LeAnn Sweeney’s eighth book in the “A Cats in Trouble” Series was a pleasure to listen to. The author has her characters mastered by now. If you are following the series, you will feel like you are back with good friends. If this is your first in the series, you will want to hear more.
Jillian Hart, now married to acting Police Chief, Tom Stewart, surrounded by cats, do fulfill the series title. Jillian is always on hand to rescue a cat, no matter what the circumstances. Only in this case, it is cats. More than one. More than a dozen, actually. More like twenty of them.
A very popular cozy series, it is easy to see why. Very likable characters, the newlywed relationship, the small town setting, lots of kitties included (of all ages, of course), and murder. Rather a lot of murders for a small town. The author is clever with the mystery as well as her inclusion of the cats. It is fun to see them play a larger than normal part in the story.
In The Cat, the Collector and the Killer, a woman is found wandering the streets in town in her nightclothes. It looks like early dementia for her. When the woman’s home is checked to rescue the woman’s six or so cats, they find far more than expected. Nearly twenty cats are in residence, the house is stuffed with boxes, and last but not least, there is a dead man in the bedroom.
Though the woman, Millie, thinks she may have killed the man, Jillian won’t believe it.
The investigation that follows leads to multiple suspects: an obnoxious, unfriendly family, locals with small town secrets, and a number of unexpected criminals to consider.
The mystery is enjoyable, with surprises for Jillian and Tom as well as the reader. How often, even in a small town, people are not what they seem.
Naturally Jillian can’t stay out of the investigation since cats are involved at every turn. Yet if she isn’t careful she may be the next victim. Is she is getting too close to the answers?
The Series in Audio
It was a delight to listen to the audio version of this book. Produced by Audible Studios, it is a well paced, easy to listen to story. Narrator, Vanessa Johansson, has read the series from the beginning. She has the characters and their varying voices down very well. Her voice fits the cozy scenario—very pleasant. You can listen to a sample here on Audible.
I enjoyed The Cat, The Collector and The Killer as a stand alone, but you may prefer to start at the beginning of this series, since it is one that will draw you in. The first book is The Cat, The Quilt, and The Corpse. Eight selections so far, with the ninth on its way. If you enjoy a light mystery in a cozy setting, you should love this one!