Eyeshine: Murder in Stoker Hills
What happens when a certain reporter finds herself in difficult situations and cannot always get out of them? What happens when the sun goes down and nightfall is about to descend and you have to go home to your barren trailer in order to escape the darkness? What happens when you learn at an early age that you morph into a feline cat when the sun goes down due as your mother did? How do you try and escape the questions asked by others? With her dog Mutt at her side PJ Taylor find herself knee deep in situations that most people cannot get out of no less a black cat.
Within her small trailer community there is a thief that seems to want to help himself to what belongs to others. When our reporter and feline cat realizes who is behind the thefts she takes her cat equipment, her cat camera collar places it around her neck, the shorts and shirt she needs and her cat camera collar, climbs up a tree and films the robbery. But, that’s not all she manages to pretend that the video just appeared in her mailbox and she wrote the story about the robbery adding the photos bringing the police to her door for questioning. But, P.J. tries to act slick and unassuming until the officer want to see the scene of the crime and she asks him to leave pretending she is ill. This is just the start of her cat woes as her brother, Robert is not happy with her escapades, has buried the fact that she turns into a cat from his mind and the next thing you know she is knee deep in a murder investigation. Hearing a noise she investigates down by the ravine and hears Chip Greene yelling at Alex Tate an autistic boy trying to sell him candy for a fundraiser. This might sound unusual that a mother would let her son go out by himself when people sometimes do not understand children with disabilities like Autism. But, Chip Greene is nasty and the end result is someone else does not like him, he loses his footing, Andy tries to save him and Chip winds up dead from a gunshot to his head. Andy winds up being saved by Mutt who P.J. calls to help her. Waking up the next morning how is she going to explain her appearance on the beach to a little girl who finds her?
When her friend Vicky, a deputy comes to her door she has to admit that she heard something and investigated what she thought was a gunshot and chanced going out in the dark with her special light goggles. Thinking that she cannot lie to her friend she tells her story hoping that someone might find Chip Greene. With her description of where she thought she saw him fall, telling her he was yelling at Alex, unfortunately Chip Greene was found washed up dead but the location is not where she thought it would be. Is P.J. going to let the police handle it or are she and her feline sense of smell with Mutt going to try and solve the murder?
Detective Jake Tipton is not what he appears to be. Asking to speak to P.J. and questioning her after begin grilled by her FBI brother, she agrees to a lunch with him but not before being forewarned of his possible real motive. Lunch started out okay but with the fact that she was taking pictures of the boys robbing her trailer, found near the scene of the murder at the ravine and raging river, Jake insinuated that maybe she was had something to do with the thefts and the murder. Needless to say that P.J. did not take it lightly and as Alex needed attorney Liam so did she want to enlist his aid.
When speaking with her niece Nanci she learns about a shoe she found with her friend that might clear Alex or might not. But, the evidence piled up and Alex was arrested and things spiral out of control but not before she befriends a cat, shows him how she morphs into a human form and takes him to get his eye infection taken care of.
As the situations esclade and P.J. relates the events no one believes her because there are holes in her story and she cannot fill them in without giving away that she morphs into a cat. But, when her brother pushes her to the limit and finally faces the harsh reality of her situation he always shares with her the fact that his daughter might eventually morph too. Humor, sarcasm, laughter and situations that are not quite what you would expect in a mystery novel since the main character needs to try and solve the murder without getting caught as a cat, having someone believe her story and of course not going down for it. The Police Detective Tipton wants to nail her for the thefts and the murder but P.J. just might make his day or not when she threatens to show a certain video of him and that’s all I will share about that. Questioned, taken in, stared out and not believed as P.J. finally puts it all together and you won’t believe who killed Chip Greene and why? When you learn the truth you the reader will have to decide if justice was done and if the real killer should go to jail.
P.J. Taylor super cat sleuth, freelance reporter and definitely a unique type of detective. Characters that are quite unique and a storyline that makes you wonder what would happen if your sister turned into a cat right in front of you and just who would you handle it! Fun filled and a unique way of presenting a detective that is just starting in a series. Eyeshine: Watch out for the yellow ones!
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ Magazine