Saturday, September 25, 2021


Today I'm joining 
Berkley Mystery
 in celebrating the release of  
Book 13 in the Magical Cat Mysteries
by Sofie Kelly

Librarian Kathleen Paulson and her inquisitive cats find themselves in a jam when a musician turns up dead, in the newest installment of this New York Times bestselling series.

It’s summer in Mayville Heights, and Kathleen Paulson and her detective boyfriend Marcus, are eager to attend the closing concert of the local music festival. The concert is a success, but then one of the band members is discovered dead shortly after it. At first it’s assumed the death is a robbery gone wrong, but Kathleen suspects foul play—and she’s certain that she, along with her trusty side-cats, Owen and Hercules, can help solve the murder.

Before his death, Kathleen had noticed the victim in the library researching his genealogy, and when she and Marcus take a closer look at the man's family tree, they begin to think a previous death of one of his relatives now seems suspicious. The more Kathleen thinks about it, the more this murder feels like it could be an encore performance. Kathleen and her cats will need to act fast and be very careful if they want to stay off of a killer's hit list.

The Soundtrack of My Life by Sofie Kelly

Music plays a big part in the storyline of the latest Magical Cats mystery, Hooked on a Feline. It turns out Kathleen’s friend, Harry Taylor, played in a band when he was younger. As I tried to decide what kind of songs the band would play for their comeback concert I started thinking about the music that’s important to me, the songs that make up the soundtrack of my life.

Whenever I hear Barry Manilow singing Mandy I think about Rob Fowler from high school. He was every teenage girl’s dream, tall with long hair and tight, flared jeans. And he kissed me in the breezeway between the main part of the school and the gym. It was during my bad girl phase. Actually, that kiss was my entire bad girl phase. Unfortunately that kiss did not make Rob fall madly in love with me.

Does anyone remember those little books that used to be displayed by the cash registers in grocery stores back in the 70s? They were all aimed at women and covered topics like how to get thinner thighs in a month or how to find your soulmate using the astrological signs. I bought one with easy spells anyone could do using just a candle. Then I spent the next two weeks listening to Mandy over and over while I burned a purple candle and used the incantation that would make Rob’s hair fall out.

Rob, if you’re reading this I swear I had no idea that spell would work so well, albeit on a bit of a delay.

Most people wouldn’t call the Billy Joel song, You May be Right, romantic. But whenever I hear it I’m reminded of a long-ago summer fling with a guy named Pete who had long hair, drove a motorcycle and liked cats and Billy Joel. And as for Pete’s hair, if he no longer has any, that’s not on me.

With the first few notes of Daydream Believer, before Davy Jones of the Monkees even starts to sing, I’m back in my little country school, on the second floor where we printed the school newspaper on a hand-crank Gestetner copy machine. It’s always a bittersweet memory because I can picture my friend Bonnie, who has been gone far more years than she was with us.

My daughter has loved Steven Tyler since she was in her high chair swaying to Aerosmith’s music. She’s still a fan. Whenever I hear I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing all at once I’m standing in the middle of Walmart with my girl just after she learned to walk. We’re passing the music department when she hears the song. She stops, lets go of my hand and starts to dance. Picture a tiny little person with slightly bowed legs and a big faux fur hat dancing just for the joy of it. That’s what I see every time Steven Tyler starts to sing.

Blue Rodeo’s Lost Together is one of my favorite songs. It was written by Greg Keelor and Jim Cuddy, with Keelor singing lead. It always takes me back to southern China where my daughter was born. I’m lying in bed in the middle of the night, my husband snoring beside me and the baby snoring in the crib on my other side, feeling homesick and more than a little overwhelmed that I am a first-time mother at forty.

So what songs make up the soundtrack of your life? I’d love to hear. Please share.

HOOKED ON A FELINE in the Magical Cats Mysteries is lucky number 13 for author Sofie Kelly. Not that this author needs luck with the way she writes! Pure talent is what led her here.

In HOOKED ON A FELINE, a murder in the present likely links to a murder in the past, with both victims being family. Following along on this investigation, I really felt as though I was present in the story. I became truly invested, needing to know the answers as much as protagonist, Kathleen. The best part was letting Kathleen do all the work. ;-)

Getting deeper into the mystery, the twists and turns were enough to set off my vertigo. But I held on tight, really concentrating, paying close attention to every detail until I finally knew . . . I am no Nancy Drew or Sofie Kelly. I was blindsided with the reveal.

HOOKED ON A FELINE has everything readers look for in a cozy mystery, making it a magical story that is a must read.

About Sofie Kelly

Sofie Kelly: Six Quick Questions

Sofie Kelly is the pseudonym of writer and mixed-media artist, Darlene Ryan. As Sofie Kelly she writes the New York Times bestselling Magical Cats mysteries. And as Sofie Ryan she writes the Second Chance Cats series. Sofie/Darlene lives on the east coast with her husband and daughter. In her spare time she practices Wu style tai chi and likes to prowl around thrift stores.

How did you get started as a writer?

I've been writing forever. (I won third prize in a poetry contest in third grade.) I wrote radio commercials for years and lots of bad short stories that I couldn't get published--for good reason--they were awful. But the more I wrote, the more I learned.

Did you always want to be a writer?

No. I wanted to move to California, become a director and marry Michael Cole from The Mod Squad, which gives you an idea of how old I am. I think I became a writer by evolution. I went from writing commercials and short stories to writing articles and eventually books.

Was English your favorite subject in school?

It wasn't--which always surprises people. My favorite subject was math, at least until calculus came along.

Where do you get your ideas?

Everywhere. It could be something I hear on the news. It could be something someone says to me, or something I overhear. (Yes, I'm guilty of eavesdropping in public.) And I like to watch people and make up stories about who they are and what they're doing.

What's the secret to writing a book?

The secret to writing a book is...that there is no secret. Writing a book is like everything else in life, you have to show up and do it. There may be writers who wait for inspiration to hit and then the words just pour out, but I'm not one of them. I work from an outline and I write a certain number of words each day. Some days it's easy. Some days I keep clicking on the Word Count and moaning, "Am I done yet?"

What do you like to read?

The short answer is everything. I read a lot of mystery,women's fiction, and paranormal, but if something about a book intrigues me--the title, the subject, sometimes even the cover art--I don't pay any attention to the genre. I tend to read more than one book at a time and one of them is usually non-fiction.

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  1. Sounds interesting. Thanks, Lisa.

    Happy Saturday!
    Pat T

  2. HOOKED ON A FELINE is another fabulous book by by Sofie Kelly! Can't wait for the opportunity to dive in reading. Reading everything in your post just makes that desire even stronger. Thanks!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  3. I bought a copy of Hooked on a Feline from Murder by the Book along with a Victoria Laurie book. I looked for you on FB and didn't find you. My question is. How can I acquire a signed bookplate to put in my book? Maybe a few more also for the eight paperback and two hardcover books I have on my bookshelves.

  4. That beginning was so great. The cover band allowed for a broad base of fans who can relate to the songs and I really felt like I was at the concert! From there the book just kept going pulling me along and not letting me go until the end. I love the feeling that I am right there with all of her books. So far this one is my favorite.