Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Grab My Heart #18

TITLE: The Case of the Cat Crazy Lady
GENRE: Adult Cozy Mystery

The Case of the Cat Crazy Lady, the first of a proposed series, is a completed 73,000-word cozy mystery featuring cat lover and animal shelter/Pet cemetery owner Cathy Carter.

After Buttercup Bend's "Cat Crazy Lady," Maggie Broom, is smothered to death in her home, Cathy is stunned to learn that the animal shelter and pet cemetery she co-owns with her brother Doug is the recipient of the bulk of Maggie's sizable estate. Cathy and her reporter friend, Nancy Meyers, set out to solve the murder.

Cathy stood before the tiny tombstone, a bouquet of spring flowers clutched in her hands. She bent down, tears in her eyes, to read the inscription: “Here lies Floppy, beloved cat of Catherine Carter. Until we meet again on Rainbow Bridge. 2003-2015.”

Placing the flowers on the ground in front of the stone, she wiped her eyes with a tissue she took from the pocket of her blue cardigan. Growing up with cats and dogs and now being part owner of a pet cemetery, Cathy was familiar with the deep pain of losing a special animal friend. The handsome gray and white cat she’d had since the age of twelve left special pawprints on her heart. She would never forget Floppy.

She turned as she heard a low rustle. Glancing behind, she saw it was Oliver, the elderly Siamese she adopted two years ago after his ninety-year old owner died.

Oliver approached on his cocoa paws. He let out a loud meow. It echoed through the quiet cemetery. She patted his head as he rubbed against her calf. She felt his touch through the legs of her jeans.

“What are you doing out here, Oliver?” She was sure she’d closed the door behind her of the small house she shared with her grandmother.


  1. I love the crazy cat lady idea, lol. But, your first paragraph reads like a synopsis and I'm sort of hoping that's what it is instead of your first paragraph. I was also hoping you'd engage more of the senses. What does it smell like? Feel like?

  2. I love the premise! I think your opening will appeal to anyone who loved and lost a cat. You can draw your reader more deeply into the emotion of the scene by describing the little things like the feel of the tears dripping down her face. There are some filter words in here you might want to replace if you want to narrow the distance between reader and MC, but I think this is a strong start with emotional appeal and a sense that something is not quite right. I'm ready to buy this already, being a crazy cat lady myself.

  3. I'm going to sound like a broken record here, especially after the last two comments, but show don't tell.

    "Cathy was familiar with the deep pain of losing a special animal friend."

    Okay, you've told us she's sad. Now dig deeper. Like Ophelia says, feel the tears on her face. Have her sob a bit. Make us feel the character's pain. Don't just tell us she's sad. Make us look up from our book and say, "Wow. That's how I would feel."

  4. I assume your second paragraph is your pitch. I think it's a good start, but why does she decide to investigate the murder? Why not let the police handle it? That seems like the most reasonable thing to do. Is she a suspect because the money was left to her business?

    I'm a cat lover, but I don't think a cemetery scene is the best place to begin. It's hard to identify with a character's grief when we haven't had a chance to get to know the character yet. I think you'd do better to start at a point where something is going wrong (which would give you conflict).