Thursday, November 1, 2012

Speed Date with Nela: WHAT THE CAT SAW by Carolyn Hart

Thursday is Speed Date Night--join on in, won't you? It's just 150 words or so and there's a linky at the bottom so we can all come visit and say hey.

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 fiancĂ©, 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 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.

Available on Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes and Noble


  1. This isn't a book I would pick up normally, but what an interesting idea for the paranormal stuff! I would want more cat talk too though so its too bad it didn't quite deliver on that bit.

  2. Hmmm...I'm trying to imagine what my cat would be thinking. Probably vacillates between "Go away! Don't pick me up!" to "Hey! Pay attention to me, not to that book you're reading!" My dog thoughts are easy - "feed me, pet me, feed me, feed me, feed me"

  3. I was intrigued by this book (in the interest of full disclosure, I have 8 rescued cats, and they never have shown the slightest interest in sharing their thoughts with me). I really loved the character of Nela Farley, and am eagerly awaiting the sequel. The mystery elements were classic Carolyn Hart, lots of twists and turns and a terrific ending. Highly recommend it.