Daily Review: Nine LIFelines by Joyce Ann Brown
October 11, 2018
The author’s clear, almost conversational style keeps the reader on track through all the twists and turns of this delightful story.
Joyce Ann Brown brings back landlady Beth & her clue-sniffing cat in the third book of her Psycho Cat series.
A ghoulish, cranky elevator, condo break-ins, and her renter not paying on time. Beth, the landlady, and her husband, Arnie, have retired to the building where Beth’s last rental unit is located. Have they made a mistake?
Beth vowed to do no more sleuthing, but when her tenant is arrested for the murder of the Peruvian neighbor who fell (was pushed?) from the tenth-story balcony, the Ukrainian’s French wife is left without support, and the dead neighbor’s grandchildren are left with only their wheelchair-ridden grandmother to care for them, Beth has to do something.
Is Sylvester providing clues with his psycho-cat behavior? Is the renter actually the killer? Do the break-ins and elevator problem have anything to do with the murder? Even Arnie, who has always told Beth to keep her nose out of police business, gets involved—for the sake of the children.
The 20-pound feline, nicknamed Psycho Cat, and his equally curious mistress, Beth, stick their noses into the happenings of their condo neighbors. While Psycho Cat rushes to paw a select few apartment doors, he is also signaling Beth that something could be wrong.
They have the intuitive relationship many pets and their owners develop over time. When Beth begins to question building residents, she becomes suspicious, fearing that danger lurks in the building.
The author spins out her tale introducing readers to two immigrant families, both with secrets. In the end, cat and mistress ferret out the problems and through their conniving uncover the truth.
I highly recommend this furry mystery having found it to be a fun read.
By Sandra Schaffer
Nine LiFelines is the third book I’ve read in Joyce Ann Brown’s excellent Psycho Cat and the Landlady Mystery series, and is a welcome addition! Along with a good mystery that keeps you guessing until the very end. Ms. Brown continues to explore the characterizations of Sylvester (Psycho Cat), Beth the Landlady and her husband Arnie to both humorous and enjoyable effect.
Nine LIFelines introduces children as characters, and Ms. Brown’s depth of understanding of children and how they relate to one another as well as to adults is impressive.
She also demonstrates an adeptness for bringing the reader into her characters’ world through the use of imagery and ambiance. You feel as if you know these characters, and they’re extremely likable. I highly recommend this book to all cozy mystery lovers!
Did Beth’s neighbor — whom she has never met — fall from his tenth floor balcony — or was he pushed? It’s Beth’s good heart that leads her to stick her nose into other people’s business.
When Beth tries to offer food and condolences, why is the Spanish-speaking widow so confused and who are the school-age children behind the door? Is Beth’s cat, Sylvester, really a good judge of human behavior, or will he take up with anyone who rubs his tummy?
Having just moved into their Brookside condo, Beth and Arnie are looking forward to a carefree summer with nothing more taxing to do than spend their days with visiting grandchildren. Except that Landlady Beth needs to collect unpaid rent from Viktor, a Ukranian, and Helene, his French wife, tenants on the sixth floor. Their toddler daughter, Fabienne, is easily attracted to Sylvester’s twitching tail.
Joyce Ann Brown’s clear, almost conversational style keeps the reader on track through all the twists and turns of this delightful story.
Please click HERE to find Nine LIFelines on Amazon.