It’s my stop today on the blog tour for Dial M for Meow by Ruth J. Hartman. Many thanks to Lori of Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the invite.
Title: Dial M for Meow (Bookshop Kitties Mysteries #1)
Author: Ruth J. Hartman
Published on: 10 January 2023
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Dial M for Meow is the first book in Ruth Hartman’s Bookshop Kitties Mysteries.
Children’s book author Christy Bailey packs her belongings and two cats – Milton and Pearl and moves to Green Meadow Indiana. Her aunt Betty asked her to help out at the bookshop and Christy took it as a chance to start her life afresh after breaking up with her cheating ex-boyfriend.
When Christy reaches Green Meadow and parks her car in front of the bookshop, she sees the bookshop is closed and Aunt Betty hasn’t responded to her messages. As Christy gets down from the car, she meets Janie – the girl she used to play with when she spent her summer vacations in Green Meadow. Together, they walk into the store and onto Aunt Betty’s apartment (above the store). An old woman is sitting on the chair – stabbed in the chest. It’s not Aunt Betty though. It’s Nan, a local.
Christy finds Aunt Betty lying a few meters away – alive, but unconscious. As Betty regains consciousness, she does not remember much. Nan came over to discuss an ‘urgent matter’ – turns out, both women were eyeing the same man, Wallace, and Nan came over to warn Betty to back off.
The local detectives suspect Betty of killing Nan. It’s up to Christy now to clear her aunt’s name and bring Nan’s killer to justice before Betty becomes the next victim.
Dial M for Meow by Ruth Hartman is an entertaining and completely enjoyable cozy mystery. A perfect start to a cozy mystery featuring two adorable felines and an author-turned-amateur-sleuth. Christy’s books features two cats (Milton and Pearl) solving crimes. As Christy becomes involved in a real crime, she wonders if her cats can actually solve this murder mystery before she could. They don’t, but they do help her out. That counts as cat-tectives, right?
I loved the characters (cats included), scene, and storytelling. As a first in series, equal importance is given to character introduction, scene setting, series-plot setting, and murder mystery. Speaking of mystery, the identity of the killer was a huge shocker. I didn’t expect this person to be capable of killing – a wolf in sheep’s clothing scenario.
After her failed relationship, Christy is not ready to date again. When Aunt Betty introduces her to Wallace, she’s wary of his intentions. As the story proceeds and Christy learns Wallace is a ladies man, she wonders if he played a role in Nan’s murder.
There’s one person who keeps interrupting Christy. She’s more of a pain in the backside and number one suspect in Christy’s list. As the story ended, I felt their role simply fizzled out – I would have loved to see an end to their story. (By end, I don’t mean murder. Goodness!)
Overall, this was a quick, entertaining and engrossing read. If you are looking for a fun and light read, with a dash of quirky humor (which is a must in any cozy mystery), you might want to give this book a try.
There’s a giveaway for this tour. Details are here.