Thursday, April 4, 2024

Cats, Carats, and Killers - A Review


The Fourth Urban Tails Pet Shop Mystery 

Shell McMillan, owner of the Urban Tails Pet Shop and former star of Spy Anyone, is proud to be a sponsor of Appraise for Strays, a fundraiser for the local animal shelter. While several unique items have come in, a lot of interest is being shown in a little wooden box, too much interest. One such interested person is Pete Martin, a bad penny who's returned to town. When he winds up dead, diner owner Gus Morton becomes the prime suspect. Could the box and the murder be tied to an old jewelry heist? With the FBI in town investigating and a hot shot journalist insinuating himself in the investigation Shell will do what she can to prove Gus is innocent with help from friends, including the special felines, Purrday and Princess Fuzzypants.

An unsolved robbery with missing diamonds, an unassuming wooden box, and murder combine in the delightful fourth Urban Tails Pet Shop Mystery.  

A jewel heist combined with an antiques appraisal? Yes, please. It's a great combination. The possibility of discovering treasure is always a thrill, one of the reason those antique appraisal shows are so compelling. Could that godawful painting from Aunt Hatty be an actual Picasso? Or that vase you got at the charity shop. Could it be worth more than the $2.00 you spent?

Readers are introduced to the original crime which is then skillfully woven through the new mystery, that of the wooden box and the murder. Important information and clues are clearly laid out providing several “ah ha” moments as pieces click into place. Then there's the penultimate action scene with a major twist!

I enjoy the camaraderie of the friends, particularly Shell and Gary and the quiet romance between Shell and Josh. I like that Gary is the voice of reason and that Shell shares everything with the police and FBI, well, almost everything…at least until she goes off to confirm one last thing, which was almost her undoing. Fortunately, help wasn’t far away. The characters are well developed with their own strengths and foibles, but as wonderful as the humans are, for me it’s the cats who steal the show. Purraday makes certain that clues are found and messages get across. Princess Fuzzypants goes above and beyond in this story and proves she’s not just a pretty face. And Kahlua looks on, above it all.

CATS, CARATS, AND KILLERS is a finely crafted mystery that will have you dreaming of diamonds and perhaps looking around at your own possible treasures.


 Cats, Carats and Killers (Urban Tails Pet Shop Mysteries) by T. C. LoTempio

About Cats, Carats, and Killers

Cats, Carats and Killers (Urban Tails Pet Shop Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery 4th in Series
Setting - Connecticut
Publisher: ‎ Beyond the Page Publishing (March 19, 2024)
Paperback: ‎ 182 pages
There may be honor among thieves, but a long-ago diamond heist might hold the secret to a man’s murder . . . Pet shop owner Shell McMillan is thrilled to see everyone in Fox Hollow flocking to the local animal shelter’s fundraiser, where they can get their old keepsakes and collectibles appraised and maybe even sell them for a tidy sum. But the event has drawn some shady characters as well, including Pete Martin, who seems determined to get his hands on a beat-up old jewelry box at any cost. Then Martin is found murdered, and Shell has to go from fundraising to finding a killer. It doesn’t take long for Shell to figure out that the jewelry box was concealing diamonds from a long-ago heist, and that Martin wasn’t the only one trying to get his hands on the stash. But to figure out who wanted him dead, she’ll have to uncover who was behind the original heist and who knows where the rest of the gems are hidden. It’s as dangerous a case as Shell has ever faced, and if she’s not careful, her search for the missing stones will leave her stone-cold dead . . .

About T.C. LoTempio


T. C. LoTempio is the award-winning, national bestselling author of the Nick and Nora mystery series. Her cat, Rocco, provides the inspiration for the character of Nick the cat. She also writes the Urban Tails Pet Shop Mystery Series, as well as the Cat Rescue series and the Tiffany Austin Food Blogger series. Check out her and Rocco's blog,, and visit her website,, for more information.

Social Media Links: 




Twitter/X: @RoccoBlogger  


Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N - Kobo

No comments:

Post a Comment