Praise for the National Bestselling Magical Cats Mysteries
“I’ve been a huge fan of this series from the very start, and I am delighted that this new book meets my expectations and then some. . . . Cats with magic powers, a library, good friends who look out for each other, and small-town coziness come together in perfect unison. If you are a fan of Miranda James’s Cat in the Stacks Mysteries, you will want to read [this series].”
“This is a really fun series, and I’ve read them all. Each book improves on the last one. Being a cat lover myself, I’m looking at my cat in a whole new light.”
—Once Upon a Romance
“A fun whodunit. . . . Fans will appreciate this entertaining amateur sleuth.”
—Genre Go Round Reviews
“This charming series continues on a steady course as the intrepid Kathleen has two mysteries to snoop into. . . . Readers who are fans of cats and cozies will want to add this series to their must-read lists.”
“This series is a winner.”
“If you are a fan of mysteries and cats, you need to be reading this series now!”
—Cozy Mystery Book Reviews
“Kelly’s appealing cozy features likable, relatable characters set in an amiable location. The author continues to build on the promise of her debut novel, carefully developing her characters and their relationships.”
“A great cozy that will quickly have you anxiously waiting for the next release so you can spend more time with the people of Mayville Heights.”
—Mysteries and My Musings
“If you love mystery and magic, this is the book for you!”
—Debbie’s Book Bag
“This start of a new series offers an engaging cast of human characters and two appealing, magically inclined felines. Kathleen is a likable, believable heroine, and the magical cats are amusing.”
Also Available from Sofie Kelly
A MAGICAL CATS MYSTERY
Published by New American Library, a division of
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA
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Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices:
80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
First published by Obsidian, an imprint of New American Library,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Copyright © Penguin Group (USA), Inc., 2013
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
OBSIDIAN and logo are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.
I am deeply grateful to everyone at my publisher, Penguin, for all the hard work they’ve put into each book in the Magical Cats series, especially my editor, Jessica Wade, and her assistant, Jesse Feldman, who can always find an answer to whatever question I’ve asked. Thank you as well to the staff at Bookends Literary Agency, especially my agent, Kim Lionetti, for her guidance and enthusiasm.
I’m indebted again to Police Chief Tim Sletten (Retired) of the Red Wing Minnesota Police Department for answering so many questions. Any errors in police procedure are because I’ve played with reality.
A big thank-you to fellow writers Laura Alden and Lynn Viehl for getting behind every story idea I have, no matter how outlandish it may be. And thanks to Judy Gorham and Susan Evans for being my cheering section.
Thank you to all the readers who have embraced Kathleen, Owen, Hercules, and everyone in Mayville Heights. I love hearing from you.
And lastly, thank you to Patrick and Lauren. I’m blessed every day to have you both.
For a second, I wasn’t sure that I was seeing what I seemed to be seeing, which was a small, round sesame water cracker topped with half a sardine in Louisiana hot sauce and a slice of black olive making its way across Marcus Gordon’s table seemingly under its own steam. I was tired. Was I just hallucinating? I pushed my bangs off my forehead, rubbed the space between my eyes with the heel of my hand and looked again. No, it was definitely moving, sliding across the speckled Formica tabletop like a slap shot from a hockey stick.
Or a swat from a cat’s paw. An invisible cat’s paw.
I leaned forward, snatching the cracker off the table as Marcus turned from the counter. It was too late to pretend I was just brushing away a few crumbs.
“I didn’t think you’d like those,” he said. There was a cute little furrow on the bridge of his nose, and a lock of dark wavy hair had fallen onto his forehead. I shook my head. This wasn’t a good time to get distracted by how Detective Marcus Gordon looked when he frowned . . . or smiled . . . or walked across a room. I’d stopped by so he could check out a chair I’d gotten from my neighbor Rebecca—Marcus was certain he could fix it—and accepted his offer of a glass of lemonade and what was looking like a rather unique take on crackers and cheese.
“They, uh, just looked so good I thought I’d try one,” I said. Okay, that wasn’t exactly the truth. I liked the sesame crackers and the black olives, but I wasn’t that crazy about the sardines in hot sauce. On the other hand, I couldn’t put the cracker back on the plate and let Marcus eat it after it had been batted all over the table by a small gray tabby cat, invisible or otherwise.
“Are you sure?” he asked.
I nodded, trying not to inhale the combination of fish, spices and olives. “Cheers,” I said, raising the cracker in a kind of toast. Then I stuffed the entire thing in my mouth, chewed rapidly and swallowed. And immediately began coughing.
Marcus started over to me, and I waved a hand to let him know I was all right. “I’m okay,” I rasped. “It was just . . . spicier than I expected.”
“Kinda sneaks up on you,” he agreed. There was a hint of a smile in his blue eyes. “Would you rather have cheese?” He’d been about to slice a block of mozzarella.
“Please,” I said, tucking a strand of hair that had come loose from my ponytail behind one ear. He turned back to th ...