Treadmill Books: Feral Attraction: A Cat Groomer Mystery by Eileen Watkins
Cat groomer Cassie McGlone is invited to be a guest speaker at a homeowners meeting at The Reserve, an upscale development. There is a conflict over some feral cats in the area, with some residents wanting them eradicated while others advocate TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release) to control the population. One outspoken cat supporter is Sabrina Ward, who feeds the strays and provides shelters.
It isn’t long before a resident’s dog is poisoned, apparently by food left for the cats. Obviously someone is serious about getting rid of the felines. Then Sabrina is found dead, possibly from natural causes—but could it have actually been murder?
This is the third in the Cat Groomer Mystery series, and I have enjoyed them all. Watkins knows her cats, and her subplots impart interesting cat information. She also isn’t afraid to tackle controversial topics, such as the breeding of exotics, which adds an extra layer of interest as far as I’m concerned.
Cassie herself is a solid leading character. She doesn’t rush headlong into situations but neither does she back down. She’s in a tentative romance with a local veterinarian, both of whom are a bit gun shy after failed relationships; in Cassie’s case, it was also an abusive situation. Interestingly enough, while Cassie has three cats she adores, it’s the cats she boards and cares for who are in the spotlight. It’s another good teaching strategy, as readers learn about unusual breeds such as Bengals or the special needs of Sphinx cats (who are hairless).
I read a lot of mysteries with cats (a comment which would certainly be in the running for Understatement of the Year) and this one stands out because of the cat information. I’m not a feline expert, but I’ve read a bit about my furry overlords—enough to know that Watkins has done her research. That’s a feature I love in books: being able to learn something while being entertained.
I think that these could be read as standalone books without any problem.
I’ll be looking forward to the next in the series, Gone, Kitty, Gone which is scheduled for December 2019. The current titles are The Persian Always Meows Twice, The Bengal Identity, and Feral Attraction.