Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pg. 99: Blaize Clement's "Even Cat Sitters Get the Blues"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Even Cat Sitters Get the Blues by Blaize Clement.

About the novel, from the publisher:
Critics and readers agree that Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter was a bona fide cozy hit. Its follow-up, Duplicity Dogged the Dachshund, won Blaize Clement a whole new set of fans. Now Floridian pet-sitting sleuth Dixie Hemingway is back in this third mesmerizing installment.

Dixie Hemingway discovers the dead body of the gatekeeper of a mansion. She’s had her fill of homicide investigations, so she leaves the corpse to be found by somebody else. But that somebody else sees Dixie leaving the scene of the crime, and the bullet that killed the man could have come from a gun she owns. To make matters worse, the owner of the mansion is a new client---a pain-wracked scientist who is either quite insane or a genius whose clandestine work may save millions of lives. Or both.

In either case, Dixie is stuck caring for him and his pet iguana. All that, plus a calico kitten Dixie is determined to save, put her right in the middle of a bizarre crisis fueled by dark secrets....
Among the praise for Even Cat Sitters Get the Blues:
"In the third Dixie Hemingway mystery (after 2007's Duplicity Dogged the Dachshund), Clement blends elements of cozy and thriller to produce an unusual and enjoyable hybrid. Pet-sitter Dixie, a former sheriff's deputy on leave after the death of her husband and daughter, finds a corpse in the gatehouse of a mansion, but leaves the body for someone else to find. Traumatized by having killed someone recently, Dixie wants nothing to do with homicide, but fate decrees otherwise. Her new client, a mysterious scientist wracked by pain, owns the mansion, and Dixie ends up caring for him and his pet iguana as she tries to solve the murder and juggle her conflicting feelings for heartthrob Lieutenant Guidry and seductive attorney Ethan Crane. Clement's deft hand with plot and characters is sure to delight readers."
--Publishers Weekly

"A call to care for an iguana involves pet-sitter Dixie Hemingway in yet another murder case.... A complicated tale of stolen secrets. Once more she puts her life on the line to save a pet and solve a crime.... An enjoyable tale."
--Kirkus Reviews

"Warning: If you have things you need to do, wait to start reading this Dixie Hemingway mystery. The plot is thick and continues to thicken, characters are real enough to make you care, and the setting so lovely and well-described that I’m tempted to pack my bags and join the southward emigration."
--Mary Garrett, Stories Make the World Go Around

"...by far the most complex of Dixie's adventures to date. This is an extremely mature piece of fiction that deals with knotty personal questions within the framework of an artfully crafted mystery. In Dixie, Clement has created a protagonist who is gutsy, sexy, caring and funny...Over the course of the three novels, Clement has pushed Dixie along from being a grieving widow to a young woman willing to open her life up to love again. That transition furnishes a subplot to 'Cat Sitters.'"
--Bob Morrison, Sarasota Herald-Tribune

"Clement puts plenty of humor in storytelling, without skipping the main ingredient, intrigue and mystery. Dixie's sleuthing in this book reveals a complicated tale of stolen secrets and she puts her life on the line to save a pet and solve a crime... the reader is held captive by the clever twists and turns Clement weaves into her story, even to the iguana eventually saving her from death at the hands of one of the bad characters... In the book Dixie declines pet sitting for clients who have pet snakes and if she'd thought it through probably would not have taken on an iguana, but then the readers would have missed a great mystery."
--Bill Duncan, The News-Review, Roseburg, Oregon
Read an excerpt from Even Cat Sitters Get the Blues, and learn more about the author and her work at Blaize Clement's website and her blog.

Earlier books in Clement's Dixie Hemingway mystery series include Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter and Duplicity Dogged the Dachshund.

The Page 99 Test: Even Cat Sitters Get the Blues.

--Marshal Zeringue