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Month in review

Reviews
The Archer at Dawn by Swati Teerdhala
Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage
Breaking the Mould by Victoria Hamilton
Cast Iron Alibi by Victoria Hamilton
Cleopatra in Space: Fallen Empires by Mike Maihack
Curse of the Were-wiener by Ursula Vernon
Delicious in Dungeon, Volume 5 by Ryoko Kui
The Do-Over by Jennifer Honeybourn
Drawing Lessons by Patricia Sands
Grand Theft Horse by G. Neri and Corban Wilkin (Illustrations)
Here Comes the Body by Maria DiRico and Devon Sorvari
Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan
(Im)perfectly Happy by Sharina Harris
To Kill a Mocking Girl by Harper Kincaid
Love & Other Curses by Michael Thomas Ford
My Brigadista Year by Katherine Paterson
Not Like the Movies by Kerry Winfrey
The Pawful Truth by Miranda James
See You On a Starry Night by Lisa Schroeder
Six Cats a Slayin' by Miranda James and Erin Bennett
Starworld by Audrey Coulthurst and Paula Garner
Sun and Moon Have a Tea Party by Yumi Heo
These Witches Don't Burn by Isabel Sterling
The 13 Clocks by James Thurber
This is Edinburgh by Miroslav Sasek
The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez by Adrianna Cuevas
Trouble the Saints by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed by Laurie Halse Anderson
Yak and Dove by Kyo Maclear and Esme Shapiro (Illustrations)
You Brought Me the Ocean by Alex Sanchez and Julie Maroh
You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

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5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

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Canadian Book Challenge: 2020-2021

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Six Cats a Slayin': 08/05/20

Six Cats a Slayin'

Six Cats a Slayin' by Miranda James and Erin Bennett (narrator) is the tenth book in the Cat in the Stacks mystery series. Charlie's life is busy at home with two grand-babies, Diesel, and now five boisterous kittens left on his doorstep. Meanwhile he's trying to avoid the unwanted advances of his new neighbor, a woman who claims to have ties to Athena but is someone no one seems to remember.

When the neighbor invites Charlie to a Christmas party, he wants to say no but feels like he can't. So he goes. Surprise, surprise, the hostess ends up dead. It's very clearly murder. While Charlie didn't do it, clearly one of his neighbors did. Who did it and why?

There are two mysteries here. There's the murder and there are the kittens. Of the two, I found the kitten mystery the more compelling of the two. They were clearly left by a child and that child clearly believes the kittens wouldn't be safe at home. Fear about the kittens leads to questions about potential child abuse.

The A plot, though, plays out like an awkward reworking of Out of Circulation (2012) with a different twist that's tied up in Athena's history.

The problem lies in the inclusion of gender identity as one of the big clues. It's mixed up into an otherwise passable plot involving a family pushed to do the unthinkable because of extreme poverty. The transgender stuff, though, is painfully awkward and serves only as a source of red herrings.

Book eleven is The Pawful Truth (2019).

Three stars

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