Street Cat Blues by Alison O’Leary #bookreview #StreetCatBlues #cosymystery #meowmystery

A quiet life for Aubrey?
After spending several months banged up in Sunny Banks rescue centre, Aubrey, a large tabby cat, has finally found his forever home with Molly and Jeremy Goodman, and life is looking good.
However, all that changes when a serial killer begins to target elderly victims in the neighbourhood.
Aubrey wasn’t particularly upset by the death of some of the previous victims, including Miss Jenkins whom Aubrey recalls as a vinegar-lipped bitch of an old woman who enjoyed throwing stones at cats, but Mr Telling was different. Mr Telling was a mate…

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Hi and welcome to my review of Street Cat Blues! Huge thanks to Meggy @ Red Dog Press for the eARC!

I’d been reading a few rather dark stories, so when Meggy dangled a meow mystery in front of me, I could not resist the temptation. I was hoping to find a lighter kind of story, an original cosy mystery, and as it turns out that was indeed what I found.

So what happens is that old Mr Telling dies. Apparently he fell over, hit his head and was found dead on his back. An accident, it must be. But Aubrey the tabby cat is no fool. He’s been around the block. He knows that when humans fall, they tend to fall forwards, not backwards. There’s something fishy going on, and Aubrey will get to the bottom of it.

Aubrey was a street cat once. He isn’t anymore, he’s found a home and 2 slaves doting humans and just as he’s getting comfortable and used to this easy existence, his humans take in another stray: Carlos, a fourteen-year-old boy who’s just lost his mum. Their lots thrown in together, Aubrey and Carlos strike up a friendship that truly warmed my heart. Anyone who’s ever had a furry friend and experienced heartache will know what it’s like to throw your arms around that feline (or canine for that matter) neck and bawl and feel comforted, soothed without words. It was such a joy to see Carlos benefit from his bond with Aubrey, but it was equally brilliant to read about the feline side of this friendship, how Aubrey develops this kind of protective, almost paternal, attitude towards Carlos, caring for him and wanting to keep him safe and happy.

Aubrey’s own history is heart-breaking and I’m truly astonished at the kind of well-rounded and fully fleshed-out character he is. He has the kind of humour, dry and often sarcastic, that I not only love but also that I’d expect an actual cat to have. Let’s face it: no animal in the world has mastered the unimpressed resting bitch face as well as cats, it’d make perfect sense for them to make snide remarks. The feline superiority amused the hell out of me! Still, I feel that the author strikes the right balance between the standard standoffishness of cats, and the warm and fuzzy feelings they still might feel for their humans, or each other.

This is my first cosy mystery told from a feline perspective, and before I started it I felt like it could easily go wrong. It could be too niche, it could be too quirky, it could get tiresome. In reality, it was none of those things. It was refreshing, actually, to have this completely different POV. And you get the same kind of observations and thoughts and events that you’d find in any cosy mystery, but interlaced with the kind of typically feline remarks that I’m sure my own cat would make (or perhaps does make, who knows what goes on behind those blue eyes): the problems of empty food bowls, the ache of your humans either ignoring you or suffocating you, the pains of travelling baskets, cars and visits to the vet.

You don’t have to be a cat person to enjoy this story, but I’m sure cat people will get more out of it than other readers. I enjoyed the mystery on its own, but for me it was definitely the feline angle that did it. Recommended to lovers of cosy mysteries, and doubly recommended if you love cats to boot!

Street Cat Blues is out today! Get the eBook from Amazon, or better yet: get the paperback directly from Red Dog Press here.

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