Catnapped! by Elaine Viets

Jennifer Vido

Catnapped

Local celebrity couple Trish and Mort Barrymore is in the throes of an ugly divorce battling for custody of their precious show kitten. When the prized Chartreux goes missing, high profile attorney Nancy Hays enlists the help of her favorite private eye duo, Helen Hawthorne and Phil Sagemont. Amid their search for the valuable feline, the couple stumbles upon Mort bludgeoned to death by a fallen mahogany cat tower. With all eyes on Trish as the most likely suspect, Helen and Phil must prowl for clues in order to clear their client’s name.

 As the investigation heats up, a ransom plea from a greedy catnapper spurs Helen and Phil to take action. In order to get the behind-the-scenes scoop on Mort’s prior cat show shenanigans, Helen goes uncover as an assistant at a prizewinning cattery. With antics on par with a beauty queen pageant, Helen finds herself drawn into the absurd cat show drama. Meanwhile, Phil starts to have suspicions about the kitten’s whereabouts wondering if it’s really Trish herself behind its puzzling disappearance.  

 The 13th installment of this national bestselling series is clearly Viets’s best mystery to date. The two subplots intertwined into the storyline bring substance to the intricate novel. The chemistry between Helen and Phil is endearing as is the friendship they share with their fellow Coronado residents. As for the cat show theme, Viets gives the reader a comical glimpse of chaos while still managing to construe a plausible plot. Overall, Catnapped’s roaring theatrics and yowling performance deliver this summer’s purr-fect cozy mystery read.    

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