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Cat Got Your Diamonds: 10/10/18
Cat Got Your Diamonds by Julie Chase is the first of the Kitty Couture mystery series. Lucy Marie Crocker has returned to New Orleans to open up the Furry Godmother, a pet costume and bake shop. She's still struggling to secure a loan when the diamond heists on her block begin. And then her shop is broken into and the diamond thief ends up dead, killed with her glitter hot gun.
It's a standard cozy series beginning. There's the new woman in town trying to get set up. Her first set back is a hostile neighbor or customer or lover. Her next set back is the death of someone (maybe even the hostile person) in proximity to her home or business. Next she is fingered for the crime by a police force that is either inexperienced, corrupt, or too small to be useful.
Then it is up to the woman to find the real motive and the real killer. At her disposal are her family (maybe), her close circle of friends (either old or new), her previous life skills (whatever she was doing before her new job or venture), and her current skills or business connections.
Lucy's first mystery falls well within those parameters but avoids some of the pitfalls. Her business success or failure isn't set up as a woman trying to do a man's job. Nor are there tons of asides on how different the sexes are. Nor does she have any weird quirks to make her different from other women. Lucy like everyone else in this book is a flawed, messy person.
The mystery itself was more complex than many series starts and that took me by surprise. It reminds me of some older TV mysteries like Rockford Files, Remington Steele or even further back, The Avengers. I like that the book made me work to figure out what was really going on.
The second book in the series is Cat Got Your Cash (2017)