"Fast-paced, entertaining read ... a charming main character and a diverting plot sure to appeal to fans of whodunit novels." -- KIRKUS REVIEW
Last year was one heck of a ride for 12-year old Mary Frances (“Frankie”) Jackson. She was an inning away from becoming the first female all-state middle-school pitcher … until a teammate double-crossed her. Then, she was arrested after she sought revenge against the double-crosser. And to top it off, her dad was banished from the family home after falling off the wagon. Now, she’s been sent to California for the summer to live on a houseboat with her Aunt Roxy. There’s one catch -- she can’t get in trouble or it’s back to New Jersey and juvenile detention camp.
Too bad that days after arriving at the houseboat community, Frankie lands in hot water. Accused of animal cruelty (killing a cat), and with the evidence stacked against her, she has two weeks to prove her innocence. Frankie turns to a houseboat resident, Margie Britt, a washed out 70s TV star who used to solve mysteries on TV.
But as the days pass, Frankie loses faith in Margie and initiates her own investigation. In the process she gets to know all of the eccentrics on the dock. There’s Forgetting Michael, a young disabled man, who forgets things whenever a loud noise goes off; Alice, an 82-year old activist who loves birds and hates cats; and there’s Butch, a German shepherd whose owner has a shady past. Frankie even learns the sad truth about Kay, her accuser.
Ultimately, with help of Margie, Roxy, and her new houseboat friends, Frankie proves her innocence. But more importantly, Frankie learns how to deal with her own anger and frustration from the past year’s events.
I Didn’t Kill Your Cat is a young adult novel with a tough, lovable, heroine and an intriguing setting – the houseboats of Sausalito.