From highly supernatural to a taste of the unusual and the witchy… Romeow and Juliet by Kathi Daley is the first in the “A Whales and Tails Mystery”. Aptly named for the central family’s connection to both whales (a brother runs a whale watching company) and tails (cats, cats and more cats).
Straddling the line between a devote and conservative Irish Catholic family and friends who embody alternative Caitlin is a single girl on a mission. Running a cat sanctuary with her independent Aunt Maggie, trying to start a business with her best friend Tara (Coffee Cat Books… now there is a great idea – cats, coffee and books), and spending plenty of time with her quirky friends who include:
two witches, hippie neighbors, and a cat who apparently has some sort of magical powers.
I have only one minor beef with this book. I was somewhat overwhelmed with the sheer number of characters introduced in passing at the very beginning of the book. This does illustrate successfully what a large family (diverse as well) Caitlin comes from and has you taking peeks at a number of the eccentric neighbors, but I found it a bit daunting and my fingers itched for a spread sheet to write everyone out… just a little.
Once you get past the first chapter the characters quickly flesh out and start standing out. I especially enjoy the undercurrent of kitty romance between the stray Romeo who has adopted Caitlin and her neighbor Francine’s (used to be friend of Aunt Maggie now main competition for the city council spot) pedigree kitty Juliet.
Such a busy lady has little time for murder… until she walks in on a corpse and feels the need to figure out what happened. Enter TWO potential love interests – her first (and brother’s best friend) who ran off years ago to join the Navy and the bank manager (sexy, good with cats). There are multiple mysteries to solve, and only one is solved in this volume. The BIG mystery but there is a niggling little one that leads you into a definite wish for the next book! you really don’t feel a lacking in the ending, just an interest in continuing on to the next book in the series. Well played Kathi Daley… well played.