Mimi Lee Gets a Clue by Jennifer J. Chow is the first book in her Sassy Cat Mystery series. As a big fan of cozy mysteries and cute animals, the adorable illustrated cover sold me instantly.
Mimi opens a grooming shop called Hollywoof. She hopes to cater to the dog clientele of Los Angeles. Even though it’s clear that Mimi prefers dogs, her sister gives her a fluffy white cat. He is aptly named Marshmallow. Quite soon, Mimi starts hearing Marshmallow talk. She thinks she is overworked or possibly going crazy. The cat can telepathically speak to Mimi and no one else. Mimi starts to believe when the cat helps talk to some chihuahuas they encounter with injuries. They all came from a shady dog breeder named Russ Nolan. Inspired by Marshmallow’s sassy attitude and Mimi’s passion for dogs, she goes to Nolan’s house to tell him off. Unfortunately, the next day he turns up dead, and Mimi is a prime suspect! She decides to solve the case to clear her name. She enlists her attractive lawyer neighbor to help her pro bono. As a side benefit, they begin a burgeoning slow-burn romance. Mimi’s mom is quite pleased with this development too. While unraveling the mystery, we meet Mimi’s sweet family and her colorful customers.
This mystery is a fun send-up of LA seen through the eyes of a dog groomer. Most of the jokes are pretty accessible if you’ve not lived here as I do. There’s a demanding wife of a film producer and her poorly treated personal assistant. I found the dog breeders and kennel association characters the funniest. The mystery wasn’t too predictable. And the climax was satisfying. I’d recommend this to fans of Best in Show, cozy mysteries, and books with talking animal characters. I will definitely keep reading because who doesn’t want more Marshmallow and Mimi adventures?
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