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WHAT THE CAT SAW (Nela Farley #1) by Carolyn Hart
Mystery with a sprinkle of paranormal
304 pages, hardcover
Available now (October 2012)
Publisher: Berkley Hardcover
Review copy provided by publisher via publicist
Ever since the death of her fiancé, Nela Farley has found herself plagued by a sixth sense: she understands the thoughts of cats when she looks into their eyes. Nela knows that what she’s experiencing is completely irrational and tries to convince herself that she is simply transferring her own thoughts that she doesn’t want to face.
When her adventurous sister, Chloe, goes on a trip and asks for a favor, Nela welcomes the distraction and agrees to substitute at Chloe’s job at a charitable foundation. Chloe has arranged a place for her sister to stay, but when Nela shows up, she encounters the previous tenant’s cat and gets a flash of thought: “. . . dead . . . dead and gone . . . She loved me . . . board rolled on the second step . . .”
Nela wants to ignore what the cat saw, but the idea that the death of former tenant Marian Grant wasn’t an accident is something she can’t ignore. As Nela begins to do some research into Marian’s life, strange events begin to occur, all seeming to lead back to the Haklo Foundation. But when a detective becomes suspicious of Nela’s sister and a second murder occurs, Nela realizes she’ll have to make the most of her unwanted ability to figure out what’s really going on, before she meets her own untimely end…
Carolyn Hart is dipping her toe (her baby toe...no need to get overzealous) into the realm of the paranormal with WHAT THE CAT SAW, the first in a new series. When Nela looks a cat's eyes, she can hear their thoughts. But she's afraid, thinking she's losing it so she avoids the whole thing.
While I enjoyed the mystery -- classic Carolyn Hart; woman's got a great formula that works -- I really would have liked a bit more paranormal to shine through. I wanted more cat thoughts. More cat interactions. Maybe Nela won't be such a chicken in the next installment. Talk to the cats, Nela. The sphinx-like creatures know.
An intriguing character, Nela and her new series (and new romance with intrepid newspaperman Steve) have a lot of potential. If only she'll listen to the cats.
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