Thursday, December 11, 2014

Meow If It’s Murder {+ Giveaway}

Memo If It's Murder by T.C. LoTempio - Thoughts in ProgressHere at Thoughts in Progress today, I’m delighted to welcome a ‘new-to-me’ author who has a brand new cozy murder mystery series.

MEOW IF IT’S MURDER, the first installment in author T.C. LoTempio’s new Nick and Nora Mystery series, hit the bookshelves earlier this month. To celebrate the release, T.C. is sharing an excerpt from her book and (thanks to her and the lovely Danielle at Penguin Group) I have a print copy of the MEOW IF IT’S MURDER to giveaway. Please see the end of the post for more giveaway details.

Here’s a brief synopsis of this charming book.

        Nora Charles doesn’t believe in fate, even if she is a crime reporter who shares a name with a character from The Thin Man. In fact, she’s moving back to Cruz, California, to have a quieter life. But after finding an online magazine eager for material, and a stray cat named Nick with a talent for detection, Nora’s not just reporting crimes again. She’s uncovering them…
        Back in her hometown, Nora reconnects with old friends and makes some new ones, like Nick, the charming feline who seems determined to be her cat. But not everything about Cruz is friendly. Writing for a local online magazine, Nora investigates the curious death of socialite Lola Grainger. Though it was deemed an accident, Nora suspects foul play. And it seems that her cat does too.
        Apparently, Nick used to belong to a P.I. who disappeared while investigating Lola Grainger’s death. The coincidence is spooky, but not as spooky as the clues Nick spells out for her with Scrabble letters—clues that lead her down an increasingly dangerous path. Whether fate put her on this case or not, solving it will take all of Nora’s wits, and maybe a few of Nick’s nine lives.
Now here’s an excerpt from MEOW IF IT’S MURDER ……….

      I felt a tug on my skirt and looked down to see Nick regarding me with a steady, golden stare. I bent down and gently disengaged his claw. He turned around twice, and motioned with his paw toward the back table. I saw Scrabble tiles lying on the floor and let out a little cry.
      “How did you get those? I could have sworn I had them in the pouch in the drawer!”
      I bent over to scoop them up and noticed they were an F, an I and a B. I chuckled.
      “Fib. Very appropriate. Of course, I wouldn’t come out and call Daniel Corlone a liar, but I just get a strange vibe from him. Like he’s hiding something. Oh, I don’t know.” I made a motion with my hand, swept the tiles up and deposited them back in the drawer. I looked at Nick.
      “Like I was saying, I doubt Detective Corleone is going to be of much help. If I’m going to get to the bottom of all this and find out what happened to Adrienne and your owner, I’m going to have to do some digging on my own. Besides interviewing the Captain, I need to know more about the other people who were on the yacht that night. If I can figure out who had the most to gain from Lola’s death, I can narrow down the field.”
      I leaned down and gave Nick a quick pat on the head. “I picked up something on the way home that should prove extremely helpful. Come on. We’re going to do something I haven’t done in quite a while - make a murder board.”

Now a bit of background on the author.

While Toni LoTempio does not commit — or solve — murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 — The Secret in the Old Attic. She lists among her favorite mystery/suspense writers Erle Stanley Gardner, Mary Higgins Clark and James Patterson, as well as EJ Copperman, Steve Hockensmith, Victoria Laurie, Ali Brandon, Rita Mae Brown, Miranda James and Sofie Kelly to name only a few! 

Toni is also passionate about her love for animals, as demonstrated with her four cats: Trixie, Princess, Maxx and, of course, ROCCO, who not only provided the inspiration for the character of Nick the cat in the Nick and Nora mystery series, but who also writes his own blog and does charity work for Nathan Fillion’s charity, Kids Need to Read! Toni’s also devoted to miniseries like The Thorn Birds, Dancing with the Stars, reruns of Murder She Wrote and Castle (of course!). 

She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime — the first volume, MEOW IF IT’S MURDER, debuted Dec. 2. She, Rocco and company make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple — New York.

For more on Toni and her writing, visit her website.

My thoughts on the book …….

Author T.C. LoTempio has created intriguing characters and a crafty cat that entertain and delight. The characters are realistic and likable with a small town setting that envelopes you in its charm.

The story flows quickly and smoothly. Filled with action, suspense and twists that keeps readers on the edge of their seat. An added touch of humor and romance makes this a well-balanced story.

Readers don’t have to be cat lovers to appreciate the intrigue MEOW IF IT’S MURDER offers. This is a fun start to what promises to be an entertaining series with the fascinating duo of Nora and Nick.

Meow If It’s Murder by T.C. LoTempio, Nick and Nora Mystery Series Book #1, Berkley Prime Crime, @2014, ISBN: 978-0425270202, Paperback, 304 Pages 

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.


This giveaway is for one print copy of MEOW IF IT’S MURDER by T.C. LoTempio. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end at 12 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 19. 

To enter, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and following the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load, so please be patient. The winner from this giveaway will have 72 hours to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. The email will have ‘Thoughts in Progress T.C. LoTempio’s Tour’ in the subject line, just so you know what to watch for (in case it goes into your spam folder).

Thanks so much for visiting today and checking out the excerpt from Toni’s new book. Have you ever heard of the Nick and Nora characters from The Thin Man? Have you ever noticed how detailed the covers are for the Berkley cozy mysteries?

*This post contains affiliate links.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Love murder mysteries - and love cats so this one is a winner on several levels before I track it down. Thank you for the introduction.

  2. The cat blogs and does work for Nathan Fillion's charity? That is one cool cat.

  3. I enjoy cozies with cats as characters seeing as we own five cats or rather they own us, we are cat people at our house.

  4. I love cozy mysteries and I love cats—this is my kind of book; thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

  5. That's a very clever use of names! And of course, what's not to like about blogging? ;-)

  6. My black kitty is also a Rocko. (Spelled a little differently.)

  7. Those old Thin Man movies were always on late at night, it seems I'd always catch one when I was up babysitting very late. Nick, Nora and who can forget Asta!?

  8. I'm not a Scrabble fan but a cat that can spell - I'm hooked! Sounds like the beginning of a terrific series.

  9. looks like a fantastic cozy, thanks for the chance to win it :)

  10. A brand new series involving cats! Love it!

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

  11. This sound like an interesting concept. Would love to start this series

  12. I love it when cats and dogs play a part in a cozy. This one sounds nifty,


  13. I loved the original Nick and Nora and this pair sounds every bit as engaging. Congratulations to Toni (and ROCCO)!

    VR Barkowski

  14. Definitely one to go on my list. I still miss my precious cat. She always liked sleeping under the Christmas tree.

  15. This sounds great, I love cozies with animals. Thanks for the chance to win

  16. An adorable and intriguing cozy which would be enjoyed greatly. Thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  17. This sounds like a book I would really enjoy. I love cozies and cats!

  18. I'm a big fan of the old Thin Man series so this really catches my interest.

  19. Wow love The Thin Man so this sounds good...
    Marilyn Watson..

  20. I love mysteries about cats and any cat who helps out Nathan Fillion's charity is a friend of mine :).

  21. I love the Thin Man both the book and the movie. I love the nod to it.

  22. It looks like a good start to a new series


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.