cozy mysteries with cats

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Sherlock Herms in…Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire
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Sherlock Herms in…Feral Informants
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Sherlock Herms in… A Meatball Lunch with a Side Order of Clues
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Sherlock Herms in Ghost Hunter Blues
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A Sherlock Herms Flashback: The Case of Mrs. Shallowford’s Ghost
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Sherlock Herms – What Lies Beyond The Doggy Door?
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Sherlock Herms in…Down the Rabbit Hole
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Sherlock Herms Purranormal Mysteries – Now on Amazon.com
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Sherlock Herms in…Intimations
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Sherlock Herms Meets Evie Pees

Sherlock Herms in…Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire

Previously on Sherlock Herms in Feral Informants.

Mom sighed as she disconnected her phone. “This ghost hunting career of yours has turned dangerous,” she said to me. “And I’m mad at myself that I’ve been too distracted setting up this bed and breakfast to notice what’s been happening right under my roof.”

“I’m getting out of the purranormal biz. At least I hope to,” I reassured as I led her downstairs and out the front door where Dori sat on the porch steps. “What did you find?”

Dori swiped a paw across her weepy eyes. “Nacho led me to Violet’s grave. He said Dottie is buried there, too.”

Mom abruptly went back inside. I wondered if she was nervous about what I’d asked her to do and needed to pee, or was backing out of our plan to trap Dottie’s killer in a confession. But then she returned with scissors and a large shopping tote that smelled like bread. As she snipped several yellow Julia Child roses from the nearby bushes she said, “Crawl inside the tote, under the bread loaves. Patty Kiss claims to be allergic to cats. She won’t allow me inside her home if she sees you.”

I pushed aside the crusty loaves to settle at the bottom of the tote. Dori climbed in beside me. As Mom carried us to the house next door, I whispered the plan to Dori. She seemed uncharacteristically subdued. “Hoomons can be so dissy-pointing.” I couldn’t agree more.

I heard Mom whisper, “It’s show time!” and ring the doorbell. A moment passed before the door opened and I heard Patty Kiss say to Mom, “What a surprise.”

“I was on my way home from the store,” Mom told her, “but when I saw how pretty my roses were, I cut a few for your home.”

“Thank you,” Patty said. “My grandmother planted those bushes years ago. But she never shared them with me.”

“Cuz yoo is a bad lady,” Dori whispered inside the tote, and I told her to Shhh. Read More

Sherlock Herms in…Feral Informants

Previous episode: Sherlock Herms in…A Meatball Lunch with a Side Order of Clues.

As I zoomed for the cat colony behind my house, my whiskers sizzled with suspicion. I’d had my A-Ha moment when our nonagenarian neighbor, Fjarskarfinn Skredskarvig—aka Finn—mentioned Patty Kiss may have been upset when her grandmother, Violet, left her multi-million dollar estate to Dottie.

Upset enough to murder her sister? Maybe not, but it was a good clue.

I had plans to chat with Patty Kiss, who was the realtor who sold us our home, but I needed more than a meatball-making old lady’s suggestion that she had motive. Finn said Dottie would never leave town with a strange man. She loved her cats too much, especially the homeless kitties in the colony. Yet that’s was what Patty Kiss told everyone. Dottie ran off with a strange boyfriend.

Amazing how one little suggestion had started to fill in the missing pieces to the puzzle of how Dottie got dead.

Dottie’s colony lived in the woodland park behind our home. I didn’t have to search long to find them. Dottie had built shelters among the thick brush by the pond. At a glance I saw ten cats, but my strong sense of smell told me there were more. My heart hurt for them, not having a home. No longer having Dottie to care for them. Did they hunt? Or did kind hoomons bring them noms and fresh water? Read More

Sherlock Herms in… A Meatball Lunch with a Side Order of Clues

Previous episode:  Sherlock Herms in Ghost Hunter Blues.

Sprawled on a bench across the road from our house in the town of Welcome Home, I absently watched a dozen piping plovers skip along the sandy beach. There was no cool breeze to ruffle my floofy fur as summer had settled like a steamy wet blanket over the Mitten State. Plus the air stank of dead fish (and not in a yummy way.)

