So, I bought a mystery (surprises you, I know). This one focused on a bookshop (again, surprising). And yet, I am writing about it here, on Cooking with Ideas. Why? Because Literally Murder by Ali Brandon mentions food. Ok, maybe all mysteries "mention" food -- but this one deserved a few lines, I thought, even though the "hook" is a black cat and a bookshop and a trip to Florida where the featured cat is being honored -- because of a video of him imitating the bookstore owner doing karate went. . . viral. Hence the cat is known as Karate Kitty (though this is not his "real" name)>
So: the scene is a cat show in Florida. The characters include a female ex-cop (and her mother who lives in Florida), the bookshop owner and her cat (named Hamlet and called, on occasion, Hammie). The mysteries abound: the cat is catnapped. There are some PETA like events. And, there is, eventually, a murder. Given the Florida locale, condominiums are involved, pools, mini cooper convertibles, and New York accents. Given the cat show, there are tidbits of cat lore sprinkled into the plot along the way.
Meanwhile, off stage, back in New York, where the bookshop is -- there is construction going on that bodes well for the future of the series (and the bookshop): they are putting in a coffee bar. Not much on this, but if you have lived through construction you know why our hero is repressing any knowledge of what is happening and hoping that the stuffy (though lovable) bookshop assistant, James, is on top of everything.
What did I think? It is actually a novel, not a peanut book -- which was delightful. So: I recommend it. And, Ali Brandon is the pen name of Diane A. S. Stuckart who authors the Leonardo da Vinci mysteries as well as other htings under other names. So, we have a writer who has not lost every thing in the pursuit of writing a lot. She can actually write. And she does have cats, named, delightfully, Butch and Sundance. Hmmm. I am not a cat person really, but great names. And nice to see someone who knows that black cats are not unlucky.