Words with FiendsWords with Fiends by Ali Brandon is the third book in the “Black Cat Bookshop” Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, November 2013

Brooklyn bookstore owner Darla Pettistone and her oversized black cat, Hamlet, have solved a few complicated capers. But after a recent brush with danger, Darla needs to get Hamlet out of a feline funk.

Lately, Hamlet hasn’t been chasing customers or being his obnoxious self—something Darla surprisingly misses. Concerned, she hires a cat whisperer to probe Hamlet’s feline psyche and then decides to get out of her own funk by taking up karate to learn how to defend herself in case the need arises again.

But when Darla finds her sensei dead at the dojo, it seems that even a master can be felled by foul play. Darla decides to investigate the matter herself, and the promise of a mystery snaps Hamlet out of his bad mood. After all, Darla may be the sleuth, but Hamlet’s got a black belt in detection.

This is a good read. The author did a good job in delivering a finely turned whodunit that quickly became a page-turner. This mystery was non-stop action from the first page leading to the apprehension of the killer. I love the interaction between Darla and her friends as they become like a family, helping each other especially when it comes to murder. A great cast, good conversations with the bookstore as a perfect setting, this is one of the best book yet in this delightfully engaging series.

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