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May 2, 2016 by kitmoss



By Charlie Cochet

This light and lovely mystery starts with a dastardly ingenious thief at a Cairo antiquities museum, liberating a priceless antique many centuries old statue of a cat crafted of amethyst.  Before you know it, the purloined pussycat is in the hold of a ship steaming its way to New York.  It is1934

At his antiquities shop a well-respected collector is surprised to find the exquisite statue in one of the boxes just delivered from the wharf.  Knowing that wealthy English ex-patriot Remington Trueblood will be interested in the treasure, he contacts him.  Indeed it is very much to Mr. Trueblood’s taste, and he buys it immediately.  When that night the Gentleman Thief arrives at the antiquities shop, he demands to know the whereabouts of the mislaid mouser.  Trying to protect his young friend, the antiquarian calls on a private dick named Stanley Hawk.  Lonely Remi and the equally lonely Hawk discover in each other their longed for destinies.  When the Gentleman Thief’s identity proves a coincidence, Hawk knows that Remi’s life is in danger.  Can he keep the Thief from stealing his new lover away?  Is the priceless purer worth that cost?

The very names of the characters ought to clue the reader into the fact that this is a light and satisfying diversion, not Great Art, like the amethyst statue.  Cochet’s characters are highly appealing.  You join their camp instantly.  You want their happiness almost as much as they do.  You feel Hawk’s frustration and fear when the plot gets tricky.  It is a charming period piece written in a most entertaining way.  The author is an artist as well, and it’s hard to decide which is better, her story or her cover.  Fortunately, you don’t have to.

Might I go so far as to say this novel is healing?  Well, it was for me, so yes… I’ll say it.

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