Have you ever lost your cat indoors? You know what it’s like. You look all over the house, in all the cat’s favorite places, call its name, shout “treat!” while shaking the a container of the same, only to turn around and find the cat sitting in the exact spot you’ve already looked five times? Welcome to the life of Kathleen Paulson. Unlike our cats though, her gray tabby Owen can literally disappear. His brother, tuxedo cat Hercules, can walk through walls and other solid surfaces. Neither cat cares who knows about his magical ability but Kathleen tries to hide it so everyone will avoid the feral cat colony on Wisteria Hill where Owen and Hercules were born. Of course, the cats assist Kathleen in solving murders. If you like light-hearted cozy mysteries with a touch of magic, this is the series for you.
One of my favorite book events of all time was one for Gerald Elias’ first Danial Jacobus mystery, Devil’s Trill (2009). Elias, himself a violinist (at the time associate concertmaster for the Utah Symphony), brought what he referred to as his “fiddle” to the event, and gifted the audience with a short performance. I’ve never forgotten it.
I was also a fan of the books, based on the odd-ish premise that a blind violinist could be a detective, his remaining senses sharpened by the lack of his eyesight, heightening his deductive reasoning abilities. This is actually pretty classic Sherlock Holmes territory, the “Watson” being Daniel’s former musical partner and friend Nathaniel. The mysteries, while utterly traditional, also gave the reader a bird’s eye view of the music world. Jacobus lives in seclusion in the New England countryside but is drawn out to the city for different reasons.