Mandy Morton’s highly original No. 2 Feline Detective Agency is back with The Michaelmas Murders, with the detecting team of Hettie Bagshot and her assistant Tilly Jenkins being handed their strangest case yet.

Back from their late summer holiday, the cats are in need of funds, so when Fluff Wither-Fork of Wither-Fork Hall asks them to come around immediately, they are hopeful of adding to their coffers.

The new case is that of a bludgeoned cat found on the allotments that Fluff owns, across the road from Wither-Fork Hall. A stranger to the area, the male cat’s coat and fine clothing are drenched from the overnight rain and his body found right on Bonny Grubb’s onion patch.

None of the other cats on the allotments can identify the body, and are soon busy as preparations gear up for the Michaelmas Festival, and the Flower and Vegetable Show on the following day, as Hettie and Tilly try to interview the various cats.

This is where the real fun comes in. Morton’s world of cats is divine and the felines who people the allotments stand out as distinct personalities, with different families, appearances, backgrounds, and eccentricites. Many have heartaches in their pasts, too–could any of those incidents have triggered this murder?

Then a second cat is found dead in her bed, savagely stabbed, and Hettie and Tilly ramp up their efforts and their investigation to find the culprit.

This charming series, set in a world without humans, nevertheless examines foibles that affect us all. There are sly references to human deeds and fun names for the cats residing alongside this irresistible world where happiness can often be a warm bed and full, purring belly.

Not just for cat fanciers, Morton delivers a fine cozy mystery readers everywhere will enjoy.

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