Monday, November 14, 2016

Review of "Movie Cat" by Garrison Allen

Hollywood hotshots descend on the town of Empty Creek, Arizona to film a Western and the townsfolk - many of whom are extras - are excited. But soon after filming begins the very unpopular director, C.D. Masterly, is murdered in a most bizarre fashion.

Penelope Warren, former marine and  current owner of a bookstore - and her cat Big Mike - help the sheriff's department investigate. This is the only book I've read in the series and I'll admit I expected Big Mike to be more involved in the investigation, sort of like the cat Mrs. Murphy in another mystery series. That said, Big Mike is entertaining as he inadvertently uses the computer and inserts himself into the movie.

After Masterly's death a new director is hired and while the movie is being filmed the investigators and Penelope question lots of people, formulate several theories, and run into a lot of dead ends. Meanwhile there must be something in the air in Empty Creek because there are scads of romantic relationships with plenty of fun (not graphic) hijinks. This makes up a good portion of the book.

Eventually the mystery is solved in a (to me) surprise twist. There were a lot of characters in the story -  including Masterly's many girlfriends, the movie cast, the film crew, writers, townsfolk, investigators, etc. - and I had some trouble remembering who was who. All in all I'd recommend the book as an entertaining light mystery.

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