The Girl with the Kitten Tattoo by Linda Reilly (Cat Lady Mysteries #5)
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 2.4 MB
The fur is going to fly . . .
Wedding bells will soon be ringing in Whisker Jog, New Hampshire. But instead of church bells, they may be tinkling above the door of Bowker’s Coffee Stop. Lara Caphart’s best friend Sherry and her fiancé David want to tie the knot where they met-in her family’s coffee shop. Lara is overjoyed for her friend, but as she feeds and grooms the kitties at the High Cliff Shelter for Cats in her aunt Fran’s Folk Victorian, she can’t help but wonder when her own beau, lawyer Gideon Halley, will stop hinting and make their union legal.
It doesn’t help that Gideon’s old flame, Megan Haskell, just showed up with a tearful yarn about being fired that smells fishier than a can of tuna. But Blue, the Ragdoll cat who only Lara can see, appears to be on Megan’s side. Should she ignore her green-eyed monster of jealousy in favor of her blue-eyed spirit cat? When Megan’s ex-boss is found dead, Lara has to retract her claws long enough to follow Blue’s uncanny clues and clear her rival of a murder charge . . .
“Okay, so get this,” Sherry Bowker said breathlessly. “I’m picturing red and white heart-shaped balloons hanging from the ceiling,” She waved her arms at strategic spots on the dropped ceiling of the coffee shop. “And cream-colored linen tablecloths on each table, with wrought-iron candle holders and cranberry glass holders in the center. We’ll use the counter for the food—oh God, wait till you see the spread Mom has planned! And—” She propped her hands on her hips and glared at Lara. “What are you grinning at, artist lady? Come on, I need your input here. You’re the one with the creative flair, not me.”
Lara Caphart couldn’t help herself. Giggling, she went over and gave her bestie a fierce hug. “Sher, I’m sorry—but I’m not laughing at you. I’m just thrilled at seeing you so excited. If you only knew how happy I am for you and David.”
Several months earlier, Sherry had gotten engaged to the man of her dreams, David Gregson. She’d met him a year and a half earlier, when he dropped into Bowker’s Coffee Stop one morning for breakfast. They’d both felt an instant attraction, but Sherry, who’d never been lucky in love, had tiptoed cautiously into the relationship. Fortunately, David was as patient as he was kind. One year after they met, he proposed.
“Sher,” Lara said. “It’s your wedding, not mine.” The words almost snagged in her throat. “If you want giant purple hearts with pink polka dots dangling from the ceiling, then I’ll paint them for you.”
Sherry made a face. “That sounds awful. Come on, you know what looks good. Help me out here, will ya?”
Lara looked around the coffee shop, a place that was like a second home to her. Since her move back to Whisker Jog, New Hampshire, over two years before, she’d come in here nearly every morning. Fresh-brewed coffee, one of Daisy Bowker’s yummy muffins, and a daily chat with Sherry was her favorite way to jump-start any day.
“Okay, then. Let’s get serious. The big heart-shaped balloons? Um, not a fan. We’ll save those for your tenth-anniversary celebration, okay?”
Sherry nodded. “Agreed.”
“I’d opt instead to put your cake on a square table in the far corner, with a cluster of miniature red and white balloons at each of the two back corners. On the far wall”—she pointed toward the rear of the coffee shop—“we can make a swag of red and white roses, interwoven with creamy lace.”
Tears filled Sherry’s eyes. “Oh God, Lara. This is really happening. It’s only three weeks away. Am I ready for it?”
“Of course you are,” Lara soothed. “You’re having a case of nerves, that’s all. It’s totally understandable. Be honest. When you look at David, what do you feel?”