Release Date: Nov 27, 2018
Series: A Cat Latimer Mystery
Author Cat Latimer is hosting a writers’ retreat in Aspen Springs, Colorado for five aspiring authors. One of the participants, Jessi, is a student at a local college and also works part-time at a nearby tourist attraction. Outlaw, an old ghost town, has been fixed up and and staffed by employees in costume to give visitors the feel of the wild, wild west. When Jessi’s friend and co-worker, Danielle, is found strangled in the old western town, Cat gets involved in the investigation and worries that before she can close the case, the killer will strike again.
Slay in Character is the fourth book in this series, but the first I’ve read. I enjoy the author’s Tourist Trap books, but hadn’t tried the Cat Latimer series before this. I was intrigued by the idea of a writer’s workshop in a beautiful Colorado setting. I enjoyed the parts of the book dealing with the retreat activities and think there could have been additional details about the writing drills to lend even more authenticity. The murder investigation is interesting and I liked how diligent Cat is about identifying potential suspects and motives. She tries to keep her retreat participants safe, but they keep putting themselves in dangerous situations and Cat has to come to their rescue. All of their escapades keep Cat busy and keep things moving in the story.
I knew going into this book that it was the fourth in the series, but I had hoped I could jump in without a problem. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. There are many references to past history between various characters, but it’s not explained. Cat often talks about tension between her friend Shauna and her boyfriend Seth, but the cause isn’t discussed. Seth doesn’t approve of Cat’s friendship with Dante, a member of a local mob family. Some of his disapproval is logical, but again, no details are given. Shauna questions if Cat is interested in Dante romantically, but the reader isn’t clued into Cat’s feelings. Even though there were problems between Shauna and Seth, at times Shauna seems more into him than Cat! The personal relationships aren’t key to solving the mystery, but they play a large role in the book so I felt lost much of the time as I read the book. Although I couldn’t appreciate all the dynamics between the characters, I think those who follow the series will enjoy it since the mystery of Danielle’s murder is engaging.