Sticks & Stones by K.J. Larsen is the second book in the “Cat DeLuca” mystery series. Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press, February 2012
What does a woman do when she discovers her husband is an incurable cheater? If she’s Cat DeLuca she launches the Pants On Fire Detective Agency to do what two years of unholy matrimony taught her: she catches cheaters.
After client Cleo Jones shoots her cheating husband’s bum full of buckshot, he disappears, taking her money, her dog, and her sister with him. Private Investigator Cat DeLuca promises to return the dog and money if her client stops shooting at Walter. Cleo promises to return the dog and the money if her client stops shooting at Walter. She finds the dog and a mysterious bag full of cash, and then she finds Walter, his very dead body still warm. The cop quickly arrest Cleo for the murder of her husband. She had motive and opportunity and a dozen witnesses heard her scream bloody murder. One made a video. Cat is determined to prove her client’s innocence and it’s not an easy sell. Cat’s investigation leads to four players with secrets: a childhood friend, a gambler, a construction tycoon, and a legendary Chicago designer. But when forensic evidence suggests the detective knows more about the murder than she’s telling, Cat faces the certain loss of her agency…and maybe much more.
This book cracks me up. The pairing of Cat and her assistant took me on a fun ride as Cat looks for clues to save her friend from moving to Cuba. Surrounded by an eccentrically quirky family, Cat can always count on them when the need arises, especially with the amusing interludes that she winds up involved in when pursuing her suspects or helping out a friend. This fast-moving mystery with a good plot kept me on my toes and I enjoyed the engaging and witty dialogue throughout this book. All in all this was a fantastic read and I can’t wait for the next book in the thrill-a-minute romp through the chapters of Cat’s life. They say a cat has nine lives and I hope that’s the number of books we see in this hilariously entertaining series.