What’s better than having a story read to you? Especially by a pro like Hilary Huber? Thanks to Audible and other audiobook services, all my witch cats books are available as downloads and CDs. This week, Sandie Herron reviewed the audiobook of A Cat on the Case over at librarian Lesa Holstine’s Lesa’s Book Critiques, and quite enjoyed the “cacophony of voices and purrs,” especially the cats’ “wickedly smart and funny purr-sonalities.”
Here’s her review:
Becca Colwin believes she is a witch since, after all, she did conjure a pillow out of thin air. However, as she and her tiny coven knows, she hasn’t been able to do anything magical since then. Becca’s three cats, all littermates, easily talk among themselves about the timing of their summoning spell coinciding with Becca’s. It is Clara, Laurel, and Harriet that know better. These three have wickedly smart and funny purr-sonalities.
It is Becca’s neighbor that pounds on the door, complaining of the noise the cats were making. Becca’s building is converting to condos, and she is just meeting new neighbors. Becca recently started work at Charm and Cherish that keeps her away all day when the cats were accustomed to her 24 hour service. While at work, a woman rushes in, apparently looking for a witch detective, but she abruptly exits, leaving behind a violin case. Unable to catch her, Becca reviews the contents and finds a note with her apartment building’s address. She sprints home to try and return the case only to find the young woman struggling to open a neighbor’s door. The two women are startled to see a man dead on the floor.
The mystery woman is Ruby, a woman who has come to Boston to audition for a place in the Conservatory. The dead man was renting her a place to stay for a few days. Becca spends the next few days trying to understand Ruby’s story about her cherished violin. It was an heirloom in her family, much loved, much played. A friend offered to buy it in order to finance her trip to Boston and replace it with an ordinary violin. But Ruby swears the original violin returned. The police tell Becca it was stolen from a collector.
Through a series of fits and starts, Becca and Ruby keep running into each other, sometimes on purpose, sometimes not. Strange things keep happening to Becca’s friends, her apartment is ransacked, and her job at Charm and Cherish is threatened. All the while Becca’s three cats continue to narrate every move because the youngest, Clara, is constantly with her beloved human, even if she is “shaded.”
Hillary Huber did an excellent job of telling the story from her point of view as the narrator, and she also alternately portrayed all three cats narrating the story. There always seemed to be a conversation going on about the action. At the same time, Clara was learning a bit of her history as a cat in dreams directed by her sisters. I chuckled often over the cat-like traits described by the cats and differently by their human. There was often a cacophony of voices and purrs going on.
Finally, Ruby tells Becca the full truth about the violin, as she knows it. But Becca has learned more, and the two find themselves on the run in the middle of blizzard with Clara chasing after them. Everything comes together in the end, but not at all how I expected.
A Cat on the Case by Clea Simon. Polis Books, 2021. ISBN 9781951709266 (hardcover), 320p.
Written by Clea Simon
Narrated by Hillary Huber
Series: Witch Cats of Cambridge, Book 3
Dreamscape Media (2/8/2021)
Listening Length: 8 hours 29 minutes