The Telltale Turtle
A Pet Psychic Mystery with Mary Catherine Roberts by Joyce and Jim Lavene
Review: Joyce and Jim Lavene introduce Mary Catherine Roberts, a middle-aged, four-times widowed (on the look out for number five), radio talk show host who also happens to be a pet psychic, in The Telltale Turtle.
Mary Catherine has returned to her hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina leaving Hollywood after the untimely death of her fourth husband. Her aunt has died and left her run-down home that she has remodeled, creating a veterinarian clinic/hospital on the first floor and her residence on the second. When she begins her pet psychic talk show on the local radio station she thinks her life is all-embracing. Of course, she wouldn't mind maybe seeking out a fifth husband to make her life complete. On her show, she offers worried pet owners advice on how to make their animals happier and easier to get along with. Her own pet, Baylor, a sizeable orange-colored tabby cat, helps her in the more perplexing situations.
When Mary Catherine finds a murdered woman, the wealthy aunt of her station manager Colin Jamison, more men enter her life than she's willing to handle. A mysterious private investigator, Charlie Dowd, becomes an unwanted side-kick. She can't figure out if he is investigating her or digging up proof of an affair Colin may be having. Bernie, a homeless handyman with a goat, shows up and offers to make repairs on her home, in exchange for a place to keep the goat. Buck Maybelle, owner of Meaty Boy Dog Food, is not only fond of Mary Catherine but wants her to take his company on as her sponsor. These characters all intertwine throughout the mystery of the murder of Colin's aunt, killed with the broken bowl of her injured turtle. Although the authorities have identified Colin as their prime suspect, the turtle somehow convinces Mary Catherine that someone else killed Colin's aunt. Will Mary Catherine be able to prove this before she herself becomes a victim of the unknown killer?
The Telltale Turtle is a riotous, imaginative story with of a most unusual woman as the lead character. The reader never knows who, or rather what, Mary Catherine will speak to next and the personalities of the various animals are a treat unto themselves. The mystery isn't demanding, and the whole concept may be a bit far-fetched for some, but it does provide an interesting twist on the standard cozy.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Telltale Turtle.
Acknowledgment: Midnight Ink provided a copy of The Telltale Turtle for this review.
Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Berkley Prime Crime (Mass Market Paperback), September 2008
ISBN-13: 9780425223307; ISBN-10: 0425223302
Location(s) referenced in The Telltale Turtle: Wilmington, North Carolina
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The Telltale Turtle by Joyce and Jim Lavene — A Pet Psychic Mystery with Mary Catherine Roberts
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: October 2008
List Price: $13.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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