The Big Kitty by Claire Donally is the first book in the new “Sunny and Shadow” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, May 2012

Did curiosity kill the cat lady?

Sunny Coolidge left her New York City newspaper job to go back to Maine and take care of her ailing father. But there’s not much excitement—or interesting work—in Kittery Harbor. So when Ada Spruance, the town’s elderly Cat Lady, asks for help finding her supposedly winning lottery ticket, Sunny agrees. But when she arrives at Ada’s with a stray tomcat named Shadow tagging along, they discover the poor woman dead at the bottom of her stairs. Was it an accident—or did Ada’s death have to do with that missing lottery ticket, which turns out to be worth six million dollars?

Town constable Will Price suspects the worst, and Sunny’s reporter instincts soon drive her to do some investigating of her own. Even Shadow seems to have a nose for detective work. Following the trail of the purrloined ticket, Sunny and Shadow try to shed some light on a killer’s dark motives—before their own numbers are up.

Sonata “Sunny” Coolidge goes to help a neighbor known as the Cat Lady, locate a missing lottery ticket in her home, but instead finds the dead woman’s body. Suspecting that there is more to the woman’s death than the police wants to believe, Sunny puts on her reporter’s hat and discovers that someone doesn’t want this case investigated and Sunny with help from a purrsonable friend, will have to unpick the number of suspect to find a killer. What a great read. This was a fun and intriguing read filled with tension and suspense as this whodunit quickly grabbed my attention. The author did a good job with the many twists and turns in this story, and caught me by surprise when the real killer was revealed. Sunny is a lovable heroine and with her newfound friend, their internal dialogue played an enjoyable role in the delightful and lighthearted mystery. This debut novel is a great start to a series I hope to keep reading for years to come.

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