Deep in the heart of Texas there's a tiny canine sleuth on the case.
I loved talking to Texas cozy mystery author Cat Clayton about her mystery series featuring dog groomer Steely Lamarr and her loyal companion, a Chihuahua named Cuff. The Steely and Cuff mysteries are perfect for mystery lovers who like a dash of romance and a splash of quirkiness in their books.
Cat's interview is perfectly timed because I think we all need a dose of the comfort that comes from reading about dogs, their loving owners, and mysteries that have a tidy resolution!
In the introduction, I mention some of my favorite comforting mystery novels, podcasts, TV shows and movies with the intention of providing suggestions for comfort if you need it in these challenging times.
This week's mystery author
Cat Clayton writes from somewhere deep in the heart of Texas, crafting a literary crossroads where mystery, humor, the paranormal, and a dash of romance intersect. She adores her family, spoils her (half-dozen +1) pets, is a self-proclaimed coffee snob, and a thrift store junky. When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing, and when she’s not doing either, she attempts CrossFit.
Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts. And listen on Stitcher, Android, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, and Spotify.
You can also click here to listen to the interview on YouTube.
Excerpt from How to Leash a Thief
I declared it pie o’clock somewhere and shoved a forkful of Very Berry Scrumptious in my mouth, as I attempted to decipher the troubled expression on my boyfriend’s face, while he spat hushed, clipped words into his cell phone. The same phone issued to him by the Buckleville Police Department. Even though I couldn’t hear anything, it didn’t take Sherlock to figure out the unidentified caller had delivered bad news. Trouble had arrived in Buckleville.
To distract my curiosity, I dug in for another bite. The yummy combination of buttery crust and the yin-yang of sweet and tart touched my soul. In my book, pie made everything better.
I leaned in, listening to Nick’s phone call. My cheeky Chihuahua, Cuff, sat perched on my lap. His head followed my fork back and forth, bulging amber eyes begging.
Nick backed up a few paces—enough to evade my prying ears.
Moments ago, we’d been arguing over the fact he’d caught me going through his things. Again. I couldn’t help myself. Recently, I’d found a receipt for a bouquet of long-stemmed red roses from the Crazy Daisy. A bouquet I’d never received.
Nick’s Bull Mastiff, Trigger, snoozed in the kitchen. His massive body lay sprawled on the tile floor, drooling. Cuff had been a moment of weakness while driving out of the Buckleville Food’s parking lot. One glimpse at the older male pup caged in a rickety-wired monstrosity, and I melted. It was love at first sight.
“Who is it?” I whispered to Nick. I set my pie plate down on the counter and put Cuff on the floor. He padded over next to Trigger and collapsed. He lowered his tiny muzzle between his two front paws and eyed me.
With his cell phone glued to his ear, Nick scowled.
I glanced over at the framed picture of us from last Christmas. I’d met Nick Campbell last winter at the downtown Holiday Stroll after he’d transferred to Buckleville PD. My first real, intimate relationship, and I intended to make it last. Before Nick, I was a 25-year-old virgin, a hopeless old-school romantic; it still happens. Despite “friendly advice” and “prayerful thought” from others, who thought we were moving too quickly, I tumbled head over boot heels in love.
But our romance had taken a turn for bitter and questionable, like milk gone blinky.
Glaring in my direction, Nick reached over and snatched the small notepad he carried while on duty.
No stranger to trouble, I recognized the look.