Release Date: Feb 9, 2021
Series: A Nick and Nora Mystery
Publisher: Beyond the Page
Nora Charles gets a call from Desiree Sanders, a friend of her deceased mother. Desiree is one half of a successful romance writing team. Desiree thinks the other half, Marlene McCambridge, is planning to end the partnership and she wants Nora to find out why. Nora agrees to speak to Marlene, but discovers the woman’s dead body. Nora learns that Marlene had been planning to write a gossipy tell-all, revealing secrets of her friends and rivals. Nora and her feline partner, Nick, launch their own investigation to find out if someone had secrets worth killing for.
It’s been a few years since the prior book in this series and I was excited to see Nora and Nick’s adventures are continuing. The premise of the book with a smart cat finding ways to communicate with Nora to help solve crime is reminiscent of Lilian Jackson Braun’s Cat Who… Series. This part of the book is well-done with Nick’s abilities coming across as amazing and fun and not too whimsical. The plot is interesting and the book starts out really good with Nora tracking down possible suspects in Marlene’s murder. Things bog down towards the middle with no real progress being made in the investigation and Nora making poor decisions.
Nora is dating an FBI agent and seems to still be attracted to a high school boyfriend who is now a police detective. In spite of this, Nora withholds her theories, plans, and even evidence from both of them and puts herself into dangerous situations from which her cat has to rescue her. Things start getting a little too unbelievable, but then Nora seems to learn from her mistakes and gets smarter about how she proceeds with her sleuthing. The story quickly turns around for an exciting ending. In fact, in spite of some disappointments in this book, developments at the end of the story have me already anticipating the next book in this charming series.