Elaine Faber is here today and her book Black Cat and the Accidental Angel is out.
Paperback: 246 pages
Publisher: Elk Grove Publications (April 1, 2015)
When the family SUV flips, Black Cat and his soul mate are left behind. Black Cat (Thumper) loses all memory of his former life and the identity of the lovely feline companion by his side. "Call me Angel. I'm here to take care of you." Her words set them on a journey toward home and bring them face to face with episodes of joy and sorrow. The cats are taken in by John and his young daughter, Cindy, facing foreclosure of the family vineyard and emu farm. In addition, someone is playing increasingly dangerous pranks that threaten Cindy's safety. Angel makes it her mission to help the family. John's prayers are answered in unexpected ways, but not until Angel puts her life at risk to protect the child. Black Cat learns there are more important things than knowing your real name.
This whodunit was very enjoyable. I thought the cats were fun and witty.I wasn't sure how it was going to go being told from the cat's point of view, however when I started to read it, I couldn't put it down. I look forward to what will happen next.
The Mystery Book Formulaic Template
We know there is a demand for a good book, whether Thriller or Cozy mystery. Avid readers consume zillions of books each year acquired from garage sales, the library, borrowed and sometimes, even purchased from the author! Let’s pretend we’re a new author desirous of launching a mystery series. To guarantee a successful series’, we analyze the tried and true template.
We need a beautiful, blonde amateur sleuth with a dog─to capture animal lovers. The dog doesn’t have to solve crimes, but it helps. Don’t forget the inept sweetheart, connected to the police department. How else could she access official information generally withheld from the public?
Now she needs an unusual job or hobby. Sadly, the best jobs or hobbies have been taken by other series; i.e. book store owners, catering services, coffee houses, writers, dog sitters, private detectives, etc. What we need is a career that hasn’t been done to death. But, it must give our sleuth access to crime, preferably murder.
I propose a lady sewer truck driver with access to back yards, spotting nefarious ‘going’s-on.’ Or, the Avon lady who sells wrinkle cream door to door, peeking beyond the screen door to see someone bound and gagged… Let’s stick with the lady sewer-pumper outer.
So let’s see…Now to the successful formula... The plumber and her quirky sidekick (did I mention the quirky friend?) find a body in the pump house. Proceed to red herrings, a romantic interlude, unrequited love, and suspicious characters, all with alibis. Toss in plumbing trivia, a humorous scene with stopped-up toilets, and overflowing bathtubs.
Now, move right along to the climax. Our heroine agrees to meet the suspect in a plumbing warehouse, but doesn’t tell anyone about it. The villain strings her up to the rafters, determined to have his way with her. Death is imminent. Her dog and her detective boyfriend burst down the door with a toilet brush. The murderer is revealed, every toilet lid lowered, every widget tightened. The heroine and detective ride into the sunset in her sewer truck.
Remember? It’s going to be a series. In the sequel we change up the back yard, quirky friend, red herrings, suspects, murder, drug house, illegal alien housekeeper, secret message in a toilet roll, or what-have-you. The villain is always the least expected character. With few variations, this is the formulaic template that is most likely to succeed. Only a brave author will break this the mold, or at least doesn’t end the book with the heroine strung up in the barn (figuratively speaking). Sadly, as long as the public continues to buy these trite storylines, mystery writers continue to follow the same template.
Black Cat and the Accidental Angel is a story full of thrills and chills. Set on an emu farm, the plot involves intrigue and mystery, memories lost and love found with a touch of the divine. No quirky sidekick, no detective boyfriend, no one tied to the rafters at the end. Just a page turning story with a protagonist with very human characteristic sharing truths told in a way you’ve never seen before--through the eyes of a cat, about as far from the mystery template as you can get.
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