Laurie Cass comes to the blog today with the first in the Bookmobile Cat Mystery series, this one narrated by Erin Bennett. What reader can resist a story about a bookmobile and the clever rescue kitty that leads them into adventures? Please read on for my review of
Lending a Paw
New to me author and series that starts a bit slowly, as we have to establish place, people and the initial obstacles that help to build the story. Minnie Hamiliton is convinced that their small town would benefit from a bookmobile to reach patrons lost to the multiple library closures in the area around their small Michigan town. Her bosses aren’t so sure: but Minnie is determined to find the funding, perhaps securing her own position as the ‘librarian behind the wheel’. When a local man donates the funds, Minnie has her dream – and the bookmobile is born. Carefully choosing volumes, routes, routines and plans, she’s being shadowed. Shadowed by a very determined and unshakable little cat – turning up at each stop, sneaking aboard and letting her know, in no uncertain terms, that she has been rescued by his presence. She’s got to keep his presence a secret though – the bookmobile wasn’t a favored idea among her bosses, and adding a cat to the mix could just end the program entirely.
But soon, there are more things to worry about: first, the cat needs a name – and Eddie seems to be the one he responds to best. But, Eddie soon wanders off from one of the regular stops, only to lead Minnie to a body – a body that just happens to be the person responsible for the funds that made the bookmobile possible. Of course, she’s drawn to investigate the murder, and while she’s looking, the man she knew turns out to be far different – with large numbers of potential suspects. Minnie is a thinker, although not always completely logical – so while she does expend much energy discussing her ideas and questions with Eddie (who hasn’t done this with a pet?) she’s also not particularly quick at recognizing danger for herself, or putting all the pieces together. And, if Eddie could talk, I’m sure much of the meandering paths that Minnie heads down would have been limited, even with the apparent dismissal, or perhaps condescending attitudes of the detectives. Still, the obstacles seem to fuel her desire to continue on, all while spreading access to books, recommendations and conversations with patrons.
Narration for this story is provided by Erin Bennett, a solid performance that presented Minnie solidly in the story – a pleasant tone, appropriate adjustments for questions, self-doubts, history recounts, you name it. In addition, she manages to present Eddie’s “Mmmrrr” responses as well – each given a tone and pitch that seemed to ‘fit’ with Minnie’s question or statement. Other characters had similar distinct moments, easy to distinguish as they appeared. Where I did find that some over-working of adjectives and descriptions to be tiresome, and a seeming repeat of the ‘grin’ that everyone seems to wear – I still found the story interesting and engaging, and the lovely inset of family, friends and a very personable cat added to the overall enjoyment. A lovely start to a new series, with a clever reveal in the end.
Stars: Overall 3 Narration 4 Story 3
Title: Lending a Paw
Author: Laurie Cass
Series: A Bookmobile Cat Mystery #1
Also in this series: Tailing a Tabby, Borrowed Crime, Pouncing on Murder
Genre: Contemporary Cozy Mystery
Narrator: Erin Bennett
Published by: NAL, Tantor Audio
Published on: 14 December, 2017
Source: Tantor Audio
Audio Length: 9 Hours: 18 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Tantor Audio
With the help of her rescue cat, Eddie, librarian Minnie Hamilton is driving a bookmobile based in the resort town of Chilson, Michigan. But she’d better keep both hands on the wheel, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride…
Eddie followed Minnie home one day, and now she can’t seem to shake the furry little shadow. But in spite of her efforts to contain her new pal, the tabby sneaks out and trails her all the way to the bookmobile on its maiden voyage. Before she knows it, her slinky stowaway becomes her cat co-pilot!
Minnie and Eddie’s first day visiting readers around the county seems to pass without trouble—until Eddie darts outside at the last stop and leads her to the body of a local man who’s reached his final chapter.
Initially, Minnie is ready to let the police handle this case, but Eddie seems to smell a rat. Together, they’ll work to find the killer—because a good librarian always knows when justice is overdue.
A copy of this title was provided via Tantor Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.