The first cozy mystery in a long long time that I read in a single sitting. I didn't feel weighed down by the usual A+B+C+D equals cozy mystery plot devices and characterizations that are seemingly overwhelming the genre of late, commonalities which ultimately forced me to step away from the genre until recently. I feel my delight can be attributed equally to the frothy yet fast paced writing style with the occasional "big word" thrown in when you least expected, real and complex secondary characters that never ventured into caricature, a mystery that twisted a little this way and a little that way dotting the story with red herrings and clues and a likable and relatable lead whose gender, male, saved him from some of the more annoying aspects of recent cozies.
Just to be clear, I'm not trashing the cozy genre, I first started reading cozies almost 13 years ago and discovered some wonderful authors and series, some of the authors have disappeared, some of the series went into decline and other series barely made it out of the starting gate before they were sent to series heaven. I discovered new authors in the more recent past that have intrigued me enough to add them to my annual buy/read rotation but more and more I have found myself never moving beyond the first book in a series, annoyed by character, cliche or both and months seemed to pass with no cozy to read. I don't deny that I can be a difficult taskmaster, as a reader, I want to be pleased, don't we all, but pleasing me takes more than formulaic books churned out like Hershey bars.
I'm tired of misplaced anger played as the indignation of a strong woman, tired of love triangle that are nothing more that overplayed and uninventive plot devices and word count boosters, tired of the bumbling police officer who is always three steps behind the lead protagonist . . . I could go one but neither want to sound cranky or offend, plus this is about a book I did like, no love.
I've found a new series and that is no small thing. I even loved the cat, which if you know me, you know how I feel about animal companions being given a place of prominence in cozies, despite my love of all animals in my real life. There was but one small fault, it was over much to soon and now I am forced to wait for another Cat in the Stacks Mystery.