Time for the L.A. County Fair again, one of my favorite times of the year. For the 3rd time in a row, I purchased a season pass. Debuting this year is Mi Poco L.A., a section of the fair dedicated to celebrating Latin-inspired food and drink, vendors, music (including a DJ), every Thursday – Sunday of the fair. I had been following the L.A. County Fair on Instagram when I learned of Mi Cafecito, a local coffee shop with a Latin flair. My tongue tingled in anticipation of the flavors of cinnamon and spices. I knew I had to sample their tasty offerings right away!

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Earlier this year I reviewed In a Dark, Dark Wood, a story about a hen party (British slang for bachelorette party) gone wrong. The setting: an isolated cottage in the woods. The main character carpools with the one girl she knows besides the bride to someone’s vacation home for a weekend of pre-wedding shenanigans.

When I received news that the bachelorette party for my dear friend and sister-in-law, Candice, was planned for weekend away at a friend’s beach house and the only girl I really knew besides the bride is the one I would be carpooling with, it put me on alert. I joked with my husband, “I’m either going to be murdered, murder someone or solve a murder. I don’t know which yet, we’ll find out on Sunday when I return home –or not!”

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I know, I know. I’m obsessed with the Klatch. But their amazing coffee, cushy couches, and delicious sandwiches make it a wonderful place to hide away for a few hours and enjoy a latte with friends. This time I decided to get my exercise on the way to the Klatch and rode two miles to the coffee shop.

Nothing like a cozy to go with my coffee.

Nothing like a cozy to go with my coffee.

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Did a black cat ever cross your path? If it did, it’s probably just looking for some petting or food, and most certainly is not interested in causing you misfortune.

With the superstition that a black cat crossing your path will bring bad luck still prominent, I try to educate people that fur is just a color and that black cats can be some of the sweetest feline companions. This is a subject close to my heart, so it was with great enthusiasm that I purchased my latest read, Black Cat Crossing, A Bad Luck Cat Mystery by Kay Finch. I would like to highlight this story because I feel it is an important one to tell. It isn’t just another cozy mystery with a kitty sleuth pal. There is a message of loving and adopting black cats.

This time of the year, when the sun sets earlier, is when I like to keep the fur babies inside. I also like to keep my cats indoors on every Friday the 13th, just for safe keeping. People can get some crazy ideas and may even try to harm the cats out of fear. This is something the main character, Sabrina, experiences first hand when she finds the neighbors in Lavender, Texas referring to a feral black cat as El Gato Diablo. 

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It’s 7:44 p.m. and people are crowding into the cafe. I try to identify what brings them here and where they are going later by their clothes, shoes, and accessories. Tonight is a night for people watching and for chatting with friends, a night when people actually talk to each other rather than stare into their phones.

Here at the Coffee Klatch, the atmosphere inside is cozy: squishy chairs and a couch, local art on the walls, and the earthy smell of coffee. A group of us meet to relax, sketch, and drink…lattes. This is Sketch Night.

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Do you love coffee, cats, or mysteries?  Would you like to learn more about a mystery featuring cats named after wines with lots of detective work done at a coffee shop? If yes, read on. If no, then you’re probably reading the wrong blog.

The Cat, The Quilt And The Corpse (A Cats in Trouble Mystery #1) by Leann Sweeney wasn’t the exact novel I was looking for when I browsed the Mystery section, but my first thought after reading the title was, “Oh no, a cat is in trouble? I must read this and find out if he is OK.” Warning – If you weren’t already drinking a coffee, this cozy will have you craving one before you or anyone else solves this mystery. So grab your latte and read on about one of the most caffeine-suggestive cozy mysteries.

Jillian Hart, a recent widow living in a small town in South Carolina, returns home from a quilter’s convention and discovers her house vandalized and her purebred cat, Syrah, is missing. Is he hiding or did someone steal him? The question transforms Jillian from quiet quilter to amateur investigator. She is your standard, lovable, crazy cat lady who lives with three purebred cats rescued from Hurricane Katrina: Syrah, the loveable Abyssinian, Chablis, a cat allergic to humans, and Merlot, a hefty Maine Coon.

I know, I promised coffee.

Where else does Jillian look for clues to find her missing cat, but Belle’s Beans, the local java hot spot in her small town. Here she meets neighbors, faces off with frenemies and yes, orders lots of coffee. The bold beverage powers her through amazing detective work, like put together a cat flyer that has already run through the shredder and sorting through old missing cat flyers at the local hoarder’s place of residence. In a town where posting flyers is not allowed, Jillian must do some real investigating to find out where her lost cat is hiding. It’s a good thing Jillian isn’t working alone. Alongside her in this investigations is Candace, a young police officer trying to solve this mystery and convince the force that it’s time to modernize their outdated technology.

Fueled by hot coffee, Jillian doesn’t rest until she has been reunited with her feline friend. But that’s only half the whodunit because in search for Syrah, a corpse has been discovered. Are these crimes related?Jillian will need more clues, so it’s back to Belle’s Beans. Does Jillian’s crime solving lead her to the killer or just make the police suspect her of the crime? To process these questions and decide who is guilty or not, you’re going to need another latte.

The story is a balance of coffee and cats. Jillian has a “cat-cam” installed at her place so she can watch her feline children anytime she is away from the house, and like the crazy cat lady she is, that’s about every time she needs to refill her mug. There’s also some kitty cuteness in the way Chablis spends have the book in a benadryl-infused haze, falling asleep just about anywhere.

Overall, The Cat, The Quilt And The Corpse is cheesy and predictable, and honestly, by the number of times this book mentions sipping coffee, ordering coffee or brewing a pot at home, you would think this book was promotional material for the coffee industry. The numerous visits to Belle’s Beans made me crave a latte every few pages. The Cat, The Quilt And The Corpse is a fun read with the essentials for this cozy lover: cats, coffee and a murder mystery. The cat lover in you will want to read this book, but first, you’ll probably need a refill on that cup of Joe.

 

Cost: $0.00 at my local library.

Drink of choice: Caramel Macchiato.