International Kittens of Mystery by Chris Dolley

International Kittens of Mystery by Chris Dolley
Publisher: Book View Cafe
Genre: Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Children’s (0 – 6 y.o.)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Xerantheumum

In an uncertain world there is one organization that stands head and small furry shoulders above the rest. Whenever the planet is in danger – be it from giant balls of wool or bands of renegade squirrels – only one group is guaranteed to answer the call.

The International Kittens of Mystery!

This is a journal of their stories. For the first time, cameras have been allowed into one of their top secret training camps – Training Camp Alpha. A camp where, under the supervision of pet humans, recruits are shown not only how to save the world but also how to manage their secret identities.

If you like a fun story with pictures of cute kittens saving the planet, this is the book for you.

The first few pages introduce a reader to the goal of the international kittens and their technology, like wickerbowl personal transporters, the orbiting kitten command center, and the stars of the book, Kai (Persian/Tabby), Xena (Tabby) and The Tribbles (Five Bright Orange Gingers). I was immediately charmed, enchanted and hilariously entertained.

The book is illustrated with actual photos of kittens, so this really appealed to the cat lover inside me. The imagined secret agent talents of kittens is a joyous hoot. I was tickled pink about the explanation as to why the kitten’s eyes were a funny color after flying practice and the application of the “Power of Cute”.

I cracked up about the alien death ray device and aliens from the planet, Sheep. Seriously, there are a lot of veiled pop culture references young kids may not get but their parents certainly will, making this little book a hit with kids and adults alike.

There’s even a short plot of mystery that the international kittens of mystery must solve – the president’s wife has been kidnapped! Who would do such a thing? How are they going to save the president’s wife?

This little book is too cute for words. Thank goodness for great kitten shots, secret agents and amazing feline ‘technology’ to save the day. International Kittens of Mystery was a fun read.

Striking Range by Margaret Mizushima

Striking Range by Margaret Mizushima
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Snowdrop

A deadly secret is buried in the Colorado high country–and murder is only the beginning in the seventh gripping installment of Margaret Mizushima’s Timber Creek K-9 mysteries.

He was suspect number one–the man who tried to kill Deputy Mattie Cobb and may have killed her father thirty years earlier. But when Mattie and cold case detective Jim Hauck reach the Colorado state prison where they will finally get to interview him, he’s found dead in his cell. There’s only one clue: a map leading to Timber Creek and rugged Redstone Ridge.

Though she usually works with veterinarian Cole Walker, Mattie’s K-9 partner Robo has just sired a litter of pups, who require special, time-consuming care at Cole’s clinic. Left to explore the map’s clue without him, Mattie and Robo journey into the burned forest surrounding Redstone Ridge. But before they can finish their search they’re called to help investigate the death of a young woman found in a campground filled with elk hunters. Identification of the deceased points to her having recently given birth, but the infant is nowhere to be found.

As a deadly storm descends upon the mountains, covering everything with a layer of ice and snow, Mattie and her team search for the missing newborn. The storm batters the area, taking its toll on the team and forcing the sheriff to call in reinforcements. When new evidence surfaces, they decide that finding the woman’s killer will lead them to her baby, making them even more desperate to solve the case.

Then Cole goes missing, stranded alone in the high country with a person that Mattie now suspects is the mastermind behind several murders, including her father’s. She and Robo take to the trail to find Cole–but the killer has a cold-blooded plan that threatens them all.

There hasn’t been a Timber Creek book I haven’t liked. I haven’t read every one of the series, which is my loss, but when you put a good female cop and a K-9 together I’m already picking it up as fast as I can. There is always a good story line to add to these neat characters. This time Deputy Mattie Cobb thinks she may have found the man who tried to kill her and who possibly killed her father. While hoping to speak with him, she gets a call that a young mother has been killed and her child is missing. Mattie and her K-9, Robo, are called in to help.

As you can see, there are a certain number of layers to this story. While I have read other books that made this confusing, the author seems to weave all of this into an intricate and enjoyable story. I can’t help but love Robo and the relationship between him and Mattie. I can’t help but be glad about the relationship between Mattie and veterinarian Cole Walker. It isn’t just layers of crime and plotting that Margaret Mizushima weaves together. By adding these relationships, it makes this series even more of an ongoing story. It doesn’t seem to matter if it is the interaction with Robo, or the budding relations with Cole Walker, it all gives the story a depth that keeps me turning the pages.

Striking Range is Book 7 of a series titled A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery. You don’t need me to tell you what a great book this was. The number of reviews on each book in this series will convince you. Wow.