TITLE: THE CAT'S MEOW
Veterinarian Marti Foxx realizes her dream of owning an animal hospital, but instead of finding the stability she craves, she becomes the prime suspect in a string of crimes and struggles to rebuild her reputation while searching for the real criminal.
The first moths of spring huddled against the weak porch light.
“Here kitty, kitty,” I crooned, peering over the railing into the darkness.
My only reply came from the distant peal of the town carillon, marking the quarter hour. I made my way down the steps and stumbled onto the road.
It was a country lane, lit only by the moon and the homes that dotted it. Once the vernal rains began, its pavement would be splattered with the guts of hapless frogs, squashed while making their way to the spawning pools. But tonight it remained devoid of decoration, dead or alive, amphibian or otherwise.
I shivered and rubbed my arms for warmth. Searching the entire property without a flashlight was impractical at this time of night. The cat I’d heard crying--if, indeed, it was a real cat and not a fragment of dream--would have to wait until morning to be rescued.
I picked my way back to the porch and retreated into the warmth of the farmhouse. The old house had been subdivided in recent years into three apartments. My elderly landlady occupied the first floor. An anthropology professor rented one of the second floor units. And the last one belonged to me, Marti Foxx, veterinarian and newcomer to Ivy Lake.
The polished oak staircase in the entrance hall beckoned me back to bed. As I placed my foot on the bottom step, a door slammed open on the landing above, and voices exploded into the hall.