Cynthia with Stepdog, Bailey
Yesterday, I wrote about the importance of libraries, and how often I'll borrow books and then buy the ones I really love by my favorite authors. What better thing to cherish than books which really speak to you?
I happy to be a mystery buff, most particularly humorous murder mysteries. Yes, that's what I said...humorous MURDER mysteries! I love a book in which the characters are unique personalities, with their own funny quirks, and I really enjoy following them throughout a whole series of books. In fact, I'm often frustrated in having to wait a year or so between books, and love the idea of having previous books in a series on hand to re-read right before a new one comes out. That way, I'm back in the "feel" of the setting, the characters and the general tone.
I'm an animal lover as well as a mystery buff, so several years back, when I first discovered Cynthia Baxter's "Reigning Cats and Dogs" books I was beside myself and doing a happy dance! Recently, I've been lucky enough to establish a personal acquaintance via email with Cynthia and find myself as charmed by her as I am by her books. I asked Cynthia about what she'd like to see on this blog, and she had a really great suggestion. "encourage readers to write about their pets -- names, physical descriptions, and interesting quirks -- since I'm always looking for animals to include in my books (either Jessie's patients or the pets of the people she meets during her murder investigations). It might be fun for people to write about their pets and read about other people's pets -- and hopefully I'll be able to include some of them in future books." Sounds like a plan to me-- I'm thinking of my cats various stories as I type! Also, please know that Cynthia is a very responsive author, who would love to hear from you and you can either email her directly through her website or leave questions here as comments and she will answer you (her email is quickest though).
Cynthia has a great new book in the "Reigning Cats and Dog" series, entitled "Who's Kitten Who?". When I finished reading, or rather devouring, this book, full of my favorite characters who I have come to consider buddies (even the furred, feathered, and "other"), I contacted Cynthia with a question about one of the characters involved and was delighted that she responded promptly. While I do recommend that you get all of the books, and do read them in order, each one is purrfectly fine as a stand alone.
Here is an Editorial Review from Amazon
When it comes to murder this sleuth isn't pussyfootin' around...
Veterinarian and amateur sleuth Jessica Popper takes center stage in the cast of an up-and-coming Long Island playwright’s last production—and the fur flies as Jess finds the theater world littered with clues to Simon Wainwright’s murder. Was the killer the actress who’s a real glamour-puss? Or her rival for Simon’s affections, a disheveled costume designer who looks like something the cat dragged in? Or how about the fat-cat Broadway producers?
Jessie’s no scaredy-cat when she’s on the prowl, but she loses her cool when her future in-laws and their monstrous Maltese descend on the tiny cottage she shares with fiancé Nick Burby, Lou the one-eyed Dalmatian, rambunctious Westie Max, and the rest of her menagerie. Between coping with the “Invasion of the Burbarians” and playing cat and mouse with a killer, Jess could use nine lives herself. But curiosity killed the cat—will that be Jessie’s fate by the time the curtain falls?
About the Author
Cynthia Baxter is a native of Long Island, New York. She currently resides on the North Shore, where she is at work next mystery, which Bantam will publish in Fall 2008.
OK- Editorial Reviews aside, I'd like to give my two cents. DVM Jessica Popper is smart, funny, cares about pets and people, and has a real sense of justice and the American Way. Oh she's not Superwoman, she has her flaws just like the rest of us. The future in-laws drive her nuts (frankly they drove me nuts--but I still wanted to read more about them), she's got a bit of a commitment issue when it comes to men, and she just can't seem to contain herself when it comes to doing things her own way even when it puts her life in danger. Her companion animals are great, her friends are fun and they all speak to me and I can picture each and every one of them. I recently interviewed some other mystery authors and came up with the Very Original Question about who would play their heroine in a movie. Well, I can tell you this, I can picture all of Cynthia's characters and they are each ThemSelves and I can't think of any known actor or actress-- it would all have to be newly discovered talent to make me happy. I've read all of this series, and recently learned that Cynthia has written over 40 other books under the name of Cynthia Blair, including several YA books and some contemporary women's fiction. I'd like to give them all try because I really enjoy this author's style. She writes from what she knows, from her heart, and her brain (and she is a brainiac- graduated from MIT no less).
Below are links to the previous books in the "Reigning Cats and Dogs" series, and I know I am looking forward to the next release in 2008 Monkey See, Monkey Die
I have found Cynthia to be a really nice, humble woman, who is genuinely surprised that people love her books! Please do visit her website Cynthia Baxter and be sure to let her know how you feel about her books-- and send along those animal stories! I have plenty of my own to send her, so don't let me win by sending the most myself!
Thanks for reading- now go get the books! You'll love the cover art, the fun titles and every page in between, I promise!
The More Books the Better