Alice Nestleton is a forty-one-year-old actress who has been supplementing her acting jobs (now coming further and further apart) with cat sitting. Her current charge is a Russian Blue, Frenchy, who is just another object in a bitter divorce settlement.
Alice is being paid what she considers an exorbitant amount of money to do a job she dearly loves. Occasionally, her employees ask her to do little errands that involve the cat, like delivering a check for the catís extravagant tuna to a nearby bodega. While sheís in the bodega, a masked man attempts to hold up the owner.
Something startles the robber and he fires his gun directly at Alice, shooting the owner who has jumped in front of her to save her life. Shaken by the incident, Alice lets her imagination run away and she imagines that the hold-up and attempted shooting were aimed at her, dreamt up by her employer.
Feeling in danger, Alice contacts the wifeís attorney, A. G. Roth and tells him her suspicions. He assures her that she is imagining things, but begins flirting with her and attempts to start a relationship. Meanwhile, part-time actor/doorman Elias Almodovar is found stabbed in what appears to be a random mugging with one odd twist: Aliceís driverís license is found on his person. Alice still has her original driverís license and begins to suspect Elias was involved in some shady dealings, possibly involving his new girlfriend, Terry Ray.
Alice begins to spin more elaborate scenarios and begins to follow Terry Rayís and Eliasís trails, while at the same time plunging into a relationship with A.G. Much to Aliceís surprise, she does stumble onto some shady dealings involving Frenchyís family, but in an anti-climactic final scene, the bad guys turn themselves in and Alice is left to ponder a possible future with A.G.
A Cat with the Blues is a fast-paced, quick, entertaining read. While the plot is very involved, the focus of the mystery is a little off. There are many zany scenarios and Alice spins fanciful tales, yet some how it all seems to work without making Alice seem like too much of an airhead.
None of the characters is very developed and after almost twenty novels, it might be expected that at least Alice would be interesting. Her on-again-off-again beau makes one brief telephone appearance, although Alice spends a lot of time agonizing over he new relationship with A.G. possibly ending the one with Tony. The information worked into the story about cats is informative without being overbearing to non-cat lovers.
--Jennifer Monahan Winberry