Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Meow If It's Murder

Meow If It's Murder (Nick and Nora Mystery - Book 1) by T.C. LoTempio

Publication Date: 12/02/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 304
ISBN-10: 0425270203
ISBN-13: 978-0425270202

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound

T.C. LoTempio on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Excerpt from, Meow If It's Murder, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.


First in a new series!

Nora Charles doesn’t believe in fate, even if she is a crime reporter who shares a name with a character from The Thin Man. In fact, she’s moving back to Cruz, California, to have a quieter life. But after finding an online magazine eager for material, and a stray cat named Nick with a talent for detection, Nora’s not just reporting crimes again. She’s uncovering them… 
Back in her hometown, Nora reconnects with old friends and makes some new ones, like Nick, the charming feline who seems determined to be her cat. But not everything about Cruz is friendly. Writing for a local online magazine, Nora investigates the curious death of socialite Lola Grainger. Though it was deemed an accident, Nora suspects foul play. And it seems that her cat does too. 
Apparently, Nick used to belong to a P.I. who disappeared while investigating Lola Grainger’s death. The coincidence is spooky, but not as spooky as the clues Nick spells out for her with Scrabble letters—clues that lead her down an increasingly dangerous path. Whether fate put her on this case or not, solving it will take all of Nora’s wits, and maybe a few of Nick’s nine lives.


T.C. LoTempio brings readers the first book in her new Nick and Nora mystery series, Meow If It's Murder. Fans of The Thin Man movies are sure to take notice of this new series and all of the crazy antics of Nora, a former investigative reporter and her cat, Nick. LoTempio matches Nora's wits against a killer, who murdered a friend of Nora's deceased mother. With eerie nods to some of the mystery greats this is a very good first effort in a series.

What I liked:

First of all, I was intrigued right away with this book for several reasons. Being a fan of The Thin Man, having a cozy series that made a play on the movies was a great idea and I think it really worked for LoTempio here. She doesn't beat the reader over the head with the references but she does allude to the great movies of William Powell. Not only that, but the fact that Nick the cat has the distinct features of his former owner, a brilliant detective, was a cool idea, even making the reader think along the lines of reincarnation or something of the sort. There was also the fact that the murder in the story was eerily reminiscent of a Hollywood starlet's murder that was never solved. So, many good little tidbits to draw the reader in. 

Nora is former investigative reporter turned sandwich shop owner. She returns home to California from her stent in Chicago, after the death of her mother only to find that one of her close friends has possibly been murdered. I liked the investigative reporter angle. It still makes Nora an amateur sleuth, but it gives her bit of a leg up on just your average deli owner trying to solve a complex crime. I thought she was brilliant and I loved her interaction with police detective, Corleone. (A nod to the Godfather, perhaps?) I think there is plenty of room for romance between these two in the future. 

The murder itself was not an easy one to figure. You kind of knew why someone may have done her in, but not exactly who did it. There were plenty of twists and turns and Nick's little trick with the Scrabble tiles was ingenious. He has to be carrying around the spirit of his former owner. This one wasn't easy to predict and there were plenty of suspects. I found myself enthralled with it and couldn't put it down until I finished. That's saying a lot since I read tons of cozies every month.

Bottom Line:

This was an excellent first book in a series. There was enough background to get the reader going on the series, but it didn't overpower the mystery of the first book. I thought LoTempio made nods some of the greats, including The Thin Man and the worked well to build interest in the series. I liked Nora a lot and found her angle for investigating believable. A great first book in a series!

Meow If It's Murder is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Born in New York City, T. C. LoTempio has been a staff reporter at the young adult magazine Susabella Passengers and Friends for more than a decade. When she isn’t reporting or writing novels, she and her cat Rocco fundraise for Nathan Fillion’s charity, Kids Need to Read.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Meow If It's Murder by T.C. LoTempio.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, December 24th.

1. Please leave a comment. What do you think of this book's nod to The Thin Man, good idea or no?

2. Please fill out the FORM.


Angela - Bookaunt said...

I don't know anything about The Thin Man so I don't feel as if I can really answer, but if the author wants to pay tribute to something they love to so be it.

Karen B said...

I have fond memories of The Thin Man so I think it is a terrific idea.

skkorman said...

I am familiar with The Thin Man, and I think it's definitely a good idea!

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

Unknown said...

i think it is a great idea for the book, I will read it :)

holdenj said...

I do think a nod to those classic Thin Man characters is great. Perhaps Asta will make an appearance someday too!

Anonymous said...

Works for me! Thanks for the giveaway.

Alicia said...

ANother great sounding book to add to my list.

Debbie K said...

I think reviving classics is a wonderful idea. Sounds like a great book!

Carol N Wong said...

I used to watch the old black and white movies of The Thin Man on TV long ago and loved them. So I think this is a great idea.


traveler said...

The Thin Man was memorable and a real classic which I enjoyed. What a wonderful idea and great giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Rita Wray said...

Great idea, I love The Thin Man.

lag123 said...

I'm not familiar with the thin man so I really can't say.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Carol M said...

I don't know anything about The Thin Man so I can't answer that.

Sue Farrell said...

I think the nod to the Thin Man is a fun idea.

Unknown said...

Love the idea don't remember too much about the show but I will read the book.

Nancy said...

It was ok except a lot of the younger ones may not of even heard of the thin man. Thanks for the giveaway.

Unknown said...

I love the nod to the Thin Man series. They are some of my favorite books and movies! Can't wait to see how this plays out in the book!

Dotty Kelley said...

Great idea. It's what attracts me to this book.

Kimberlee said...

This sounds like a great read.


Linda Kish said...

I think it's great to give a nod to the oldies but goodies from our past.

Robin Coxon said...

To some they might feel it is a slap in the face to have a cat named after the male character in the original. But to me I think it's a cute play on it.

Michelle F. said...

The nod to the Thin Man is fine with me. I might've checked that book out of the library years ago. I like that it's a cat cozy. Keep the cozies coming!

Karin said...

I am not sure what to think! Always loved William Powell in whatever he did.

Theresa N. said...

I think it's a good idea.
Theresa N

Unknown said...

I love the nod to the Thin Man. Having read it and seen the movie. Love it!

bn100 said...

haven't heard of it before, so not sure


I love the Thin Man characters. What a great idea!