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Pouncing on Murder by Laurie Cass
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Pouncing on Murder

by Laurie Cass

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Michigan librarian and bookmobile driver Minnie Hamilton is again investigating what may be a murder on her turf. The victim, Henry Gill, is not one of Minnie’s favorite bookmobile patrons, but the maple syrup producer didn’t deserve to die as he did. Suspicions surrounding Henry’s death come from his friend Adam, who wound up having heart attack while helping Henry after his accident.

When Minnie’s evidence piles up, she wonders whether Adam might be the person being targeted and that Adam was collateral damage in the killer’s plan. But how to prove it? Minnie also copes with an upcoming book fair, bad weather, a relationship going sour, a new neighbor and various and sundry other issues.

Pouncing on Murder is a wonderful addition to a terrific series featuring Minnie and bookmobile cat Eddie. I could do with less Eddie and more Minnie. ( )
  NewsieQ | Oct 6, 2017 |
My mom got this book free at her library's book exchange area. I liked it, but I didn't love it. I liked that the main character is a librarian, and I liked that she didn't deliberately seem to set out to help the police because she thought they couldn't do as good a job as she could. I did like that she felt she could research better or more thoroughly than some other characters in the book.

I wish the cat (Eddie) had a bit more personality or quirks. I liked the town (except for the weather/coldness). It seems like it would be a nice small town to visit or live in (if it wasn't winter) ( )
  JenniferRobb | Jun 19, 2017 |
Pouncing on Murder is the fourth Bookmobile Cat mystery. Assistant Library Director Minerva 'Minnie' Hamilton still has her beloved black & white tabby, Eddie, but boyfriend Dr. Tucker Kleinow currently has a two-year fellowship at the University of Michigan and is living with his parents, with whom Minnie has trouble knowing what to say. Tucker's role in this book is texts, phone calls, and frustration for Minnie.

Meanwhile, Minnie's boss gave her only five weeks' notice that their library will be having its first book fair. Of course Stephen 'Delegation should be my middle name' Rangel leaves all the work to Minnie. Then a patron dies -- or was it murder? The victim's friend thinks so. Soon Minnie has reason to believe the friend is right, but the county sheriff's office is short-handed. Minnie is going to have plenty of juggling to do to get everything done, and the weather isn't helping.

NOTES:

Chapter 1:

a. This is Minnie's fourth spring in Chilson.

b. Julia remembers an April eight years ago during which there was no snow.

c. Minnie explains how her Aunt Frances found Julia for her.

d. Minnie's vet estimates that Eddie is roughly three years old.

e. Julia is 5' 8" [1.727 2 meters] tall to Minnie's 5 feet [1.524 meters].

f. Julia casts everyone she meets. She does it for patron Henry Gill and Eddie.

g. Minnie learns which best-selling author is her boss' high school friend.

h. Holly's husband works 1,000 miles ( 1 609.344 kilometers) to the west of Chilton, but gets home to her and their two kids, 5- year-old Anna & 6-yr-old Wilson, whenever he can.

i. Brian Terpening sends weekly trinkets to the kids, baseball cards to Wilson and hair accessories to Anna, who prefers building houses out of baseball cards. (Reminds me of how envious I was when our aunt and uncle gave my brother a cool jackknife and me a boring charm bracelet when we were kids.)

j. Josh has surprising news.

Chapter 2:

a. Eddie weighs 13 pounds (5.896 700 81 kilograms).

b. Uncle Chip's Marina is described.

c. Aunt Frances is 62 years old.

d. Chris is wearing a Detroit Tigers baseball cap. He likes Frosted Flakes cereal (known as 'Sugar Frosted Flakes' until 1983, when there was a big fuss about too much sugar in kids' cereals).

e. We get news about Minnie's obnoxious marina neighbor, Gunnar Olson.

f. There's a Superman reference.

g. Minnie has a thought involving a new term, Felis eddicus, which she also used in book three, Borrowed Crime.

h. We learn a little about making maple syrup, the modern way and the old-fashioned way.

i. Kirsten's relationship to Scruffy is recapped.

j. Here's where Minnie explains what's going on with Tucker.

