Reviewer: Lori Graham
Title: How to Wash a Cat - 1st in the Cats and Curios Mystery series
Author: Rebecca Hale
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Release Date: January 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Cozy Mystery
Year/Setting: Current/San Francisco
Overall Rating: 3.5
Sexual Content Rating: None
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None
Violent Content Rating: None
Rebecca's Website/Blog: howtowashacat.com/Index.html
Set in modern day San Francisco, an accountant finds that her uncle has passed away and left her his antique story, The Green Vase, in a quaint neighborhood that fits the business. With her life feeling like it is stagnating a bit, she decides to move into the apartment above the business and turn the business into both an antique store and an accounting firm.
She has to present a plan for the renovations to the neighborhood board. During those renovations, she discovers a mystery left behind by her uncle. The three tulip design marks the clues and the trail for her to follow. She studies the history of San Francisco to find some of the additional details. Throughout the whole adventure, her many neighbors provide pieces as well.
Rebecca Hale presents a lot of great historical details in How to Wash a Cat. I enjoyed all of the eccentric characters that wander through her daily life. Then there are Rupert and Isabella – the two cats who moved in with her. This combination added a lot of depth and humor along the way.
The mystery plotline itself is well done and supported by the historical pieces the author introduces along the way. Normally, I struggle with stories written in the first person but Rebecca Hale actually does a really good job with this one. My only problem with this story is the climax where I would have liked to see more detail.
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