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How To Paint A Cat by Rebecca M. Hale
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How To Paint A Cat is the fifth book in the Cats And Curios Mystery series.

I love this series and the author's style of writing. Ms. Hale will have two or three stories going, switching back and forth and in the end tying them all so neatly at the end. For this reader, I like to read these engrossing stories, but also take my time and think about what the author is writing so that I don't miss any of the subtleties that the author likes to use.

It's busy times in San Francisco, the interim mayor, Monty Carmichael, is about to be sworn into office. Monty got the mayoral appointment the night the young intern, Spider Jones, was found murdered at city hall. The reader will learn more about the evening that Spider was killed and just what he was working on at that time that might have been reason for his murder. Much to Oscar's niece, she also learns that the description of the two men leaving city hall, appear to be Uncle Oscar and his friend Sam.

When the "ghost" of Spider shares with the Oscar's niece to follow the "art work", she and her feline friends, Isabella and Rupert, head for museums and building that have painting from the New Deal Art Work artist. So she's off with Isabella and Rupert to find clues from the art works as to where her Uncle Oscar and Sam might be.

Most all of the characters from the previous 4 books are back to help in her search. Isabella is a big help in spotting clues during the search, while Rupert does what he does best, worry about where his next meal of fried chicken will come from.

I would recommend readers to start with book one.

Looking forward to book six ( )
  FredYoder | May 11, 2015 |
How to Paint a Cat by Rebecca M. Hale is the fifth book in the Cats and Curios series. As I mentioned in my review of book, two, Nine Lives Last Forever, the blurbs for these books are deceiving. This time, the basic plot is described in first person present tense. But despite all the many points of view which really took off in How to Moon a Cat, none of them are written in first person or in the present tense.

The Cats and Curios series continues to buck with cozy traditions by allowing stories to unfold at reasonable rates. I read two other cozy mystery series set in San Francisco: The Party Planning series by Penny Warner and the Bibliophile Mystery series by Kate Carlisle. Both these series have main characters who are plagued by murder and forced by the extreme violence in their lives to be amateur detectives. So far in five books, there has been exactly one murder and that happened at the close of book three, How to Tail a Cat. In book five, the ensemble cast of characters are still reeling from Spider Jones's brutal murder inside city hall.

Were it not for the moon and bricks, along with the cats, of course, being given points of view in How to Moon a Cat, I would have been extremely skeptical of making Spider more of a character post mortum than he was in the previous book. Along with the copious amounts of San Francisco history, there is a growing element of magical realism.

But the solving of Spider's murder is tangential to the capers Oscar's niece is asked to participate in. This time her quest through the City takes her through the history of Coit Tower and its WPA era murals.

Is Spider's murder solved? Yes and no. There's a bit of a cliff hanger which will be addressed in How to Catch a Cat coming out in 2015. Will I keep reading? You bet! ( )
  pussreboots | Aug 13, 2014 |
Another wonderful installment in the Cat and Curios series. I love this series. This time the niece solves a murder along with newspaperman Hoxton Finn. As she, Rupert, and Isabella travel through San Francisco following the clues left by James Lick, she discovers more about her uncle and the history of San Francisco. This time the history is a little more recent--the 1920's and 1930's. The usual suspects show up--Monty (will he ever leave her alone?), Dilly, and Sam. I particularly loved how Isabella and, on a lesser scale, Rupert take on more human characteristics in that they try to communicate with the niece. She does not always understand but they do try. I love the asides given in their voices. I also like following the trail to whatever her uncle wants her to find. I have to admit I would never think the murderer was who it turned out being but then I didn't think Monty would ever become the mayor of San Francisco. His will probably be a very interesting and unique mayoralty. I cannot wait for the next book. ( )
  Sheila1957 | May 1, 2014 |
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Aided by cats Rupert and Isabella, a woman investigates her Uncle Oscar's disappearance in San Francisco, hoping it has nothing to do with a murdered intern at City Hall.

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