Another Review at MyShelf.Com

A Novel Way to Die
Black Cat Bookshop Mystery #2
Ali Brandon

Berkley Prime Crime
Nov 2012/ 978-0-425-25169-0
Mystery /Paranormal/Cozy

Reviewed by Laura Hinds

Reviewer's Note:

Darla Pettistone, bookseller, property owner, and Texas-to-Brooklyn transplant needs a part time worker for her store, Pettisone’s Fine Books. Unfortunately, Hamlet, the black cat she inherited with the bookstore, scares away nearly all of the applicants. Finally however, Hamlet deems teen-angst boy Robert Gilmore worthy, and immediately Robert proves himself a dedicated worker to boot.

When an annoying customer, Curt Benedetto, is murdered at the site of a house he and his partner, Barry Eisen, are restoring, Darla is spooked. Hamlet has been sneaking out in the night and Curt had mentioned that he had seen Hamlet near the renovated house. Haunted by the idea that Hamlet may have tripped Curt while he was walking down the basement stairs, Darla worries. Yet Curt was hit on the head with a crowbar and that puts Hamlet in the clear. Yet he could be a witness! Once again, Darla realizes murder has come into her new life in Brooklyn, and she determines that she will get to the truth and find the killer—before it’s too late and someone else dies.

I loved the first book in this series, “Double Booked for Death,” and I love this one just as much. Brandon writes in a natural yet snappy manner, with a moderate pace in the action, yet every paragraph is important to the story. There is excellent character development, believable plot lines, and an intelligent female protagonist. Hamlet the cat reminds me of my own two feline companions, and I like that Brandon doesn’t skimp on sharing the cat’s cleverness.

Readers will find this mystery engaging and fun. If Pettisone’s Fine Books were a real-life bookstore, I’d be a regular customer for sure!

Reviewed 2013