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Cat Sitter among the Pigeons by Blaize Clement

Cat Sitter among the Pigeons” is Sarasota, FL native, Blaize Clement’s 6th Dixie Hemingway Mystery. It’s a particularly well written Minotaur Books edition and it will cause me to go back and review the earlier titles in the series. I think I’ve read one or two before, but I haven’t reviewed any of them.

The protagonist, Dixie Hemingway, is a former police deputy who now makes her living taking care of other people’s pets.  She notes that she stops short of pet sitting for snakes because it is unpleasant to feed poor innocent mice into the gaping jaws of a snake.  On the other hand, she spends lots of quality time pampering lonely cats and dogs for owners in the Sarasota area who are out of town or incapacitated.

Dixie meets a young woman and her 4 month old baby at the home of one of her elderly clients one day and ends up being kidnapped after she leaves that house.  She is mistaken for the young mother, Ruby, the granddaughter of Dixie’s client.  She is bound and taken several miles out of town to the estate of a wealthy area businessman and then let go at a nearby coffee shop when the businessman tells his incompetent henchmen that Dixie is the wrong woman.  Later, the bedroom Ruby and her baby, Opal, are staying in at the old man’s house is set on fire and the baby is kidnapped.  Dixie and the young woman’s estranged husband, a race car driver, and several of his friends, go after the people that Dixie suspects are behind the kidnapping.

There are several qualities that I particularly like about this book.  First, her writing style in humorous, and that makes it particularly easy to read the novel.  Secondly, the characters are appealing and well-crafted so that the reader really gets in to how these characters think and why they act as they do.  It leaves the reader really caring about Ruby and Zack getting back together and seeing Dixie happy again following her grief in the loss of her husband and daughter.  The descriptions of the Sarasota area are lushly descriptive.  It is easy to see why Dixie does not want to leave even if it means breaking up with her detective boyfriend, Guidry when he receives an invitation to return to his native city, New Orleans, for a job. Dixie, as she self-describes, is who she is because of her roots in Sarasota and Siesta Key off Sarasota’s coast.

Clement’s writing would make anyone long for the white, sandy beaches of Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Liz Nichols

 

 

 

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