Monday, August 13, 2007

Gilbert Morris' What the Cat Dragged In ~ Reviewed

What the Cat Dragged In
Gilbert Morris
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (March 1, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0736919643
ISBN-13: 978-0736919647

Gilbert Morris has a great set-up for his new cozy mystery series—featuring "cat detectives" Jacques and Cleo. The person belonging to the two cats is a struggling single mother named Kate. She's astounded to discover she's inherited a beach house in White Sands, Alabama and the money that comes along with it. Unfortunately, there are two conditions. First, she has to live in the house and take care of the former owner's animals, which include a raccoon, a ferret, a rabbit with a death wish (she constantly chews electric cords), a cussing parrot, a pit bull, and a snake. Second, she has to share the house with Jake, another heir who is also required to live in the house.

Jake and Kate are truly the odd couple. Jake is a former cop who believes in cooking everything from scratch and keeping things neat as a pin. Kate believes in microwave thawing and throws her clothes on the floor. Kate has a natural affinity for animals. Jake hates them, even though he grudgingly agrees to help take care of the menagerie because of the terms of the will. Kate is a Christian and Jake is a skeptic. So naturally, sparks fly. Does anyone see a romance coming?

Most of What the Cat Dragged In sets up Jake and Kate's inheriting the money, meeting, and attempting to set up housekeeping together. (Although for propriety's sake, Jake occupies an upstairs apartment of his own.) And of course, we get to know the two cats, Jacques and Cleo. Cleo's a sweet, fluffy ragdoll. Jacques is a rare cat known as a Savannah, which is half Serval wild cat. His nickname is "Jacques the Ripper." Both Jake, the former cop, and Trouble the pit bull are afraid of him.

The mystery starts pretty late in the book, which is all right because it frankly isn't as interesting as Jake and Kate, the animals, and the quirky characters in White Sands. This is a mystery, however, so eventually the friend of Kate's son, Jeremy, is killed, and Jeremy is a suspect. Jacques the Ripper comes to the rescue by uncovering an important clue that clears Jeremy.

Reviewed by Robin Johns Grant

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