to peruse soon.
The book is well recommended for cat lovers and mystery fans, especially those who love the Joe Gray books written by Shirley Rousseau Murphy. Wonderful tales such as these can be found on both the Florida and California coasts.
Bloodstains with Bronte: A Crime with the Classics Mystery by Katherine Bolger Hyde (Minotaur Books, 278 pages, $24.99)
This second in a series of mysteries that draw upon Emily Cavanaugh’s knowledge of classic literature is once again set on the Oregon coast. In the first book, Arsenic with Austen, Emily has inherited an estate called Windy Corner from her great aunt. The estate includes a Victorian mansion and the rest of her inheritance is property in the nearby town of Stony Beach.
This time around Cavanaugh is busy with the conversion of her mansion into a writer’s retreat. A widowed professor, she has no family of her own. Katie Parker and her baby girl Lizzie have become Emily’s “little family.” Katie works as Emily’s housekeeper. All is not sweetness and bliss for them. A murder in Stony Beach puts a wrench in most everyone’s relationships. Sheriff Luke Richards wants his rekindled romance with Emily to become permanent but the murder makes them wary of each other.
Author Katherine Bolger Hyde weaves a fascinating tale of small town intrigue. Each chapter of Bloodstains with Bronte is prefaced with a quote from either Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights. These quotes provide clues for Emily to use in solving the murder. Fans of Charlotte Bronte will enjoy the parallels. Readers not familiar with Ms. Bronte’s works may be enticed to step back in time to discover her thrilling tales.
We can look forward to the next installment based on a novel by an author whose name begins with C.
Well recommended to fans of cozy novels set in small towns, basically English-style novels set in the USA.
Review copies were provided by a publicist (Fools’ Moon; released on November 8, 2018) and the publisher (Bloodstains with Bronte; first released as a hardcover book in December of 2017 and soon to be released in trade paper form).