Are Sylvester’s psycho-cat behaviors providing clues? Is the renter actually the killer? Do the break-ins and elevator problem have anything to do with the murder? Even Arnie, who has always told Beth to keep her nose out of police business, gets involved—for the sake of the children.
I absolutely love the feline nickname of 'Psycho Cat', and think I chuckled nearly every time it came up. He needs to keep Ms. Helper company for a few days...but that probably wouldn't be fair to ole' Psycho!
Having gotten that out of my system, I can say that I felt a rather immediate kinship with Beth. She is 'of a certain age' and a little klutzy...and that sounds so familiar! I can understand her desire to have a quiet life, that getting involved in solving mysteries is not conducive to so living. But, in this, the third installment of the "Psycho Cat and the Landlady Series", things hit home. Just about literally. Not only does she have the concerns on a personal level, that one of her neighbors is murdered and another is suspected of the deed, but there is also a business aspect. She is the landlady and renters dying and other renters being arrested does not have a positive effect on the bottom line.
But there is a third concern, that really pushes her into active investigation mode. The victim's grandchildren have no one to care for them but their wheelchair-bound grandmother, who has just become a widow herself. I've got to admire that she will step in, when many people would back away from the pall of death that surround the surviving members of a family.
From the first few lines, I was drawn into the story by Ms. Brown's writing. How many times have people said, "Wow...I'd like to be a fly on that wall," meaning that you would like to be there in the room to hear and see what is going on without being heard or seen yourself. More so than a number of books I've read, I felt almost part of the action in Nine LiFelines. And having neurotic animals myself, whom I nonetheless love as furry members of the family, I hope Psycho and Beth are around for the whole nine lives...and then some!
Her actual tenants have never disappeared, murdered, or been murdered. Nor have any of them found a skeleton in the attic. Joyce has never solved a crime. Moose and Chloe, her cats, haven’t sniffed out a mystery, at least not yet.
Joyce spends her days writing (with a few breaks for tennis, walking, and book clubs) so that Beth, the landlady in the series, and Sylvester, the Psycho Cat, can make up for her real-life lack of excitement in a big way.
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(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.)