I felt depressed. Splintered into pieces. Everyone was mad at me.

Dottie the ghost girl had disappeared while I was having fun at Blogpaws, a pet bloggers conference where I go every year to hang out with my fans. It wasn’t my fault. I’d run out of time and couldn’t help her find the Light before we left town. But Dori blamed me, and so did Charley and the others.

I didn’t care. Let them be mad. It was high time I took control of my life instead of letting Dori and Charley and my WAD team lead me around by the choke chain.

I’m not selfish. I appreciate that sometimes dead hoomons need help. But why me? Others were available to help, like James Van Praagh, John Edward, and the new kid, Tyler Henry—the Hollywood Medium. They talked to dead hoomons all the time. In fact, the kid had an unnaturally cheerful way of doing it. The right attitude!

I wanted to be a detective. Search for clues. Solve mysteries—and not about why a hoomon got dead. That stuff depressed the dickens outta me. I was on the eighth of my nine lives. Time was running out. I wanted to spend my remaining life doing happy stuff.

So I told Charley and my WAD team that I was closing the Wonderpurr Detective Agency. Closing it right after I found out why Dottie the ghost girl got dead, and maybe helped her find the Light. I had to help her. Dori said it was the right thing to do, and I agreed.

I had a notebook open beside me filled with scribbles. Tyler Henry scribbled when he channeled what dead hoomons wanted to tell him. So far all I had was squiggles and doodles, and car-paw tunnel from holding my purple crayon too tight.

As I set my notebook aside, I heard mew-sic behind me. I turned to see Dori strumming a pink toy guitar. Read More

Sherlock Herms in Ghost Hunter Blues

“Dori! Candy! Frank! Opie! Hey guys, where are you? I brung ya presents.”

Dragging one of the KATRIS modular cat tree pieces through the front door, I was disappointed no one was there to welcome me home from Blogpaws. My friend Kate Benjamin had given me the cool cat tree to share with my fur sibs, and I had stuffed mousies and Meowijuana catnip to pass out. But where was everyone?

Leaving the heavy KATRIS piece in the hall, I checked the kitchen, the litter box room and the other rooms downstairs before zooming upstairs. I’d been gone a week. Didn’t they miss me? Weren’t they excited to welcome me home?

As I arrived on the third floor I heard the familiar clicking sound of my brothers playing on top of the chase-ball-with-sticks table, while my sisters lounged on the comfy chairs and couches. “Hey everyone, I’m home!”

I expected a rousing cheer, but all I got was a few stink-eyes while the others totally ignored me. What the Friskies! Read More

A Sherlock Herms Flashback: The Case of Mrs. Shallowford’s Ghost

Previously on Sherlock Herms – The Case of Mrs. Shallowford’s Ghost Mrs Shallowford's Ghost

After watching Dori make her singing debut at The Desert Galaxy nightclub, Herman wakes up to realize he’s had a bad dream. Not that Dori’s singing was terrible, but that he was inside the almost famous detective Max Shallowford’s body, and the mobster Sammy ‘The Squid’ Calamari was expecting him to shoot another mobster.

Upon waking, Herman finds himself back in his attic office seventy years in the past. And seated across from him is Charley Feeble, a ghost. Charley tells him he is the real Max Shallowford, but has a pathological form of shyness. Because he feared meeting his clients in person, he hired an out of work actor from Ecum Secum, Nova Scotia to pretend to be Max Shallowford.

The actor was really good. Too good. He fooled everyone, including Charley, by taking over and getting involved with the mob. That landed him in trouble and he ended up disappearing, along with the mobster’s money and his girlfriend. The Squid was more upset about the money than the girlfriend.

The actor also married a showgirl by the name of Vivian who was responsible for scaring Charley to death. He tells Herman, “I called you, Sherlock Herms, to retrieve the missing jewelry so Vivian will stop screaming. She still frightens me, even though I’m dead. However, I now realize that if I can get her to step outside of my house, I may have a way to prevent her from reentering. That’s why I needed you, Herman. I need you to help me get rid of Vivian Shallowford.”

