I'm pleased to welcome Spike to Cozy Up With Kathy today. You can find Spike on the pages of the Maggie Sparks Mystery series. Spiked Punch is the first book in the series and was released last week.
Getting to Know Spike
From Spiked Punch
By Lesley A. Diehl
My name is Spike, and I’m a cat. I’m just purring up a storm to know that you are interested in finding out more about me. I am a major player in the Maddie Sparks mystery Spiked Punch. I share a house with Maddie Sparks who rescued me last summer when she found a dead body in a house in our small village. A relative of the man found dead had taken me to him, because her boyfriend was allergic to cats. If Maddie hadn’t given me a home, I don’t know what would have happened to me because that man was going off on a trip before he was killed and who knows what he could have done with me. Luckily Maddie snatched me out of the arms of one of the sheriff’s officers who wanted to take me to the pound. I didn’t like him. She took me with her and gave me chicken when we got to her house. Chicken. I love chicken!
I can’t tell you anymore about my past because I was so young, I’m not clear about my homes, but I do remember being in a shelter for several months before I was adopted by a young woman (the one who has the allergic boyfriend). That’s the problem with humans sometimes. If her boyfriend was the one who was allergic why didn’t she find another home for him? Why me?
Maddie has never lived with a cat, and she was over seventy years old, so she had a steep learning curve on what to provide for me, her new roomie. But with the help of a friendly and knowledgeable store clerk, she bought the necessary supplies: cat bed (I hate it), dishes, food, litter box and I think I’ve talked her into getting one of those water fountain thingies so I always have fresh water, from a bottle, of course. Like most cats I am very picky about food, toys and beds. I do love the human beds, however, laundry. Very comfy. I find a spot in the sun on Maddie’s desk delightful. And who makes those cat toys? A crumpled-up ball of paper works just fine. I know, I know. I should be more grateful that Maddie tries to buy me objects to stimulate my play, but I’m much too sophisticated to give into some stuffed catnip bird or mouse or fish. You can’t fool me. No real bird, mouse or fish is filled with catnip. I do play with them when she’s not around, but never in her presence. I don’t want her to think I’m easy.
Maddie is a snoopy kind of gal so we are perfect companions. You know what they say about curiosity and the cat. Yeah, well I’m good at feeling out people and their natures. I can tell the good ones from the bad ones. Take Maddie’s companion or lover or whatever humans call someone who hangs around and spends a lot of time touching and kissing a person. Boyfriend? He’s too old to be a boy. He’s almost seventy himself. He’s a retired county sheriff and he’s good at his job. I really admire a human who applies himself but also has a big heart. That’s Zack. He likes me, too, lets me sit in his lap and get cat hair all over his pants. I don’t know where the relationship between the two of them is going, but I hope somewhere. I like having him around the house and I don’t fancy trying to find another human male that I have to train. I hope she keeps him. He’s not allergic.
But back to snoopiness. Maddie, Zack and I are a crime fighting trio. We have each other’s backs. The best part is that neither Maddie nor Zack treat me with other than the most respect. Like Maddie says, “If Spike doesn’t like that person, then there’s something going on there.” I can defend myself was well as humans, maybe better since I can be quiet, reclusive and listen in on conversations. Oh, so you think cats can’t understand what humans are saying. Not so. Cats read body language and tone of voice better than humans. Take the murderer in Spiked Punch. I had the killer’s number from the moment we met. Here’s the story…Oh, oh, Lesley says I can’t say anymore. Since she’s the author, I must listen or she’ll have Maddie feed me that cheap tuna, not the gourmet kind. Yuck! You’ll have to read the book to see how brilliant I was in solving the crime. Remember the name—Spike Sparks, furry yellow crime fighter, armed with teeth and claws and a brain that is just as sharp.
Spiked Punch (Maddie Sparks Mystery Series) by Lesley A Diehl
About Spiked Punch
Spiked Punch (Maddie Sparks Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series
Setting - Upstate New York
Camel Press (November 14, 2023)
Paperback: 248 pages
On the other side of seventy, Maddie Sparks decides to spice up her life by changing her writing interests from cozy mysteries to romance. She also determines her appearance should reflect this transformation in her writing career. A sassy new haircut and more fashionable clothes complete the newer Maddie Sparks. Before she can begin this new chapter in her life, a stabbing death in the quiet country village she has made her home shocks the town's residents.
When her son is accused of the murder, Maddie and the acting county sheriff come together to find the real killer. Their relationship soon blooms into more than one of shared determination to solve the murder. As they enjoy a hike in a nearby park, someone shoots the sheriff, barely missing Maddie. Another killer could be loose in the area, and the person may be closer to Maddie than she realizes. Maddie discovers parts of herself she didn't know existed: real life romance with the sheriff, a talent for sleuthing and room in her life for a fuzzy, orange cat named "Spike." This recent lease on life may be more exciting and more dangerous than Maddie expects.
About Lesley A. Diehl
Cows, Lesley learned growing up on a farm, have a twisted sense of humor. They chased her when she went to the field to herd them in for milking, and one ate the lovely red mitten her grandmother knitted for her. Determining that agriculture wasn’t a good career choice, instead she uses her country roots and her training as a psychologist to concoct stories designed to make people laugh in the face of murder. “A good chuckle,” says Lesley,” keeps us emotionally well-oiled long into our old age.” She is the author of the Eve Appel mysteries from Camel Press as well as several cozy mystery series and numerous short stories. Go to her webpage to find out more: www.lesleyadiehl.com.