Curiosity Thrilled the Cat by Sofie Kelly is the first novel in a cosy mystery series called, The Magical Cats Mysteries. It is about a librarian named Kathleen Paulson after she moves to Maryville Heights, Minnesota where she gets adopted by two stray kitties. Owen is a tabby with a catnip addiction and Hercules is a tuxedo babe that shares Kathleen’s love of Barry Manilow. When a murder interrupts the local town’s music festival, Kathleen is labelled the prime suspect. Uncertain of how to clear her name, she very quickly learns that her new feline companions—who are more magical than she ever imagined—may be her only salvation in solving this purr-fect murder and proving her innocence.
The cats were one-hundred-percent the reason that I initially picked up this cosy little book. Normally when I pick up mysteries that advertise kitties either on the cover or within the story, they only make a handful of appearances. However, I was so pleasantly surprised that in Curiosity Thrilled the Cat, the felines are an integral part of solving the mystery and they have a very consistent presence from start to finish! Additionally, the whole book exudes animal love and respect in ways that filled my heart with an abundance of feel-good emotions.
The mystery itself is pretty formulaic to the genre, particularly an introductory volume. We have our main character—Kathleen—who is trying to focus on her work yet somehow ends up embroiled in a spot of murder and mayhem. Marked as the suspect with the evidence quickly piling up against her, Kathleen ends up playing detective to help prove her innocence. I found her theatrics more charming than other protagonists in this situation because she has an amusing sense of sarcasm and wit. Couple that with the sassy older ladies that she spends her time with, I found myself chuckling quite often whilst reading Curiosity Thrilled the Cat.
The physical crime was a bit blasé overall. The revelation of the ultimate culprit and their motives came off as somewhat anticlimactic. Most of my reactions could be attributed to two things: my familiarity with the cosy mystery genre and the build-up I may have established within my mind for it. In some ways, I’m grateful that the first book was average in terms of the murder’s intrigue as it shall ensure the following volumes won’t be a let-down. Even so, I wished for a bit of a stronger motive more than anything else.
The cats, who were my favourites in the whole novel (of course!), are deliciously enchanting, sassy, and intelligent, not to mention mischievously curious! I positively loved reading about them running off on their own and sneaking into places they really had no business being, such as the crime scene, for example. Also, discovering the nature of their special skills was wonderfully entertaining and exciting. It contributes delightfully to the harmless delinquencies that they and their owner seem to get themselves into and was one of the biggest driving points behind my desire to keep on reading unto the final pages.
All in all, I truly adored Curiosity Thrilled the Cat. I found it to be a wholly excellent first book in a lengthy series and I’m supremely thrilled (see what I did there?) to carry on with the other instalments. I highly recommend this to anyone that loves silly yet magical kitties, cosy mysteries that are more feel-good than anything else, and sweet, small town vibes with witty old ladies. It’s a charmer that shan’t be missed for readers of the genre, that’s for sure!
Publication Date: February 2011
Publisher: NAL (ISBN-13: 9780451232496)
Genre: Cosy Mystery
Series: Magical Cats Mystery (Book 1)
Page Count: 324
Content Warnings: Death via murder. Blood (mild). Mention of cat abandonment. Brief scene with injured cats. Mild sexual innuendo. Brief mention of sexual exploitation (past incident). Preparation and consumption of food. Consumption of alcohol.
GoodReads: Curiosity Thrilled the Cat by Sofie Kelly