In The Cat, the Quilt, and the Corpse by Leann Sweeney, Jillian Hart comes home from an overnight conference to find that someone has broken into her home, with her Abyssinian cat, Syrah, missing. The senior officer in the police team that responds looks upon Jillian with scorn for her frantic response to having lost her cat, but the younger officer, Candace, jumps with enthusiasm into the case, collecting all the forensic evidence she can find and developing a friendship with Jillian. The narrator, Jillian only moved to Mercy, South Carolina a year earlier in a relocation to her and her husband’s dream home when he suddenly died right after they arrived, leaving Jillian isolated and virtually friendless for months until this incident, which has forced her to make friends in order to survive and also to solve the mystery.
It takes only a few days before Jillian finds the man who has stolen Syrah, but there’s one problem: He is dead with a knife in his chest! Just as she goes searching for Syrah and other cats that seem to fill the house, Tom, the private investigator who installed Jillian’s security system, finds her there, leading to Jillian’s becoming a temporary suspect until the beauty queen assistant coroner rules her out for lack of any blood on her clothing or person.
Jillian is certain that this crime is related to the cats that the man has stolen, but despite her best efforts and those of Candace, police chief Mike Baca thinks very little of this theory and persists in the belief that this is all about money, which leads him to point the finger at the murdered man’s estranged daughter. Certain that her new friend has not committed this murder and further determined to prove the connection to cats, Jillian gets involved in trying to solve this murder herself and with the help of her cats.
This book was really enjoyable and well-written. The characters come to life, making me feel that I know each one. I could connect to Jillian in her earliest stages of emerging from her grief over the loss of her husband and her need to find new friends. Each of these friends also has a distinct character. The plot takes interesting twists and turns, and the conclusion was full of excitement.
The audio version is narrated by Vanessa Johansson, who does an enjoyable job of reading this book. She handles a number of accents deftly. As a native Californian, I am no expert on Southern accents. Is Texan considered Southern? The narrator hails from Texas, and I would have expected her to have a much stronger accent than that used in the audio book. I don’t know about the different accents found in South Carolina, but to this woman born in Hollywood, the ones used by Johansson came across as realistic.
I really enjoyed listening to The Cat, the Quilt, and the Corpse and found it very helpful at distracting me from the migraine I’ve been suffering from, giving me something to enjoy. I would encourage people to read this book and give it five stars!
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