Chapter 3:

a. Chilton's library is described.

b. Minnie wonders why a woman who appears to be only 40 has a husband who had heart surgery. Ahem -- my dad was only 45 when he had a then-experimental cardiac bypass. Luckily, knowing there's a 3-generation history of early heart attacks in Dad's family (Dad's dad and our older sister), my younger brother got himself to the ER within the 'golden hour' when his heart attack started a few months before his 45th birthday.

c. ESPN stands for ' Entertainment and Sports Programming Network'. (My dad watched it.)

d. There's a Malcolm Gladwell reference as well as an Ayn Rand one. (Don't get me started on how foolish her philosophy was. I'm quite sure she would have objected most strenuously had anyone decided it was in his/her best interest to kill her.)

e. Adam Deering complains about his medical bills because of his inadequate health insurance. His wife is having to work two jobs. As we learn in chapter 5, he works remotely for companies in Chicago.

f. Adam and Minnie talk about the dead library patron.

g. We learn why the sheriff's office is short-handed.

Chapter 4:

a. Minnie thinks the ceiling water stains near the door to the interview room look like dragons.

b. Eddie tends to sleep on Minnie's head when the nighttime temperature is below 60 degrees F (15.5555556 C).

c. Detective Inwood has grandchildren. Deputy Wolverson thinks they're cute.

d. Inwood spent 25 years in a big town police force before moving to Chilton.

e. This is where Minnie stops at Bub's Gas and More.

f. Minnie has an ABOS coffee mug (Association of Bookmobile

Chapter 5:

a. Authors Nicholas Sparks and Janet Evanovich are mentioned. (Good to see a man secure enough in his masculinity to read authoresses as well as authors.)

b. The Poky Little Puppy, Old Yeller, and the Chet and Bernie mysteries by Spencer Quinn are suggested. (I've listened to a few of those mysteries and Chet the dog makes a fun narrator.)

c. Minnie thinks about explanations she's heard for thick spring fogs. She also paraphrases the first line from Carl Sandburg's poem, 'Fog', and adds a line about Eddie. http://carl-sandburg.com/fog.htm

d. Minnie doesn't like pea soup. Her mom made it a few days after she baked a ham.

e. Irene Deering's night job is at the Mitchell Street Pub. In chapter 7 we learn she tends the bar there.

d. A book by Michael Chabon is mentioned.

e. Stephen King's Christine, book and movie, are mentioned.

f. Tucker isn't interested in horror novels. Read here for what he said to Minnie about them.

g. Inwood hates pea soup and tells Minnie that stain on the interview room ceiling isn't a dragon.

h. Minnie hears her mother's voice in her head, giving advice.

i. A Magic 8 Ball is mentioned. (I still have mine!. My gosh, Mattell is selling a Magic 8 Ball app now.) http://www.mattelgames.com/en-us/magic-8-ball/index.html )

j. Henry Gill used to be an insurance agent who worked for a company in Petoskey.

k. The book Stephen gave Minnie is real.

Chapter 6:

a. Irene tells Minnie about Seth Wartella, a man who might have a grudge against Adam.

b. Minnie's mother's voice is in her head again.

Chapter 7:

a. Last winter, Minnie bought some vintage shoes at Pam Fazio's antique shop, Older Than Dirt. They make her think of Laura Ingalls Wilder. (See chapter 14 of Borrowed Crime.)

b. Inwood always leaves a big tip at Cookie Tom's.

c. It's now Friday.

d. Enter the McCades, who were introduced in book 2, Tailing a Tabby.

e. We learn how Bill D'Arcy's eyes are doing. (Bill was introduced in book one, Lending a Paw. Here he's described as being 56 years old, although he was only 52 when introduced. (So, is his wife, Sabrina, only a volunteer waitress at the Round Table diner these days -- and cutting her hours so someone who needs to work for a living can get a job?)

f. David Thumm, the only person to dislike Henry Gill when his wife was alive, is mentioned.

g. Irene Deering's day job is being a bank loan officer at the bank in Chilson.

h. Author Louise Penny is mentioned.

