Kittens Can Kill: A Pru Marlowe Pet Noir

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9781464203589: Kittens Can Kill: A Pru Marlowe Pet Noir
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The dead don’t keep pets. So when animal behaviorist expert Pru Marlowe gets a call about a kitten, she doesn’t expect to find the cuddly creature playing beside the cooling body of prominent Beauville lawyer David Canaday. Heart attack? His three adult daughters angrily blame drug interactions, feline allergies―and each other. And begin to feud over their father, his considerable estate, and that cute ball of fluff. While the cause of death is pending, each sister has an axe to grind―with arguments that escalate when David’s partner reads out the will.

Pru’s special sensitivity to animals, which caused her to flee the cacophony of Manhattan for the quiet Berkshires, adds further problems. The local vet is overwhelmed as the animal hospital's money runs out. There’s a needy Sheltie and some invasive squirrels, too. But the dead man’s kitten, his former partner, and his troublesome family keep drawing “wild-girl” animal psychic Pru back in. Despite the wry observations of her trusty tabby Wallis, now the wrongfully accused kitten’s guardian, and the grudging compliance of her cop lover, this may be one time when Pru can’t solve the mystery or save the kitten she wants to believe is innocent. A single witness knows the truth about that bright spring morning. How far can Pru investigate without risking her own hidden tale?

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About the Author:

Clea Simon is the author of the Pru Marlowe, Dulcie Schwartz, and Theda Krakow mystery series, as well as three nonfiction books. A former journalist, she lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, with her husband Jon and their cat Musetta.

Review:

At the start of Simon’s fluffy fifth Pru Marlowe mystery set in the Berkshires town of Beauville (after 2014’s Panthers Play for Keeps), pet trainer Pru arrives at the home of David Canaday to find him lying dead on his kitchen floor with a tiny kitten playing nearby. The wealthy lawyer appears to have died naturally, perhaps of a heart attack. Or could he have suffered a fatal allergic reaction to the kitten, named Ernesto, whom one of his three grown daughters had recently dropped off at his house? Pru’s own kitty, Wallis, grudgingly agrees to look after Ernesto, while Pru tries to prove the kitten’s innocence, despite the amused misgivings of her boyfriend, Det. Jim Creighton. The solution to Canaday’s mysterious death may be predictable, but cozy fans will enjoy spending time with Pru and her two- and four-legged friends. Agent: Colleen Mohyde, Doe Coover Agency. (Mar.) (Publishers Weekly)

Another suspicious death in Beauville, Massachusetts, leaves animal empath Pru Marlowe (Panthers Play for Keeps, 2014, etc.) babysitting a new kitten as she stumbles around trying to figure out who's settling old scores.The medical evidence says that David Canaday died of an acute myocardial infarction. That's not good enough for Pru, who's convinced that Ernesto Vuitton, the kitten beseeching her to play as Canaday's body cools in his kitchen, knows more than he's saying about the lawyer's death. As if on cue, Canaday's daughters, three weird sisters who might be opening a roadshow Macbeth, stir the pot of Pru's suspicions. Jill, the youngest, attaches herself worshipfully to Pru and Doc Sharpe at the County Animal Hospital, even though she's in line to inherit the bulk of her father's estate. Her older sister Judith, who sent the kitten before arriving herself from LA, is very interested in the contents of her father's will. And Jackie, the resident sister who first asked Pru to come out and take care of the kitten before she knew her father would die, is alternately defensive and combative. When another of her clients, attorney Laurence Wilkins, turns out to be Canaday's partner, Pru knows she's in for the long haul. So is the gentle reader, who'll be asked to sit still for pages on end while Pru goes over and over the same ground with the human suspects and tries to worm more information out of the animals whose minds she can read without tipping off other humans to her special gift. No wonder she keeps hitting the bottle. Spoiler alert: The kitten doesn't kill anyone. Fanciers of chatty cat mysteries will be happy to know that all the animals survive in fine fettle. (Kirkus)

Animal whisperer Pru Marlowe arrives at a client’s house, only to find a kitten next to the owner’s body.

Pru’s gift of being able to understand animals helps her decipher what the kitten knows about the dead

man and his feuding family. While trying to sort out the issues behind the victim’s death―Was it really

just a heart attack?―Pru must revisit her own past to find a pattern in all the human and animal activities. Simon’s renderings of what the animals are thinking tend at times to push the boundaries of reason, but this quirky series has a devoted following among the Animal Planet crowd, and the unique premise has its own appeal. (Amy Alessio Booklist)

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