And now…The Conclusion.

SHERLOCK HERMS DIVIDER

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Sherlock Herms – What Lies Beyond The Doggy Door?

Previously on Sherlock Herms in Down the Rabbit Hole

I asked the pretty ghost who didn’t realize she was dead, “Would you be interested in traveling to Urbana, Ohio to see the route Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train took in 1865?”

Dottie’s blue eyes sparkled. “My goodness! That sounds like fun. How many days should I pack for?”

“No need for luggage. We’ll be gone just the one day.” My plan was to transport Dottie into the past to witness Abraham Lincoln’s actual funeral.

“But how are you going to explain it to her?” my tabby brother Jack asked later when I mentioned my plans to help Dottie realize she was no longer breathing.

“See, that’s the idea. I don’t explain it. I let her figure it out for herself. How is it possible for her to be in the past when she was born 108 years after the dood died?” Read More

Sherlock Herms in…Down the Rabbit Hole

Previously on Sherlock Herms in Intimations

I pawed the computer mouse awake. I wanted to know whether other ghost hunters ever had a problem with ghosts not knowing they’re dead. I needed to know how a pawfessional explained it to the ghost.

“Whatcha looking for, Hwermie?” Dottie appeared next to me, her bright blue eyes alive with joy, despite her being dead.

I clicked off the Ghost Hunter Q&A site. “Just doing some research.”

“Ohhh! I love history.” Dottie pointed to a photo of Abraham Lincoln on the page beneath the one I’d just deleted; a page dedicated to all things paranormal about U.S. Presidents. “My grandmother, Violet, was a history buff and was especially fascinated with Lincoln. Did you know Mr. Lincoln visited Michigan only once, but left a long-lasting impression as he is attributed with the first known use of calling a Michigan resident, a ‘Michigander?’”

A memory exploded inside my head of Dori telling me about something she had read in her ghost book. “There’s some old hoomon named Lincoln who died and according to the legend, every April 29th, the phantom twain carries his body through the town of Urbana, Ohio, following the route it took back in 1865 when it carried his body back to Springfield, Illinois.”

I had an idea. I didn’t know if it was possible, but if it was, Dottie would be joining Violet and Isobel on the roof for tea by this time next week.

CLICK TO LEARN MORE

I sat with Opie and Jack on my new office furniture in my new office. It was so new, it still had a new office smell. “So, do you think it’s possible?”

My tabby brothers exchanged looks, then nodded in unison. “But how are you going to explain it to her?” Jack asked.

“See, that’s the idea. I don’t explain it. I let her figure it out for herself.”

Opie and Jack again exchanged looks. “What if she freaks out?” Opie wondered.

“I wouldn’t want a ghost freaking out on me,” Jack added.

“Who’s fweaking out?” Dori strolled into my office with a fresh bag of Smittens cat treats. Candy entered behind her with a box marked Catipilla.

“Hopefully no one,” I said as I hurried to take the box. (There was no chance in Hades of Dori sharing her treats.) I’d been asked to help promote the manufacturing of the Catipilla climbing frame using a crowdfunding campaign via Kickstarter. “You know how Violet and Isobel hired us to help their granddaughter, Dottie, understand she’s dead?”

“But they can’t tell us anything about her being dead cuz they’re gagged by the G.A.G. order,” Dori added.

“Exactly!”

“Why can’t you just tell her she’s dead?” Opie asked.

“Because that would upset her,” Candy explained.

“So, I got an idea,” I told them. “What if we took Dottie on a trip in Mosey? Back to some historical event, before she was even born?”

My Gen7Pets Regal stroller rolled to my side, trembling with excitement. Mosey hadn’t been used for an investigation since we time-traveled to the 1940’s to investigate Mrs. Shallowford’s Ghost.

Dori and Candy exchanged glances. “That would fweak her out,” they said in unison. Read More

Sherlock Herms Purranormal Mysteries – Now on Amazon.com

My name is Sherlock Herms. It is my business to know what others don’t know. At least that’s what I hoped for once I got my paws wet as a private investigator. It was my first day on the job. The Wonderpurr Detective Agency had been open for business all of twenty minutes, but my phone hadn’t rung once. I flicked my floofy tail with impatience. How long would I have to wait before someone hired me to solve a caper?

