I'm happy to let Mollie Hunt take over Cozy Up With Kathy today. Mollie writes the Crazy Cat Lady Mystery series. Cat House is the tenth book in the series and was released last month.
By Mollie Hunt, Cat Writer
A decade ago when I thought about naming my brand-new cozy series the Crazy Cat Lady Mysteries, I was amazed to find out the title wasn’t taken. With the popularity of cat mysteries on the rise, and that particular cliché common in cat talk, I was sure another author would have used it. When I learned that wasn’t the case, I scooped it up as fast as a cat zooming away from the litter box.
My thoughts at the time ran along the lines of recognizability. “Crazy Cat Lady” instantly told a would-be reader two things about the books: there would be cats, and there would be a lady, ostensibly an amateur sleuth who would solve mysteries with her wit, wisdom, and canny insight. What I only realized after book one was published was that the third element of the title was a minor can of worms. To many, the word, crazy, is insulting.
There is a debate among cat people about the use of the expression, Crazy Cat Lady (CCL), and with good reason. Most people picture a demented older woman with unkempt gray hair and sloppy clothing shouting unintelligible gibberish like the character in The Simpsons animated series. A stereotype. And any woman with more than two cats could suddenly find herself cast into that derisive classification.
The term, crazy, is not a nice word. For those with mental illness, it can be a labeling that’s hard to shoulder. Almost a slur, it is a crude and misunderstood simplification of a very real and serious issue. As I suffer from both anxiety disorder and depression, I get it. And the idea that a woman is mentally ill merely because she cares for a lot of cats is ridiculous. Granted, women—and others too—can get in over their heads trying to rescue cats in need. Hoarders, for instance, often have a good heart but don’t know the limits of their ability to care for their wards. Also granted some people like cats more than they like people. (This author raises hand here.) But neither of those things in themselves denote insanity. We need to be compassionate when we use such words in public. So instead of derogatory finger pointing, let’s, in respect to cat people, take the word, crazy, as an affectionate and slightly silly alliteration.
A debatable phrase, yet it lingers. Not only that—it has been expanded upon (Crazy Cat Men, Crazy Cat People), and adjusted many times over (Cat Ladies, Cat People). It has been satirically embraced (Two Crazy Cat Ladies™ Natural Merchandise, Crazy Cat Lady™ Beauty Products). It has been defined and redefined, disparaged, and mocked. What it hasn’t done is gone away. So in that respect, my choice of “Crazy Cat Lady” as a series title, even though imperfect and a bit controversial, has been a good one. No one has ever told me they refused to read my books because of it, at least not to my face.
Fast forward ten years. I just published my tenth Crazy Cat Lady Cozy Mystery, Cat House. My hero Lynley Canon is still finding more trouble than a cat in catnip. And as she tells us from the very start, she’s not quite crazy yet.
“My name is Lynley Cannon and I am the crazy cat lady, only I’m not crazy yet. I swear. Everything I say is true, though it may seem like the wildest fiction. It does to me, now that I look back, starting when Fluffs discovered the stone. But I’m getting ahead of myself. How are you to know what led up to that unfortunate find or its dire consequences? Why, at the time I didn’t even know myself and could never have guessed.” —Chapter One, Cats’ Eyes, the First Crazy Cat Lady Cozy Mystery, by Mollie Hunt.
Cat House (Crazy Cat Lady Mystery) by Mollie Hunt
About Cat House
Cozy Cat Mystery 10th in Series
Setting - Portland, Oregon
Independently Published (October 29, 2023)
Number of Pages: 255
This Halloween, the cats are hiding, and the monsters don’t wear costumes.
Young men from the Portland-Seattle area are going missing. It’s just another sad headline to Lynley Cannon—until she starts her new cat sitting job for an enigmatic neighbor Darla, that is.
An off-limits room, a suspicious phone message involving drugs, and the sudden appearance of a missing man’s cat peaks Lynley’s interest, but how far can she go before her cat-like curiosity turns deadly?
About Mollie Hunt
Mollie Hunt & Tinkerbelle, Registered Pet Partners
Cat Writer Mollie Hunt is the award-winning author of two cozy series: the Crazy Cat Lady Mysteries featuring a sixty-something cat shelter volunteer who finds more trouble than a cat in catnip, and the Tenth Life Paranormal Mysteries involving a ghost cat. Her Cat Seasons Sci-Fantasy Tetralogy presents extraordinary cats saving the world. She recently released a COVID memoir which she calls, "a tale of a plague and politics, of depression and inspiration, and an ode to the very real and healing presence of cats." In her spare time, she pens a bit of cat poetry as well.
Mollie is a member of the Oregon Writers’ Colony, Sisters in Crime, the Cat Writers’ Association, Willamette Writers, and the Northwest Independent Writers Association (NIWA). She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and a varying number of cats. Like her cat lady character, she is a grateful shelter volunteer.
You can find Mollie Hunt, Cat Writer on her blogsite: https://molliehuntcatwriter.com/
Follow Mollie's Amazon Page: www.amazon.com/author/molliehunt
Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/MollieHuntCatWriter/
Book GoodReads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/198121913-cat-house
Purchase Links - Amazon