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Last Licks
Sunny & Shadow Mystery #3
Claire Donally

Berkley Prime Crime
May 6, 2014/ ISBN 978-0-425-25255-0
Mystery - Cozy

Reviewed by Laura Hinds


Sunny Coolidge’s boss, Ollie Barnstable is always a pain in the --- rear. When he breaks his leg in an accident, things start to deteriorate in short order. Sunny finds that she has to lug paperwork between the office and the rehab facility where Ollie is recuperating. Then, when his roommate dies suddenly, and Ollie suspects foul play, she has another unofficial murder investigation on her hands.

As Sunny and her boyfriend Constable Will Price proceed to try to find the facts of the case, it is once again, Shadow, Sunny’s cat who steals the show. Shadow is enthralled with the scent of the female therapy cat, Portia, who lives at Bridgewater Hall, where Ollie is confined. He can’t stay away from Sunny when she carries the smell home on her clothing. As Shadow begins his own investigation, in order to find this marvelous smelling She cat, the fun begins!

This is not your typical murder mystery in that it may or may not have been murder. The death of Gardner Scatterwell could have been from natural causes. However, there are people with motives to kill him; a nephew who stands to inherit a fortune, women he has done wrong in the past, a physical therapist he has mistreated, and perhaps others as yet unknown to Sunny and Will. As means, motive and opportunity start to gel there still aren’t quite enough pieces that fit together. In the tradition of a true whodunit, we don’t find out the truth until the end, which is just as it should be.

As a fan of the series, I was so happy to have a new book, new insights into Shadow’s thoughts, and it was great fun to have a new feline friend introduced for him. The pace of the story is swift, yet thorough, the institutional setting nicely used, and character development proceeds on pace. I highly recommend this book to cozy mystery buffs that enjoy a good story, solid plotting, and a peek into the mind of one smart feline! Four paws up!

Reviewed 2014