Coming to Mayville Heights to be the head librarian, and supervise the renovations to the library building, was the first spontaneous thing I‘d done in my life. I love my mom and dad and my younger brother and sister, Ethan and Sara, but all four of them are very dramatic people. Mom and Dad are actors. My mother once picked me up from school dressed as Lady Macbeth. My father re-enacted the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet on the fire escape. In January. (Yes, in tights and a doublet.)

And things had fallen apart with Andrew, handsome, charming Andrew. I thought we were going to spend the rest of our lives together. Then we had a fight and he went on a two-week fishing trip with his buddies and came back married to a waitress from a fifties dinner. The fact that there was a lot of alcohol involved didn’t really change what had happened.

I guess what I did was run away from my life in Boston. Now, I can’t imagine not being in Mayville Heights. The library is busier than many library systems twice our size. I get to do a little of everything from answering questions to ordering new books. Our Reading Buddies program is being copied all over the state. Abigail’s podcasts about children’s books—her specialty—are being downloaded by parents across the country. And best of all, our borrowing numbers are up. People are reading more.

I spend my days surrounded by books. I can go on safari, travel back in time, or explore Mars without ever leaving the building. For me, there’s something a little bit magical about books. Abigail is an expert on books for young people. Susan can tell you anything you want to know about science fiction. Mary’s area of expertise is craft and cookbooks. I know a little about a lot of things.

Seeing the kinds of things people read, and what music they like to listen to, gives me insight into who they really are as people. All those years of hanging out with actors, watching them use subterfuge to turn into someone else, has helped me be able to separate fact from fiction, reality from artifice. Detective Marcus Gordon says I deal in feelings while he deals with facts. I wonder what he’d say if he knew I don’t just rely on my own intuition when I’m trying to solve a mystery, I also rely on my cats’ instincts.

Owen and Hercules aren’t your typical house cats. I found them out at Wisteria Hill, the old Henderson estate, when they were just kittens. Sometimes I think it was them who found me. Owen is a gray tabby with a thing for catnip chickens. Hercules is a tuxedo cat that shares my love for Barry Manilow’s music. They both seem to have a nose for sniffing out clues. That’s not the only special “ability” the boys have. Let’s just say there’s something magical about Owen and Hercules. In fact, I think there’s something a little magical about Mayville Heights, too.

** Thanks to the Sofie, I have one (1) copy of COPYCAT KILLING to give away. Contest open to residents of the US and Canada only. Contest ends May 2. Leave a valid-email address with your comment. Book will be shipped directly from the author. **

Meet the author
Sofie Kelly is the pseudonym of award-winning young adult writer, Darlene Ryan. As Sofie, she writes the New York Times bestselling Magical Cats mysteries. The next book in the series, COPYCAT KILLING will be available May 1st. Visit Sofie at

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

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