Chapter 8:

a. Henry Gill's house's exterior and his sugar shack are described.

b. There's a speculation about Abraham Lincoln.

c. Minnie likes Shomin's Deli's Swiss cheese and green olives on sourdough bread.

Chapter 9:

a. Minnie mentions her mother's bachelor brother and a quality members of the Rivard family do not have. (Minnie must have gotten hers from the Hamilton side.)

b. Aunt Frances is a friend of Ash Wolverson's mother, Lindsey. She tells Minnie something about Ash's childhood that explains something Minnie found odd about the handsome deputy. (Also, Ash's father had grown up next door to Aunt Frances' late husband, Everett. On the other hand, Aunt Frances doesn't feel that what happened to Ash's dad is her story to tell.)

c. Aunt Frances has moved one of her photographs.

d. Minnie thinks anchovies are only 'okay'.

e. Minnie can cook, she just doesn't like to.

f. The friendly criticizing of boat launching is a popular pastime in Chilson.

g. Adam Deering is a fan of wooden boats.

h. One of Cynthia Voight's novels is mentioned (I suspect Minnie is exaggerating the number of times she's reread it).

i. We learn how Eddie feels about the cotton throw Minnie's brother, Matt, and sister-in-law (who live in Florida) gave to her for Christmas.

j. Minnie listens to a Canadian group, the Bare Naked Ladies.

Chapter 10:

a. We learn what Pam Fazio did in Ohio, before she moved to Chilson a year ago. She wants it kept secret.

b. Minnie names three well-known social media sites.

Chapter 11:

a. John Sandford's thrillers set in Minnesota are mentioned.

b. Neva Chatham used to date Henry Gill's late older brother back in the day.

Chapter 12:

a. Minnie gives her opinion of Holly's chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter fudge. (She'll never tell her mom her opinion of the latter.)

b. A Shomin's Deli scene can be found here.

Chapter 13:

a. Mr. Mistoffelees from Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats is mentioned, as are Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce mysteries (good series!), the song 'Tomorrow' from the musical 'Annie', and 'Monty Python's Life of Brian'.

b. Minnie learns some of Neva Chatham's back story.

c. Minnie is reading All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

d. A text exchange with Tucker puts Mrs. Hamilton's voice in her daughter's head again.

Chapter 14:

a. Reading The Children of Greene Knowe helped Minnie choose her bedroom wall color when she was eight years old.

b. Minnie thinks her cat holds her to the same moral code as her mother.

c. Rafe has a cousin Dave who does plumbing work.

Chapter 15:

a. Minnie pulls out Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel for some Daycare kids visiting the bookmobile.

b. The Black Jack Rafe is brushing on to his chimney might be Black Jack roof cement.

c. Minnie meets a new neighbor at Uncle Chip's Marine, Eric Apney from Grand Rapids.

Chapter 16:

a. Aunt Frances is teaching a class in wood turning.

b. Mrs. Larabeth Duvall is described, as is the chain of specialty food stores (Dwyer) that she inherited.

c. The Lansing, Michigan mentioned is the home of the MediaWest Con, an annual convention for science fiction and media fans that's held over the Memorial Day weekend, I went to the one in 1993 -- still have the great fantasy jewelry and fanzines I bought, not to mention the con T-shirt. http://www.mediawestcon.org/

Chapter 17:

a. Pam Fazio grew up next door to Felix Stanton back in Ohio. She and Minnie talk about Felix.

b. Minnie tells us one of her dad's favorite aphorism and how she learned its meaning (involves Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple).

c. Neva Chapham's kitchen is described. Her dad's boat was his dad's boat first.

Chapter 18:

a. Minnie's usual bookmobile lunch is a peanut butter & jelly sandwich and a bag of potato chips.

b. Pam volunteers some of her personal items for a display at the book fair.

c. Janine, Felix's assistant, is described.

d. Personally, I would have left 'Annual' off the 'First Annual Chilson District Library Book Fair' sign, but I'm not that optimistic.

e. This is Minnie's first time being on her houseboat during a big storm.

