Book Review: What the Cat Saw by: Carolyn G. Hart

Rating: 3/5

Publisher: Berkley Hardcover

Publish Date: October 2, 2012

Origins: From Publisher for Review

Format: Hardcover

Order From:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: National bestselling author Carolyn Hart presents an original new novel about a woman with a curious ability that drops her headfirst into a world of intrigue and murder…

Ever since the death of her fiancĂ©, Nela Farley has found herself plagued by a sixth sense: she understands the thoughts of cats when she looks into their eyes. Nela knows that what she’s experiencing is completely irrational and tries to convince herself that she is simply transferring her own thoughts that she doesn’t want to face.

When her adventurous sister, Chloe, goes on a trip and asks for a favor, Nela welcomes the distraction and agrees to substitute at Chloe’s job at a charitable foundation. Chloe has arranged a place for her sister to stay, but when Nela shows up, she encounters the previous tenant’s cat and gets a flash of thought: “. . . dead . . . dead and gone . . . She loved me . . . board rolled on the second step . . .”

Nela wants to ignore what the cat saw, but the idea that the death of former tenant Marian Grant wasn’t an accident is something she can’t ignore. As Nela begins to do some research into Marian’s life, strange events begin to occur, all seeming to lead back to the Haklo Foundation. But when a detective becomes suspicious of Nela’s sister and a second murder occurs, Nela realizes she’ll have to make the most of her unwanted ability to figure out what’s really going on, before she meets her own untimely end…

Review: Cornelia ‘Nela’ Farley is adrift in life since her fiancĂ© died and she lost her job. So when her sister Chloe asks Nela to take over her job while she’s on a week-long vacation, she has no reason to say no. When she arrives, she’s staying in the guest apartment belonging to a recently deceased woman who worked at Haklo with Chloe. And taking care of Marian’s cat, whose thoughts she thinks she can hear. Nela gets a taste of the mystery surrounding Marian’s death when the apartment is burglarized. Now she has taken it upon herself to dig into the events unfolding around her to discover the truth.

‘What the Cat Saw’ is an interesting mystery where Nela stumbles upon clue after clue; Nela doesn’t figure it out until it may be too late. Nela’s need to be useful and her investigative reporter roots help her to ask the right questions to discover the truth. I liked how all the characters are a bit colorful and each has a motive. It reminded me a little of a Rita Mae Brown novel or an episode of “Murder, She Wrote”. The author doesn’t go too much into Nela’s ability with animals, but it is there and perhaps will be discussed more in further books in this series. ‘What the Cat Saw’ is a good rainy day book. 

Nela Farley Series: What the Cat Saw (1)


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