Okay, so for Coming Soon Sundays – #CSSundays – I’ve got a fantastic book for you. This book had me at the title. The cover and the blurb just sucked me in that much more.
Series: Cam and Jake Cat Sitter Mysteries
Author: Quinn Dressler
Cover Artist: AngstyG
Release date: Jun 29, 2016
Cat-sitting is a dangerous business.
Cameron Sherwood turned his back on law enforcement the night his investigation led to the death of an innocent gay man. Now Cam spends his time running a business that caters to his favorite animal, cats. But when Cam stumbles upon the body of a friend while feeding her feline, he can’t walk away. Dealing with a sexy yet stubborn sheriff, a matchmaking sister, and a terrifying blind date, Cam must somehow track down a killer, all while keeping the cats around him fed with his gourmet cat treats.
As I stepped into the living room, the small of my back itched. My hand whirled around my side, reaching for the Glock 23 that no longer nestled between my belt and my skin.
This was ridiculous.
I hadn’t carried a gun for three years, not since I handed my boss a paper that clearly stated, right under the NCIS logo, that Cameron Sherwood was no longer available to do his dirty work. I no longer faced armed terrorists or drug dealers with alarming frequency. These days the worst adversary I came across was a puffed-up cat sporting unsheathed claws.
So why did I reach for a nonexistent gun?
Everything looked normal. Fran Welch always kept her living room in pristine shape. I didn’t care for her color scheme. White furniture on top of a cream carpet was a little too sterile for me, but she didn’t pay me to criticize her taste.
She did, however, pay me to take care of her cat while she was gone. Speaking of Mr. Muffin Tops….
“Here, kitty, kitty, kitty.” I jiggled the plastic bag up and down. “I have your favorite treats.”
Where was that cat? Usually I only had to shake the bag once. The spoiled boy would appear out of nowhere, twining himself between my legs. Then he’d open his mouth, ready to accept any morsel of tuna, sautéed in salmon oil, which happened to drop his way.
A breeze whipped through the open door, causing the drapes to flutter. The rest of the room was dead still.
“Here, Mr. Muffin Tops. Come on, boy.”
Ms. Welch trusted me to care for her baby while she was in New York. I had to find him.
I shut the front door, then moved farther into the house. I kept an eye on my feet, not wanting to step on anything important. A habit I picked up years ago while walking through crime scenes.
Why was I being so cautious? So a cat didn’t come when I called. That didn’t mean I was walking into trouble. The small of my back needed to get with the program.
I scratched my back, then made myself walk like a normal person, not caring what I stepped on. Ms. Welch might have shut the cat up in the kitchen when she left this morning, although she never had before.
When I stepped into the hall, the itch intensified into a full-fledged hackle. There on the left, the den door hung open, a sure sign that something was wrong.
Ms. Welch’s den was her workroom, the place where she planned her fabulous parties, and like any work area, it was a mess. She left the door open once and I accidently got a look inside. We were both mortified, and immediately pretended that it never happened. Ms. Welch’s home was her showcase. She never wanted visitors to see anything as ordinary as a pile of papers on the desk. She certainly wouldn’t leave on a trip without pulling that door closed.
Back in stealth mode—I couldn’t help myself—I tiptoed toward the den. Now I really missed my Glock. I searched the hallway for another weapon. An oil painting of a ship sailing through a hurricane hung on the opposite wall. Such a small ship was doomed to be swamped by the intense waves surrounding it. I hoped I wasn’t about to suffer the same fate.
I bunched my fingers into a fist and looked through the open doorway. My caution was justified. The den was a disaster.
Ripped from their shelves, dozens of Ms. Welch’s books littered the floor. Scattered papers covered every surface of the room, and the drawers of the filing cabinet hung open and empty. A broken vase lay next to a smashed computer monitor, the desktop covered with fragments of glass and pottery. Someone had torn a photograph of Ms. Welch into pieces. She smiled at me from one large fragment, her heart-shaped pendant around her neck.
A quiet yowl came from the right. I risked a step inside. A huddled mass of fur lay on the rug under the window.
“Mr. Muffin Tops!”
His legs twitched as he tossed from side to side, like he was groggy and trying to clear his thoughts. Blood pooled on top of his head, coating the orange fur between his ears with red.
I had to get him to a vet. Forgetting about being careful, I crossed in front of the desk, then stopped cold.
Ms. Welch lay on the floor, between the workspace and the cat. Her skirt hiked up, revealing far too much of her leg, her blood seeping into the beige carpet.
Blood from a very big hole in her chest.
About the author:
Quinn’s always been thinking up stories. A shy kid, she conjured up adventures while walking home from school. At first she only kept her tales to herself, then she shared them through fan fiction and short stories. She got a job with local TV stations, passing on noteworthy events to viewers on the evening news, winning a Golden Mic and three Emmy awards. Now as long as her cats don’t help her by walking on her keyboard, she’s working on writing more stories so everyone can enjoy them.
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