Friday, August 18, 2017

Cat Among the Pumpkins

As others have said, this is a book about anthropomorphic cats who are detectives, not a tea-cozy mystery about a human detective with a cat. 

I love cozy mysteries, whatever form they take, library, bookmobile, amateur sleuths, professors turned investigators, I'm not picky. Animals are a plus.  So I really assumed this would be right up my alley, so to speak.

The writing is fine and even the dialogue and pacing move the narrative along.  The part that I found really tough going were the utterly relentless puns and tongue-in-cheek cuteness.  It just never stops.  Towns are called Much-Purring-on-the-rug, Much-Purring-on-the-Cushion, Much-Purring-on-the-Step, etc. The shop names are full of puns. The characters names border on the criminal (a cat with an apparently neurological tremor is called Delirium Treemints and she's not the only one).  Right on the very edge of unforgivable is right on the cover (and mentioned often in the book): the first book in this series (there are more of them) is called 'The No.2 Feline Detective Agency'.  Virtually every single sentence contains some sort of culture/book/film reference. It gets wearing after a while.

Because the author wanted to make every character and place in the book a punny reference to other books and characters, the characters are quite difficult to keep straight Beryl & Betty, Marks & Spinkle (groooooooan - yes, this is a Marks & Spencer *wince* reference), the Indian shopkeepers are called Pakora and Rogan Dosh, their nephew is Bhaji.  /banging my head on my desk.  There are also references to the cats smoking catnip.  If casual light drug use is a worriesome, that might be problematic. 

I did finish this book for the purposes of review.  The actual mystery part was honestly pretty well crafted. 

Two stars (for the writing). Eye-wateringly bad puns. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher.

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