Cat on a Cold Tin Roof
An Eli Paxton Mystery by Mike Resnick
Review: Cincinnati PI Eli Paxton is hired to find a missing cat, one that apparently escaped while her owner was being shot dead on his bedroom balcony, in Cat on a Cold Tin Roof, the third mystery in this series by Mike Resnick.
When Paxton shows up at the Pepperidge mansion in the middle of a snowstorm to receive his assignment, he rates his chances near zero of finding the cat. Apparently the widow is sentimental about her, and pays him a $1500 retainer. And against all odds, he does find the cat. But when he returns her, Evangeline Pepperidge merely frowns.
"Where is it?" she demanded harshly.
"It's right here," I said, indicating the cat.
She swiped her arm across the counter, knocking the cat, which uttered a surprised yowl, to the floor.
"Where is it?" she said again.
"Isn't that your cat?" I asked, not totally disappointed since it meant I was still on salary.
"Of course it's my cat!"
"Then —" I began.
"Where's the collar?"
"Ma'am, the cat wasn't wearing any collar."
She glared at me for a long minute, then turned to the cop.
"Officer, arrest this man."
"For what, ma'am?" asked the surprised cop.
And, given the influence of the very wealthy Pepperidge family, Paxton is promptly taken off to prison. It turns out that the cat was wearing a collar made up of millions of dollars of diamonds, purchased with money the dead Pepperidge had stolen from a Bolivian drug cartel. Paxton soon realizes he's not the only one searching for the collar — and even more missing money — and must come up with a plan to find it while staying one step ahead of those who would see him dead.
Cat on a Cold Tin Roof starts strong with an interesting premise and ends with Paxton not only finding the collar, the missing money, and most importantly, staying alive in the process, but a whole lot of "not much happens" in between. Far too much time is spent on Paxton's relationship with his dog, Marlowe; it's kind of funny and diverting at first but quickly gets tiresome when the same routine is repeated over and over. Still, the story moves forward briskly and — the routine with Marlowe notwithstanding — doesn't take too many unnecessary sidetrips, and the supporting characters are well cast and add a touch of lightness and humor to the proceedings. A nice, quick, generally enjoyable read, but not altogether memorable.
Acknowledgment: Seventh Street Books provided a copy of Cat on a Cold Tin Roof for this review.
Review Copyright © 2014 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Trojan Colt
Seventh Street Books (Trade Paperback), June 2013
ISBN-13: 9781616147891; ISBN-10: 161614789X
Location(s) referenced in Cat on a Cold Tin Roof: Cincinnati, Ohio
— ♦ —
Cat on a Cold Tin Roof by Mike Resnick — An Eli Paxton Mystery
Publisher: Seventh Street Books
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: August 2014
List Price: $15.95
— ♦ —
Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
Mysterious Reviews is a Division of
The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books
and a Business Unit of the
Omnimystery Family of Mystery Websites