Book #21: Kittens Can Kill by Clea Simon

Name: Kittens Can Kill
Author: Clea Simon
Genre: Mystery/Suspense, Romance
Available at and/or More Information: Author Website | Amazon | Goodreads
My Rating: 

Pru Malone has returned to her hometown after trying to live in the big city, which didn’t prove to be the healthiest situation. She’s established herself as an animal behaviorist, dog walker, adoption specialist, nuisance animal remover, and veterinarian assistant. While people consider her to have an incredible bond with animals, it’s actually much deeper than that. She can telepathically communicate with them.

Her latest job is assisting a local lawyer with making a home for his new addition, an adorable white kitten. What she doesn’t expect is finding her client sprawled out on the floor of his mansion or the chaotic relationship between his three daughters. The eldest accuses his death on the kitten, the middle is the black sheep of the family, and the youngest is trying to force her way into Pru’s life as an unwanted assistant. If the poor kitten has any hopes of a future, Pru will have to mediate and somehow convince them to draw a truce.

The reviews on Goodreads were mixed, with some saying they just couldn’t connect with Pru. She’s untrusting, bitter, rude, nosy, and a budding alcoholic. Her lover, a local police detective, is trying to convince her to settle down with him, but she stubbornly decided that none of her relationships will work because of her telepathy. He’ll say she’s insane and she’ll be left alone. Again.

I myself like Pru. She’s not a typical protagonist, but a unique character I haven’t met before. The author’s version of animal telepathy is also unique, in that every animal has a distinct human-like personality and advanced vocabulary.

The animals I’d dealt with preferred to name themselves — choosing monikers that reflect their inner selves a lot better than our cutesy  handles do.

While Pru struggles to stay afloat as her inner demons threaten to drown her, her animal friends gently coax her in the right direction:

“I know.” She had begun to purr as she settled into the down. “But I think  this is something more. Something disturbed him.”

If you’re looking for a cozy mystery with cutesy dogs and silly cats, then you should probably look elsewhere. Kittens Can Kill is dark; the characters are all stressed and mentally struggling to survive, even the pets. It’s not the most clever mystery I’ve ever read, but it kept my interest from start to finish.


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