Title: CATastrophic Connections
Author: Joyce Ann Brown
Genre: Cozy Mystery
First of all, I was given this book in exchange for an honest review. Second, however, I chose it out of a long list of options from a ton of authors because 1. I’m a sucker for cozy mysteries 2. I’m a sucker for cozy mysteries that feature pets 3. I’m a sucker.
In this case, I’m totally ok with being a sucker. I’ll admit there’s a tad more “psycho cat” than I enjoy – but I’m not a big cat lover and the few cat mysteries I’ve read involved the cat being a swanky background character, not a constant topic of discussion. Die hard cat lovers, though, would probably love this book. (I’m a dog person. *Gasp*) I imagine that Lilian Jackson Braun fans will be the best fit for this series, but I haven’t actually read her books yet. (I tend to lean toward the Cleo Coyles of the genre.)
The mystery is fun an upbeat, which fits the bill for a cozy; and a lot of the action is driven by dialogue.
What won me over, in the end, were the quotes at the beginning of every chapter. I’m a sucker for that as well and love jotting down references for me to find and read later. Better than that, I love already knowing the reference and nodding my head along with the witticisms and wisdom of Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Allen Poe, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the rest of them.
Brown has an easy breezy writing style, appropriate for a summertime cozy. I’d recommend this series for a road trip or plane ride, something to dive into to pass the time that won’t take too much energy or focus to read while things are going on around you. If your attention strays just the slightest bit, you have a friendly nudge back into the story: “Must I remind you? We are essentially in the middle of a detective mystery.” I tend to enjoy a little meta-fiction every now and then. Also, there are many short chapters, rather than fewer long ones, which I find makes for better vacation reading because it’s easy to find appropriate stopping points at a moment’s notice.
I already downloaded the second book in the series to my kindle and look forward to spending some time with Joyce Ann Brown’s characters again.