Friday, June 4, 2021

Review: Checking Out Crime by Laurie Cass

by Laurie Cass
Release Date: April 6th 2021
2021 Berkley Books
Kindle Edition; 352 Pages
ISBN: 978-0593197714
Genre: Fiction / Cozy / Mystery
Source: Review copy from publisher

4 / 5 Stars

Minnie and her rescue cat Eddie can often be found out and about in their bookmobile near Chilson, Michigan, delivering great reads to grateful patrons all over the county. But they always brake for trouble, and when Minnie sees a car speeding away down the road, and soon comes upon a dead bicyclist, she assumes she just missed seeing a hit-and-run.

Minnie is determined to discover who was behind the wheel, but it soon turns out that things are far more complicated than they seem and there's more to this case than meets the eye. Luckily, this librarian is ready to read the killer his rights.
My Thoughts
Checking Out Crime is the next instalment in the delightful 'A Bookmobile Cat Mystery' series featuring Minnie and her cat Eddie.  The story moves along at a nice clip, and there were a number of side stories that kept my interest, including some backstory threads that have been continuing for a number of books now.  
As always, I enjoyed Minnie as a main character.  I enjoy her light sarcasm and banter, even if a lot of it is inner dialogue or dialogue with her cat, but it makes me laugh.  I am really grateful the author has toned down Minnie's emotional outburst from the previous couple of books however, as they were starting to get on my nerves; Minnie was much more enjoyable in this book, thank goodness.
Minnie works at a library, but spends a lot of her time in the bookmobile, developing new ways to get books and information out to her community, something I love reading about.  It is always nice to catch up with the rest of Minnie's friends and family as, after nine books, they have become like familiar friends that I haven't seen in a while. My favourite character will always be Eddie, though.  That cat makes me smile and I can always relate his attitude and behaviour to my own cats.  When Eddie tears up an important piece of information, it just reminds of the times I leave out the kleenex box and one of my cats has a lot of fun and I get to pick up shredded kleenex for 15 minutes. There was also a new character addition whom I really adored so I hope we see a lot  more of this woman in future books. 
Following Minnie around as she investigates was a lot of fun as it is always a chance to meet old and new characters alike and to discover what they've been up to.  I enjoy this author's writing style and find the dialogue witty and enjoyable.  However, I did not like the motive to the murder as it really stretched the limits for me and I definitely did not buy into it.  Luckily, the characters balanced out the story or my rating would have been much lower.  

Checking Out Crime was an enjoyable mystery, but it did have a fat-fetched motive and ending. However, the characters and their interactions balanced out that ending, and made it enjoyable as a whole to read.  I like the addition of a new investigator helping out Minnie and I really hope she stays around in future books.  Overall, a fun addition to the series.