Title: The Telltale Turtle
Author: Joyce & Jim Lavene
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Copyright Date: 2008
Pages: 260 + "Mary Catherine's Animal News" + "Mary Catherine's Secret Recipes for Animals"
Series: 1st in the Pet Psychic Mystery series
Book Description (from back cover):
Comments:"This is Mary Catherine Roberts, the pet psychic. You're live on Lite 102.5 WRSC in Wilmington, North Carolina."
Mary Catherine has a rare gift: she can communicate with animals. A former Hollywood pet psychic and four-time widow, the flamboyantly-dressed radio host is ready to settle down in her old hometown . . . and maybe hunt around for husband number five. But when a flash of telepathy leads her to a bloody crime scene, she gets mixed up in the murder of a wealthy society matriarch.
The only witness to the crime is Tommy, the victim's pet turtle. By tapping into Tommy's thoughts and memories, Mary Catherine becomes a vital, if ridiculed, resource for the stumped detectives. Now she's gettingmore male attention than she ever wanted — from a psycho radio caller threatening the lives of her and her tabby cat, and from a private investigator with annoying charm and suspicious motives.
Will her special talent help solve the murder? Or only contribute to her reputation as an oddball?
From the reviews I'd seen this book was apparently mediocre (at best), so my expectations weren't high. However, I was still interested in reading about a pet psychic (w/ my thoughts about psychics in reality...that there simply aren't...this could have been good or bad). I finished the book, which apparently means more than I thought. The pet psychic part remained interesting... no shoving it down my throat like certain authors. The overall mystery was decent. I guessed who the "bad guy" was about halfway in, but that sort of thing doesn't bother me.
At one point the breaks of Mary Catherine's car have been cut. She discovers it when she can't stop at a red light. My brother recently had his breaks cut (long story), and I've since learned that it is highly unlikely you wouldn't discover this before you really drive anywhere. Which leaves me feeling a little irked that authors like this (and so many others who have characters crazily careening at the twisty road, the cliff edges, the oncoming car, etc.) have left me in the position of being stupidly naive all these years.
Overall, I found the book to be okay. Not great, but not terrible. I wouldn't be opposed to reading more of this series.