Dying to Read (The Cate Kinkaid Files Book #1): A Novel
by Lorena McCourtney
"Lorena McCourtney's lively cozy mysteries hit all the right notes for me, and her newest doesn't miss a chord. A quirky, likable heroine, a handsome guy, and oh, a murder. Don't miss Cate Kinkaid's first case as a PI. It's a killer."--Lyn Cote, author of La Belle Christian
All she wanted was a paycheck. What she got was a murder.
Cate Kinkaid's life is . . . well, frankly it's floundering. Her social life, her career, her haircut--they're all a mess. Unemployed, she jumps at the chance to work for her PI uncle, even though she has no experience and no instincts. After all, she is just dabbling in the world of private investigating until she can find a "real" job.
All she has to do for her first assignment is determine that a particular woman lives at a particular address. Simple, right? But when she reaches the dark Victorian house, she runs into an hungry horde of gray-haired mystery readers and a dead body. This routine PI job is turning out to be anything but simple. Is Cate in over her head?
Cate has struggled from one job to another. Her family makes her feel like she cannot do anything right. Her PI uncle kindly, if reluctantly, agrees to hire her on a trial basis. Her first task is supposed to be an easy assignment: find a young woman named Willow. Cate arrives at the address where Willow is supposed to be and she is greeted by a handful of elderly ladies meeting for mystery reader book club known as the Whodunit Club. When they enter the house they discover no lunch, no maid (Willow) and a deceased hostess.
Cate doesn’t want to tell her Uncle that she hasn’t found Willow, especially when she learns he has been hospitalized. Cate returns to the house looking for clues to Willow’s whereabouts. There she meets the deceased woman’s niece who is worried Willow may have taken jewelry. The niece isn’t worried about the abandoned cat and Cate ends up taking the cat home to take care of her temporarily. Although the death appears to be a tragic fall down a back, rickety stairs, Cate begins to investigate on her own. She has plenty of suspects with Willow, the Whodunit ladies, the niece and her husband and a recent boyfriend of the deceased who has also disappeared.
As Cate is hunting down Willow she meets Mitch, a young man helping an elderly woman whom Willow used to work for. Mitch offers to help but Cate doesn’t want to accept help from anyone and she suspects that he may have nefarious motives too.
Cate bumbles along in her search, with Mitch appearing unexpectedly to rescue her from dangerous situations. Mitch is a great, nice character and I was rooting for Cate to give him a chance. Meanwhile, Willow, a tree-hugging activist, the Whodunit quirky ladies and other suspicious characters make for a fun investigation. Even the fluffy cat adds to the story.
The writing is very easy and I appreciated that Ms. McCourtney shared the faith of several characters in a gentle, sure manner. I enjoyed the growing friendship between Cate and Mitch, which ends at a stage that would allow further development in the series. The story is a light, fun cozy with a Christian foundation. I recommend this to readers who enjoy light cozy mysteries, and/or light Christian fiction.
(We waited almost six weeks to discuss this at book club so we had to remind each other of the details. Everyone agreed it was an enjoyable, easy read.)
The was my ladies’ book club read in July. It has been in my Kindle Library since 2013 so I count it as a TBR read.
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