Review of “Dead Men and Cats”, by Aya Walksfar

Shadow Island is such a peaceful place to live.  Not on the regular tourist routes, it is a safe, quiet place for its denizens to live and love as they wish.

Until the hate crimes start.

A cat with its fur on fire, let loose in a bookstore.

A man found dead in a rowboat, a small calico kitten desperately clinging to safety.

And the worst thing, a well-known and well-loved businessman found murdered in his home, a cruelly-mutilated cat strewn across his body.

Who is doing these heinous things in such a peaceful place?  And, since the local sheriff has voiced negative opinions about the targets of these crimes, can he be considered a good choice for finding and bringing in the murderers?

Janie and Megan have their own ideas of who might be responsible, and, even thought they have been friends with the sheriff all their lives, they do not think that he will allow his job duties to overcome his prejudices.  They take it on themselves to probe every clue and question every suspect that comes their way.

Questions get answers under their unprofessional yet productive methods, and secrets revealed, until the mystery is solved and Shadow Island can return to its peaceful existence.

 

This is a brilliantly-written story.  I loved the characters; they were so very real.  Their relationships, cast in such warm, caring light by the author, was such a wonderful counterbalance to the terrible crimes that were committed.  Even everyday actions, such as having dinner, were detailed out in such a way as to make the reader feel at  home.  Safe.

The crimes could have been committed against any group of people who seem different due to color, gender, foreign origins, etc.  What the big thing is, and what the story relates, is this:  love will still conquer all.  No amount of bullying or hate crimes will ever change that.

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