It all began when my author mom and I watched a documentary on famous detectives. She had decided to write mysteries. That made me nervous. I’m her mews, you see. I inspire her when she writes novels. But how could I inspire her when I know nothing about solving mysteries? If I fell down on the job, she might ask my arch-nemesis to be her mews. He’s a chunky orange tabby named Opie. He’s also my brother.

With that in mind I paid close attention to the documentary. My favorites were Spade and Marlowe for their hardboiled detective lingo, and Sherlock Holmes for his use of logical reason to solve cases. Plus I liked his hat. Mom had just published two books in one year and was taking a much-needed break to grow more brain cells. I needed experience solving capers. Now. Before she started plotting her first mystery. But what if no one hired me? Ever! I’d be a washed-up has-been before the sun set on my first day as a hardboiled detective. I’d also be out of a job as a professional mews.

I heard a knock. A thrill skittered through me. My first client had arrived! I opened the door to see my little sister. “What do you want, Dori?” “Mommy said I can play detective, too.” The fur bristled under my collar. “I’m not playing detective. I’m a hardboiled private investigator with grit in my blood. And no. You can’t play— I mean, be a detective, too.” I watched her eyes narrow. I’d seen that look before—right before I got a headache. She claims she can give migraines just by thinking one into your head and I believe her. But then her eyes filled with tears. Oh no. I’d rather have a migraine. “Mommy,” she yowled. “Hwermie won’t let me play detective.” “Let her play, Herms,” Mom called from her desk. “Please? I’m plotting.” Plotting! Oh no! Had she started mystery-writing without me?

Meet Herman, a wise old floofy-tailed Turkish Angora, and his quirky tabby-kitten sister, Dori. When their first client hires them to solve a mystery in another town, they aren’t allowed to leave the backyard. No problem. Using a kitty play tunnel as a magical portal, Herman and Dori travel out of their yard—and out of this century—to take on their first big caper.

NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM

Sherlock Herms in…Intimations

Previously on Sherlock Herms Meets Evie Pees

“Maybe yoo just need to stop twying so hard to be like Shewlock Homes,” Dori said. “Stop twying to be someone yoo awen’t. And stop being so humorless. We are Finalists for Blogpaws Best Pet Humor Blog. Our furends aren’t stopping by on Fridays to soak in yoor melodwama. They got enough of that at home. They visit us to laugh. Yoo used to be fun before yoo became a detective, Hwermie. Yoo need to be fun again.”

I nodded. “Okay. I guess maybe I’m putting unnecessary pressure on myself.”

“Ya think? I’m pwetty sure Shewlock Homes didn’t sit around on Baker Stweet bending Watson’s ear about his fear of failing or how he feels inadequate.”

“I just don’t want to fail, Dori.”

“Hwermie, failure is a bwuise, not a tattoo.”

“Good point.”

“And yoo gotta stop growling at me when I don’t measure up to yoor high expectations. Blowing out my candle doesn’t make yoors shine any bwighter.”

I sat back, stunned by her articulate reprimand.

“Don’t blame me for disappointing yoo, Hwermie. Blame yoorself for expecting too much.”

“Dori, I’m so sorry. I had no idea you felt this way.”

“Don’t apologize yet. I’m not done.” She moved to look beneath her paws. There I saw Mom’s phone with the screen filled with motivational memes. She read, “What screws us up most in life is the picture in our heads of how its supposed to be.”

I pointed to the next meme. “I like that one.”

“Yoo need to go back to being funner, Hwermie. Sewriously, yoo stawting to get fwrown lines.”

“Sounds like the formula to a great detective team, Dori.” I crawled onto the bench and lay with my head on her tail.

As the moon rose high in the night sky, I released the last of my self doubts. Life is too short to live in fear of making mistakes. Or getting frown lines.

You can quote me.

