Wednesday 8 February 2023

Dial M for Meow (A Bookshop Kitties Mystery Book 1) by Ruth J. Hartman

When children’s book author, Christy Bailey, receives a call from her aunt Betty to help out at her bookshop, she drops everything to go. Christy packs up her two cats—Milton and Pearl, the stars of her children's mystery books—and leaves busy Philadelphia for tiny Green Meadow, Indiana. The timing of the call is perfect, as Christy’s letch of an ex-boyfriend has just cleaned out her savings, leaving Christy with a pile of unpaid bills and a desire to start over. And what better place to do that than a charming small town in Middle America?

But when Christy reaches her aunt's bookshop, instead of small town hospitality she finds a dead body! Even worse, her aunt is passed out in the corner, hands covered in blood. The dead woman is an old frenemy of her Aunt Betty, and while Christy knows her aunt is innocent, the local detective isn't so sure. With Milton and Pearl prowling for clues, Christy is determined to find the real killer and clear her aunt's name... before her story ends in tragedy!  (Summary via Goodreads)

Dial M for Meow is the first book in the Bookshop Kitties Mystery series by Ruth J. Hartman and she sets the stage beautifully ..... although she makes your heart stop a few times.....luckily there is a dreamy doctor nearby during those times.

In Dial M for Meow Christy Bailey along with her two famous cats, Milton and Pearl, have been invited by Christy's Aunt Betty to move to Green Meadow, Indiana and help her run Words To Read By, her bookstore.  Christy jumps at the chance seeing as she was experiencing a low in her life thanks to her cheating, stealing, lying ex-boyfriend.

Unfortunately when Christy and the cats show up, the bookstore is empty.  When they go upstairs to the apartment where Aunt Betty lives and Christy will be moving into, they find Aunt Betty unconscious on the floor, a woman dead with a letter opening as the weapon and blood on Aunt Betty's hands.  Aunt Betty doesn't remember anything and has a good sized lump on the back of her head to explain why.  

It is soon learned that the deceased woman is Nan Bittle and she insisted that she meet with Aunt Betty to discuss Wallace, Aunt Betty's boyfriend.  Unfortunately due to the bump on her head, Aunt Betty doesn't remember anything else.  So even though Christy is new to the area and only use to visit Green Meadow when she was a child, she decides to look into Nan's murder.  Luckily she doesn't have to do it alone when her old friend, Janie, is there to help...even if Christy doesn't want the help.

Since Christy writes mystery books with Milton and Pearl as the main characters, how hard can it be to solve a real case ?  Well seeing as the books she writes are for young children, it may not be as easy as she thinks.....and when she and Aunt Betty are alone back in the den of their apartment where the murder happened, it looks like there may be more murders in that room.... and the murderer isn't even close to who they suspected.

Reader will love Dial M for Murder and wish Green Meadows and the people and animals were real so that you could visit.  This is a town that you immediately envision in your mind and once you see it in your head, you will not want to leave.  And once the murder is solved, the town is perfect again.

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