Thursday, February 22, 2018

Death by a Whisker: Guest Post, Review, & Giveaway

My Book, the Movie

Crime and Catnip

T. C. Lotempio

T. C. Lotempio is the author of the Nationally Bestselling Nick and Nora mystery series and the Cat Rescue series for Crooked Lane. When she’s not writing books, she and her cat ROCCO fundraise for Nathan Fillion’s charity, Kids Need to Read.

When I first got the idea for the Nick and Nora mystery series, It was on a cold afternoon in February. I was bundled up on my couch and I saw Turner Classics had on one of my favorite movies, The Thin Man. I had had a discussion with my literary agent earlier that day about steering away from writing paranormals and veering into cozy mystery territory. As I was watching The Thin Man, my twenty pound tuxedo cat, ROCCO, jumped up on my lap. All of which got me to thinking: What if Nick Charles died and came back as a cat? And thus the Nick and Nora mysteries were born. Nora Charles is an ex-investigative reporter who returns to her hometown of Cruz, California to run her dead mother’s sandwich shop. She can’t stay away from mysteries, though, and takes a part time job on an online crime magazine. She’s just starting to dig into her first story: the mysterious drowning of a local socialite – when she makes the acquaintance of her furry partner, Nick the cat.

I think every author dreams of having their books made into movies, and I confess I pictured very specific individuals when I was writing the series: Nora is definitely, without question, Emma Stone. There’s just no other. Her boyfriend, FBI agent Daniel Corleone could easily be played by either Ryan Reynolds or Jake Gyllenhaal. Nora’s BFF was a bit harder. I had to think of someone a bit quirky, and who better than Courtney Cox who played quirky so beautifully on Friends? Lisa Kudrow would be another good choice. As for the character of Nick the cat, well, there’s only one feline who could play him purr-fectly, and that’s ROCCO, the Incredible Blogging Cat! If you don’t believe me, visit his blog at

For the Cat Rescue mysteries, of course I can picture ROCCO’s brother Maxx in the role of Toby! The humans for this required a bit more thought. The feisty Syd McCall could easily be played by Jennifer Aniston, or maybe Alison Sweeney if her schedule would permit. For the part of her detective boyfriend Jake Gyllenhaal. (He’s played PI’s in so many movies he’s just a natural choice for me) Syd’s sidekick friend Leila Addams? Actually, I’d like to play her.😊 but if not me, then maybe Reese Witherspoon? (she’d have to dye that blonde hair red, though) Who would be your choices?


The Second Cat Rescue Mystery

The Friendly Paws Animal Shelter is gearing up for a big media event, when the author planning to attend is hurt in an accident. A replacement is quickly found, another Deer Park native and current shopping host megastar and new author, Ulla Townsend. While Sydney McCall and her sister Kat are pleased to have a replacement, especially one who will also donate a portion of the book sales to the shelter, Maggie is aghast and vows to be nowhere near the event. Ulla and her entourage ooze scandal, vindictiveness, and a proclivity for backstabbing so when Ulla dies at the event there are plenty of suspects...including Maggie. Syd is bound and determined to prove Maggie's innocence and help her detective boyfriend solve the case. But is she risking her future by looking into Ulla's past?

One of my favorite aspects of this book is that the setting centers around an animal shelter. I appreciate the dedication and hard work necessary to provide a haven and a chance at a new life for animals in need and am glad that this series shines a light on it, even though it doesn't really touch on the sadness and harsh realities also found there. The cats here are real characters with personalities and ties to the action and plot. They're also plain lovable. I want to hang out with Toby and give him another Melvin the Magnificent Mouse. I am also sorely tempted to adopt Annie Reilly myself, even if she is fictional!

DEATH BY A WHISKER is a cautionary tale dealing with bullying and how the past impacts both the present and future. Can we fully escape our past? How do we move on...or do we? Crisp writing and a fast paced storyline kept me quickly turning the pages easily following the multiple suspects and many motives. This second Cat Rescue Mystery was a fun read and I look forward to hearing  more from Syd and the residents of Deer Park, North Carolina. Meanwhile my cats want to know where they can get their own Melvin toys!

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  1. Would really like to read this book. Looks so interesting. Sorry I didn't see this post earlier. Not sure why. But still hoping