Grandeur and opulence are everything in the famed New Orleans Garden District where pets are family and no bling is too big. Opening Furry Godmother, pet boutique and organic treat bakery, is Lacy Marie Crocker’s dream come true--until the glitter gun used to make her Shih Tzu tutus becomes a murder weapon. And Lacy becomes public enemy #1.
Now Detective Jack Oliver is hounding Lacy, and her Furry Godmother investor wants out before his name is tarnished by association. To make matters worse, a string of jewel heists with suspicious ties to the murder case has New Orleans residents on edge. To save her dream, Lacy must take a stand, put her keen eyes to work, and unravel what really happened at her shop that night. But can Lacy sniff out the killer cat burglar in time to get her tail-raising designs on the catwalk?
Witty and whimsical, Cat Got Your Diamonds, the first in a new cozy series by Julie Chase, will be the cat's meow for fans of Rita Mae Brown and Miranda James.
Chase's uneven series launch introduces Lacy Marie Crocker, the owner of Furry Godmother, a New Orleans pet boutique and bakery. When an intruder who acted strangely in her store earlier in the day attacks Lacy in her storeroom that night, she drives him off with a glitter gun. Hours later, Det. Jack Oliver accuses her of murdering the man, Miguel Sanchez, with her glitter gun. Unfortunately, Lacy's only witness to Sanchez's earlier behavior is Pearl Neidermeyer, a customer who was focused on tutus for her dancing dogs. Lacy's financial backer, Mr. Tater, withholds funds until her name can be cleared, prompting Lacy to start her own investigation. Too many plot threads and improbabilities make this cozy less effective than it could be, but hopefully Chase will show a surer hand in future installments. Pet lovers will certainly appreciate the recipes for treats. Chase is the pen name of Julie Anne Lindsey (Murder in Real Time and two other Patience Price mysteries).
Fun Cozy Mystery
CAT GOT YOUR DIAMONDS is a fun cozy mystery with a bit of romance, plenty of quirky characters, and a few pet antics for the animal enthusiasts. Starring a strong, independent heroine, Chase's writing and humor really make this book shine. The heroine faces multiple challenges throughout the story, but she never gives up. Nor does she do anything crazy for the sake of staying involved in the investigation. The mystery unfolds at a good pace, with enough suspects thrown in to keep the reader guessing but not so many that they're difficult to keep track of. And although there are quite a few references to pets, their inclusion feels natural and doesn't detract from the mystery. Cozy fans are sure to enjoy this one.
Disclosure: I won a free copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.