Release Date: Oct 29, 2019
Series: Cat Cooper Mystery
Cat Cooper is making a fresh start in The Hamptons after a messy divorce and selling her successful marketing firm. Her new life coaching business is off to a rough start with a client who is more needy that Cat had anticipated. Luckily her best friend Gilley Gillespie has time to assist since his husband is on an extended business trip. Cat needs Gilley’s help more than ever when Cat’s mean girl neighbor is murdered and Cat becomes the number one suspect. It’s going to take the two of them working together to prove Cat’s innocence and stay one step ahead of a dangerous killer.
This new series is a spin-off from two other series by Victoria Laurie. Cat is the sister of Abby Cooper, the main character from the Psychic Eye series and Gilley worked with M.J. in the Ghost Hunter series. I have read many of the books in both series, but couldn’t remember a lot of details about the character of Cat. She seems less snobby and a little more like her sister Abby than I remember. I like that she is an independent, strong-willed woman, and she makes an enthusiastic amateur sleuth. Gilley is as funny as ever, but he is more likable in this series. He is still dramatic, but not as over-the-top, and is able to put his fears aside to be an equal partner to Cat. His computer expertise comes in handy throughout the book and the two work very well together.
The mystery of who killed Heather is interesting and because of the way she treats both friends and enemies, Cat and Gilley have many suspects to pick from when trying to figure out who really killed Heather. I love how things start and although Cat has caught the attention of the wealthy and mysterious tenant in her office building, I was more intrigued by her friendship with Detective Shepherd. The two start out as antagonists but as they grudgingly begin comparing notes on the case, a friendship with the hint of a possible romance starts to build. Cat is more likable and down-to-earth when she is sharing a meal and discussing the case with the handsome detective, so I am curious what will happen in future books.
This series does not have any supernatural elements to it. Perhaps that is why the author felt she needed to build drama by involving the Russian mob and trained assassins in the murder mystery. I would have preferred a less complicated solution to the murder, but I still enjoyed the book. There are some major questions left unresolved at the end, and I assume these cliffhangers will be addressed in the next book of the series. I hope as the series continues, we get to see more of Cat coaching her clients since that adds to the story and helps us get to know Cat better. Those readers who liked Victoria Laurie’s other books will enjoy this book. The book will also appeal to fans of Laura Levine or of Jenn McKinlay’s Cupcake Bakery series.