Raining Cats and Cats

Fiction - Mystery - Sleuth
216 Pages
Reviewed on 04/30/2023
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Author Biography

Maggie Pill, cozy mystery writer, is also Peg Herring, mystery author. Maggie is younger and much cooler.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Delene Vrey for Readers' Favorite

Lorilee Porter and her ward Jesse Pall have settled into a comfortable routine, which is thrown sideways by Hurricane Ian. Since the Homeowners Association has limited the number of cats Lorilee is allowed to have in her house at eight, she has to be very careful on how to protect the displaced cats affected by the devastation of the hurricane. Jesse helps the vet at the local animal shelter gather and care for the lost animals after school, which is the highlight of his day. When her spiteful neighbor Mitzi’s eldest son, Chris, is suspected of being part of a group of thieves that target high-end properties, Lorilee and Jesse cannot help but become involved in the effort to try to clear Chris’s name. In this fun cozy mystery, Lorilee has to practice her anger management techniques and keep her sarcastic thoughts to herself. Jesse has to navigate the new school and figure out who his friends are and who aren’t. For a seventy-something widow who does not like people, Lorilee has a way of sticking her neck out for people she thinks deserve her help. Raining Cats and Cats by Maggie Pill is the second in the series and is a relaxing read.

Raining Cats and Cats by Maggie Pill is written using relevant allusions to movies and characters known to everyone but with special meaning to teenagers, showing Lorilee Porter's youthful spirit despite her age. She has a loving heart for cats and the one or two stray humans that come across her path. As a retired Child Services worker, she has much experience to draw on when interacting with emotionally lost teenagers, who tend to drift her way. Many social themes, like teenage vulnerability, greed, and using intellectual skills to commit crimes, are touched upon. The most prominent theme for me was bullying, both for children that are different but also for children bullying grownups, as nasty Gregg does by spying on Lorilee and Jesse. Pill accurately captures the ease with which a social group can turn on its own, even when there is no proof of what that person is accused of. The Cats and Crimes series is one I recommend if you are looking for a cozy read with some humor and relatable content.

Pikasho Deka

Raining Cats and Cats is a whodunnit mystery novel by Maggie Pill. Lorilee Porter is an elderly widow who has a close bond with cats. Living in Florida in a house full of stray cats and a semi-adopted teenager named Jess Pall, Lorilee finds herself in a conundrum when her annoying neighbor Mitzi Talbot's teenage son, Chris, becomes embroiled in a criminal investigation that Mitzi can't help but delve into. Meanwhile, Jess, who works at the local veterinarian's clinic, develops an unlikely friendship with Chris alongside a crush on a girl named Birdy. With Chris on the verge of going to juvenile prison, Lorilee and Jess take it upon themselves to clear Chris' name and find the real culprits behind the home robberies that led to the death of Ricky Fulmer, only to end up in a precarious situation themselves.

A captivating sleuth story full of mystery, intrigue, and many cats doing cat things, Raining Cats and Cats is just the book you need for a cozy afternoon. Maggie Pill weaves an absorbing yarn for whodunnit aficionados and cat lovers, a tale filled with suspense and plenty of thrills. The fast-paced plot has its share of curveballs, immersing you in the pages until the end. But it's the well-developed characters that steal the show. Lorilee and Jess have a mentor/parent relationship dynamic and bond over their mutual love of animals. I also enjoyed the distinct quirky traits of each cat in the story. As someone who has grown up around cats in the house and lives with two goofy furballs, I thoroughly enjoyed the story and can't recommend it enough.

Courtnee Turner Hoyle

Raining Cats and Cats by Maggie Pill introduces Lorilee Porter, who lives in Tampa, Florida, with eight cats and her teenage ward Jess. Lorilee is reclusive, Jess is a loner, and the two of them share a love of cats. After Hurricane Ian, Chris, the son of Lorilee’s neighbor, is detained for a robbery that led to the death of one of his friends. It seems that Chris’s car ended up in a lake with stolen goods inside and he swam away from it, leaving his friend to drown. His mother claims he was sick and went to bed early. Lorilee and Jess think that Chris’s actions are out of character and resolve to prove him innocent.

Maggie Pill delivers a healthy dose of sarcasm through her depiction of Lorilee. The story is told from two perspectives, so readers will view the events from both Lorilee's and Jess’s viewpoints with sage witticisms and a generous measure of teenage jargon. In addition to the main plot, readers will pick up many interesting facts about cats, their physiology, and their care, as Lorilee takes in strays and boarders, while Jess’s job involves helping a veterinarian. On many occasions, books focus on the brave actions of younger protagonists, but Lorilee is an older sleuth, and she proves that her age and connections help her as she and Jess work together to solve a crime that goes much deeper than most people would believe. Readers who enjoy cozy mysteries with pets will love Raining Cats and Cats.