I Hate Research by Sofie Ryan
I hate research. I don't mean the kind that involves curling up with a stack of books for the afternoon. I mean the kind of research that involves me doing something. That kind of research never quite works out for me. And it’s kind of why I don’t want to go back to a certain big box hardware store.
I was trying to solve a plot problem. I had my main character tied to a chair. Would she be able to throw herself sideways? Could she do it without hitting her head? There was no way I could figure out the problem on paper. That meant...research
"Could you tie me up later?” I asked my husband.
"What will you be wearing?" Mr. Romantic asked with a leer. "Will there be whipped cream involved?"
I went out to the shed to look for rope. There wasn’t any. Then I remembered that when I'd moved a chair for my mom I'd had to tie the car trunk up with a plastic skipping rope, because we had nothing else.
So where was all the rope? There had been a length of white nylon rope hanging up by the snow scoop. Then I remembered I’d kind of set that on fire. (For future reference, it's not a good idea to try to melt the end of a fraying piece of rope if it may have been at one time tied to the handle of a gas can.)
At one time we did actually have some “real” rope. Hemp. Cotton. Sisal. I didn't know what it had been made of. It was the kind of rope you use to practice tying knots when you’re learning about sailing, when what you’d really rather be doing is planning how you’re going to sail to the Bahamas, live on the boat and write a best-seller a year. I'd used that rope to tie up a couple of boxes of books before the school yard sale--with perfect reef knots, by the way.
So I couldn't get tied up until I got some rope. It was off to the big-box hardware store where there was an entire aisle of rope and chain, all on big cardboard and metal rolls. A nice young man with a pierced lower lip was happy to cut me a length. What did I want? And how much?
What did I want? I wanted rope. Who knew there were so many kinds of rope?
"What do you need the rope for?" Pierced-lip asked.
This is why I hate research. I can’t tell Pierced-lip that I need rope because I'm planning on getting my husband to tie me up. First of all, I'm old enough to be Pierced-lip’s mother. Yes, I know I don’t want rope for something out of Fifty Shades of Gray, but he doesn’t know that. And second of all, I learned the perils of giving away too much information the time I was looking for a new toilet in the same store. When the sales guy asked me what kind of toilet I was looking for I blurted, "The one with the biggest hole." (Stop laughing. At the time I had a four-year-old who used half a roll of paper with every bathroom visit. Every flush was an adventure.)
I could have told Pierced-lip that I was doing research for a book, but I was buying rope and, well, I embarrass easily. So I said, "I want to tie up a rug."
"You shouldn't tie a rug with rope," he told me. "You could damage the pile, ma'am."
I had to get the only keener in the entire store. However, using my quick writer-ly thinking, I said, "It's a really old rug."
"It could be an antique, ma'am," he said. "You definitely shouldn't tie that with a rope."
"No, no," I insisted. “It's only an old rug I need to get rid of. I just want to roll it up and tie it on my car."
"You have roof racks?” he asked.
Roof racks? I just wanted some rope. Why were we talking about roof racks? "No,” I said.
"You know you shouldn’t just tie things to the roof of your car," he said. "It's not really safe. And I think it's against the law anyway."
By that point I had a headache that felt like someone had just driven a spike through my left eye. “Never mind," I said, heading for the door.
"Roof racks are in aisle 14," he called after me.
When I got home, Mr. Romantic was in the kitchen practicing knots with the tie-backs from the kitchen curtains. "Is the guy in your book a sailor?" he called after me as I headed for my office. "Because I think he should be." I just kept on going.
I hate research.
The Whole Cat and Caboodle (Second Chance Cat Mystery - Book 1) by Sofie Ryan
Publication Date: 04/01/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Obsidian Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery
(Received for an honest review from Obsidian Mystery)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound
Sofie Ryan on the WEB: website, goodreads
Excerpt from, The Whole Cat and Caboodle, courtesy of the author's website.
FIRST IN A NEW SERIES
Sarah Grayson is the happy proprietor of Second Chance, a charming shop in the oceanfront town of North Harbor, Maine. At the shop, she sells used items that she has lovingly refurbished and repurposed. But her favorite pet project so far has been adopting a stray cat she names Elvis.
Elvis has seen nine lives—and then some. The big black cat with a scar across his nose turned up at a local bar when the band was playing the King of Rock and Roll’s music and hopped in Sarah’s truck. Since then, he’s been her constant companion and the furry favorite of everyone who comes into the store.
But when Sarah’s elderly friend Maddie is found with the body of a dead man in her garden, the kindly old lady becomes the prime suspect in the murder. Even Sarah’s old high school flame, investigator Nick Elliot, seems convinced that Maddie was up to no good. So it’s up to Sarah and Elvis to clear her friend’s name and make sure the real murderer doesn’t get a second chance.
Cat and mystery lovers alike will love Sofie Ryan's new series featuring Elvis, a very savvy kitty. The Whole Cat and Caboodle is the first book in The Second Chance Cat series. Readers who enjoy a good whodunit, with a kitty cat twist will find Elvis irresistible. Ryan's success with the Magical Cats series, under the name Sofie Kelly, proves that she knows what she's talking about where felines are concerned and killers too. With an elderly con artist, a capricious cat and some very good friends, new cozy protagonist Sarah Grayson is on the case!
What I liked:
I totally adored the Magical Cats series from Sofie Kelly and knew that this new series under a different name would be just as good. Sofie Ryan may be a new name, but readers are still treated to the same amazing characterizations and descriptions of feline behavior that will keep them reading for hours on end. Ryan has a knack for knowing how cats and other animals get into the hearts of readers and she uses it to her advantage. I love the way she makes the reader wish they had a cat that was just as clever as Elvis.
There were lots of things that I liked about Sarah as the protagonist for this series. First of all I liked her profession. She has a second hand shop with vintage furniture and other items that can be re-purposed and brought back to life for some new person to enjoy. I have always enjoyed taking someone else's junk and making it my treasure, so I appreciated this theme a lot. I also liked Sarah's attitude. She goes to the nursing home to teach seniors how to re-purpose things as well. That was endearing on it's own but her relationship with the three elderly ladies who help her out in the shop was the best part of this book for me.
Liz, Rose and Charlotte provided a lot of comic relief for this book, calling themselves Charlie's Angels and helping to solve the mystery. But the thing that made this one special was how Sarah, a younger woman treated them and developed such an endearing friendship with them. And the entire mystery also features another senior, Maddie who ends up the murder suspect. I think Ryan did a great job of showing the unique kinds of friendships that can develop between women of all ages.
The mystery was well written and a lot of fun to try to figure out. It seems that Maddie's new beau Arthur was quite the con artist. When he ends up dead on the patio, apparently poisoned, Maddie is the main suspect. I loved finding out about all the women that Arthur had conned along the way. Including four wives and slew of girlfriends. It made for a great mystery and readers will love all of the ins and outs of the case.
What I didn't like:
Not much to report here. This was a great first book in a series and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next with this group of characters. Elvis could have had a more substantial role in the book and that would have been fine. He was a great feline character.
This is a great new series, with a very interesting heroine. Sarah and her feline sidekick Elvis get in to all sorts of trouble that readers won't be able to keep from laughing about.
The Whole Cat and Caboodle is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
About the Author:
Sofie Ryan is a writer and mixed media artist who loves to repurpose things in her life and her art. She also writes the New York Times bestselling Magical Cats mysteries under the name Sofie Kelly.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of The Whole Cat and Caboodle by Sofie Ryan.
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