Chapter 19:

a. Regarding heavy use of cell phones and cancer: http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/radiation/cell-phones-... , https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007151.htm (Thank you, National Library of Medicine!)

b. Yes, Minnie, poster paint is still available.

c. We learn how hard the wind was blowing during the storm.

d. Minnie never went through an obsessed-with-horses phase.

e. Minnie doesn't know whether to laugh or cry at a recipe in one of the books available at the fair.

Chapter 20:

a. Minnie thinks of the initialism 'TSTL' ('Too stupid to live'). (If TSTL were pronounced like a word instead of sounding out each letter, it would be an acronym.)

b. For heaven's sake, did no one ever teach Minnie the move that can break the elbow of some jerk who clamps a hand on you? (Of course, my college self-defense class was meant to protect against rapists, so virtually every move was designed to cripple, maim, or kill the attacker.)

Chapter 22:

a. Uh, oh -- Aunt Frances addresses her niece as 'Minerva Joy Hamilton'. (USA Parents and other relatives old enough to have authority over children let them know how much trouble they're in by how much of their name they use. First name only -- not too bad. First and middle name -- definitely worse. First, middle, and last name means the kid is in BIG trouble.)

b. The warmest place any of Sabrina's relatives live is Escanaba (Delta County, Michigan).

c. Aunt Frances is going to teach a boat restoration class in the fall.

d. Josh's house is described.

e. Stephen tells Minnie about a change in plans.

It's another good entry in a good series for fans of cozies, libraries, and cats. The running gag of what Detective Ironwood is doing when Minnie needs him was cute. ( )
  JalenV | Jul 12, 2016 |
Nice twisty story. People aren't all what they seem, of course. ( )
  bgknighton | Jun 21, 2016 |
It's often a challenge for an author to keep a series going; to keep it fresh with new plots, yet with the same characters. Laurie Cass has more than met that challenge and the fourth in the Bookmobile Cat Mystery series is even better than the previous three. Minnie, and her delightfully irascible cat Eddie, set off to determine who is responsible for the demise of a bookmobile patron and friend. Through a series of twists and turns, will they be successful, or will this one get the best of them? I eagerly await the next in this series to tell me where Eddie and Minnie end up next.
~ Linda Thompson, Host of TheAuthorsShow.com ( )
  lst0222 | Jan 25, 2016 |
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Epigraph
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To Jon.
Always.
FYI [For your information], this is your fifth dedication.
Not that it's a contest or anything.
First words
Throughout the long winter, I'd often dreamed about the month of April.
Quotations
[Minnie is recapping how Eddie became the bookmobile cat.] He'd stowed away on the maiden voyage and quickly become an integral part of the services we offered. Books, magazines, DVDs [digital versatile or video discs], video games, and Eddie hair, not necessarily in that order.' (chapter 1)
[Minnie is driving through thick fog.]
Creeping in on little cat feet, it was. Not Eddie feet, though, because Eddie's feet were big enough for a cat twice his size and he was only occasionally capable of moving silently. Any other cat would be as soundless as this fog, insidious and sticky, clever and ... and what was that? (chapter 5).
I was too five feet tall. No more, but certainly no less . . .
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451476549, Mass Market Paperback)

Curl up with the latest from the national bestselling author of Borrowed Crime...

Springtime in Chilson, Michigan, means it's librarian Minnie Hamilton's favorite time of year: maple syrup season! But her excitement fades when her favorite syrup provider, Henry Gill, dies in a sugaring accident. It’s tough news to swallow...even if the old man wasn’t as sweet as his product. 

On the bookmobile rounds with her trusty rescue cat Eddie, Minnie meets Adam, the old man's friend, who was with him when he died. Adam is convinced Henry’s death wasn’t an accident, and fears that his own life is in danger. With the police overworked, it's up to Minnie and Eddie to tap all their resources for clues—before Adam ends up in a sticky situation...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 16 Jul 2015 23:16:38 -0400)

"On bookmobile rounds with her trusty rescue cat Eddie, librarian Minnie Hamilton meets Adam, the friend of her maple syrup provider who was killed in a sugaring accident. Adam doesn't believe it was an accident because he saw someone running away from the scene. Now Adam may be in danger so Minnie and Eddie decide to investigate"--… (more)

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