When I awoke the next morning I found Dori snuggled against me, using my floofy tail for her pillow. After spending an hour exploring motivational memes on our mom’s phone, she had fallen into a deep sleep, but I hadn’t closed my eyes for more than what seemed like a minute. I was worried about solving a case.

Two ghost ladies who hung out on our house rooftop had asked me to tell their granddaughter that she was dead cuz she was in Denial. But Violet and Isobel couldn’t give me details about their granddaughter’s death because they were under a G.A.G. Order.

“What does G.A.G. stand for?” I’d asked them.

“Alas, we are gagged by the G.A.G.,” Violet said, “unable to discuss such specifics.”

Dori had then opened her book, Ghost Hunters Do It… and read, “G.A.G. stands for Ghost Authorization Guidelines. Number three prohibits spirits from discussing specific details of another spirit’s life and death.”

Dori had then wanted to play 20 Questions with the ghost ladies to ascertain (my Word of the Day on my Word of the Day calendar) details of their granddaughter’s death, but then I kinda sorta got my floofy tail all knotted up with self-importance and growled at her. And hurt her feelings. Read More

Sherlock Herms Meets Evie Pees

Previously on Sherlock Herms in Will Dori Forgive Sherlock Herms

“Dori, wait. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to be condescending with you. I’m just frustrated. How am I supposed to find a dead lady who doesn’t know she’s dead? Especially when my clients refuse to answer direct questions about who she is. I didn’t even get a chance to ask her name.”

“Why don’t yoo ask me who she is. I know.”

I stared at my little sister. “What? Who? Tell me!”

“Now yoo sound bossy.” She walked to the door leading to the stairs to my office.

I growled, “Dori!”

Her paw on the doorknob, she narrowed her eyes at me. I’d seen that look before—right before I got a headache. Dori claims she can give migraines just by thinking one into your head, and I believe her.

“Dori! Stop right there. Tell me the granddaughter’s name. I’m your boss.”

Her eyes brimmed with hurt. “I thought yoo were my pawtner.” A tear trickled through her whiskers, making me feel like a two-headed monster.

I ran to throw my paws around my little sister, but she closed the door between us. By locking it, she put an exclamation point on her feelings.

I felt wretched. I hadn’t meant to growl or be condescending. I loved Dori with all my heart. And while she could overwhelm and exaspurrate me, she’d also had a big impact on solving my cases. Our cases. She was my partner. My bestest friend.

I covered my eyes with my paws and moaned, “I didn’t mean to hurt her feelings. But I did. I’m a baaaad kitty.”

“Youse not a bad kitty kitty,” said a sparkly voice. “Youse a good kitty kitty.” The high-pitched baby talk triggered a memory of the day we’d arrived at our new home. “Youse just need to a-poly-gize to make Dori feel awwww better.”

I lowered my paws to see the blonde lady in a pink polka-dotted dress.

The lady Dori called Evie Pees.

And now… Evie Pees

I had no idea who she had been in life, but in death Evie Pees captivated me with her charm. She reminded me of a bubbly Elle Woods with Oprah’s knack for warm compassion. And while her Jennifer Tilly-like baby voice kinda grated on my last nerve, she drew me to her like a moth to a flame.

At a glance she looked as alive as my pawrents, but then I noticed how the moonlight turned her pale skin almost translucent. It didn’t take a pawfessional purranormal detective to realize that meant she was dead. Despite that, I felt comfortable with her. I guess that was the Spirit Counselor in me that Charley mentioned.

Midnight had come and gone, and the air had turned chilly. Still, we sat on the roof talking, mostly of my frustration to present myself as a hardboiled detective with grit in my blood, while my little sister innocently undermined me by playing at being a detective instead of acting like a pawfessional.

“Dori isn’t deliberately trying to embarrass you,” Evie told me. “She thinks the world of you. She is very proud to be your partner.”

After a solid hour of listening to her baby talk, I’d found the courage to explain to Evie that my pawrents speak to me and my fursibs like intelligent equals—never newborn pets. She’d found this bit of information interesting, and had stopped using the high-pitched nonsensical cooing that had made Frank want to spray stuff when we had first arrived at our new home. Read More

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