“The plotting is tight … The action is nearly constant and the danger is real and you can only hope Becca stays aware and alert to stay safe. It all makes for an exciting adventure with enough danger to keep you reading to find out what will happen next.” – Gumshoe Review
Thank you, Gayle Surrette! The editor of Gumshoe Review posted a lengthy review of A CAT ON THE CASE, the latest “Witch Cats of Cambridge” cozy. You can read the full review here or below:
A Cat on the Case (Witch Cats of Cambridge #3) by Clea Simon
Cover Artist: Mimi Bark
Review by Gayle Surrette
Polis Books Hardcover / eBook ISBN/ITEM#: 9781951709266
Date: 02 March 2021
Becca Colwin has settled into working at Charm & Cherish. It gives her a chance to read all the shop’s books on herbs, spells, witchcraft, and other topics as well as learn about the craft from the owner’s sister, Elizabeth. It’s the perfect job to pay the rent, feed her three cats (Harriet, Laurel, and Clara), do her own research, and take quick jobs as a witch detective.
Actually, Becca doesn’t really have any powers according to her cats. They, on the other hand, do have powers. Harriet can call items to her. Laurel can put ideas or impulses to actions in people’s heads. Clara can move through solid objects and shade herself to remain mostly invisible when following Becca to and fro when she’s away from the apartment in order to keep her safe. It doesn’t always work because the cats can’t talk to her or tell her things–they can just observe.
While working, a young woman came into the shop and browsed but finally approached the counter and asked if she was the one from the ad, the witch detective, because she needed help. As Becca was asking her what was wrong the girl looked out the window and bolted from the shop. The young woman left her violin case behind and inside was a very old but well-kept violin and an apartment address in Becca’s building. The girl had disappeared so fast she wasn’t able to catch her on the street.
That was the start of the mystery. Who was the girl? Where did she come from? Was she a student? What problem drove her to seek a witch detective?
Meanwhile, Becca has a number of other problems. Her downstairs neighbor is complaining that her cats are smelly and make noise all day and night. She threatens to call animal control if Becca doesn’t get rid of them. Then, she learns her building is going condo and she can’t afford to buy the unit; she may have to find another place to live that allows pets. Next, a murder happens in the unit across from hers–the one where the mystery girl was staying.
Of course, Becca is concerned for the young woman and throughout the book continues to offer her assistance even when she finally realizes the girl is lying to her–repeatedly. The cats are overly concerned because there are some strange people hanging around and incidents of vandalism that are quite frightening.
As usual for this series, Becca has good instincts but often gets so caught up in her thoughts she loses track of what is actually going on around her. She often plans to do something and gets distracted and doesn’t follow through. She has friends to talk over issues with. Some are very helpful and others try to get her to drop the case.
The plotting is tight and some readers will figure out a major plot point quite early but that’s only a part of the story. The action is nearly constant and the danger is real and you can only hope Becca stays aware and alert to stay safe. It all makes for an exciting adventure with enough danger to keep you reading to find out what will happen next.