OS: Welcome to Quinn Dressler author of Murder Most Yowl! Thanks for stopping by!
My name is Quinn and I’d like to thank everyone at Open Skye Book Reviews for inviting me to talk about three things I love, men, mysteries and kitties. Especially when they’re all combined into one story.
That’s what I’ve done with my new novella Murder Most Yowl.
I’ve always been a cozy mystery person, even when I didn’t really know that the stories I liked were called cozy. A cozy mystery is a story which tones down sex and violence, although Yowl has some of both, and has a detective which usually isn’t a professional sleuth. It also takes place in a small community.
I grew up watching mysteries on TV. Shows like Magnum PI, Hawaii Five-O and Diagnosis Murder all stoked the cozy side of me. I liked how they toned down the violence. The only person who got hurt was the original murder victim, and really, somebody had to die or there would be no story.
But my favorite part was something so subtitle I didn’t even realize it for many years. The men in these shows never got married. Never had a long term relationship with a woman, so my imagination was free to pair single male characters up together in a way that would never make it to the screen. As long as the character I liked never actually got married on the show, I enjoyed watching. If things got too intense with a woman character, I’d get jealous and turn away.
I enjoyed other cozy’s of course, but I’m not like most readers of the genre. I like male characters, and most people who read cozies prefer a female at the helm. While I support anyone who reads, no matter their character preference, the world of cozy needs more men in it so I decided to write one of my own.
Murder Most Yowl centers around the life of Cameron Sherwood and his cats.
Cam barely fits the definition of a cozy sleuth. He is not currently a professional in law enforcement. An experienced NCIS investigator, Cam turned his back on that profession when an innocent gay man killed himself during the course of one of his investigations. Cam then set out on a career path that is the ultimate definition of cozy, he runs a shop that caters to cats and the people who love them.
Of course he can’t leave the entire world of mystery behind. While cat sitting for a friend, he discovers her body and gets drawn back into the chase for a killer.
Along the way he meets up with a cranky, yet sexy sheriff, is nearly killed by a Russian mobster, delves deep into the workings of a society family and tracks down a kleptomaniac cat who loves to steal bright and shiny objects including a clue.
Take a look:
“Oh, crap.” With my snooping around the Moss mansion this afternoon and the date afterward, I’d forgotten all about the damn necklace.
I fished the thing out of my pocket. “I think this is what you’re looking for.”
“What the hell?” Jake snatched it out of my hand and jumped to his feet. “You had this the whole time and didn’t tell me? I should charge you for withholding evidence.” He jabbed his hand at me, the momentum swinging the locket my way. It just missed my face. “I ought to go get my cuffs right now—”
“Hang on.” I didn’t care to keep my voice down. “I found it after our little encounter this afternoon.” I explained about Edgar, the kleptomaniac cat, and his little box of treasures. “I didn’t want another run-in with you right away, so I called the station and told your deputy about it.”
“You reported it?”
“Damn incompetent help,” Jake muttered, his eyes darting right and left. “I should have given you a chance to explain. I’m sorry.”
“That’s okay,” I said, and it was. “You’ve only liked me for a couple of hours. You’ll get used to it.”
That made him laugh. Good.
O’Neill fished a cellophane bag out of his pocket, then put the necklace in it. “You say a cat stole this?”
“I didn’t see him do it, but I found black fur on Ms. Welch’s white rug. Then he snatched my watch from the table next to me without blinking an eye. Edgar has balls.”
Jake chuckled. “Unless he’s been fixed.”
Cat joke. We were going to be okay. “Funny.”
It’s my hope that m/m cozy mysteries can one day become popular enough to join their classic companions on the TV screen. Until then we can enjoy offerings through books.
What’s your favorite cozy book or TV show? I’d love to know.
Until we chat again.
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.
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.
Dreamspinner Author Page: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/quinn-dressler
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.