Claws for Alarm
by T.C. LoTempio
Since inheriting her mother’s sandwich shop, Nora Charles is more about hot grilled paninis than cold-blooded murder—until her sister Lacey is arrested. The victim, an esteemed art collector and Lacey’s bullying professor, was stabbed in the heart. Apparently, all over a lousy grade. Off campus, things were just as dicey. The prof had an ex with secrets, a trophy wife set to inherit a fortune in masterworks, and a scorned student mistress. Going undercover, Nora realizes that investigating this crime is the biggest test of her sleuthing career. Because if she fails, even Nick’s animal instinct won’t be enough to rescue Lacey from a perfectly executed framing.
“Nick and Nora are a winning team.”—Rebecca Hale, New York Times bestselling author of How to Paint a Cat “Nick and Nora are the purrfect sleuthy duo!”—*Victoria Laurie, New York Times bestselling author of the Psychic Eye Mystery series
I put down the phone and nibbled at my lower lip. Almost as if he knew I’d been thinking about him, Nick appeared, jumping into my lap with surprising ease for a cat of his girth. I rubbed the sensitive area behind his ears and whispered into his ruff, “You’d like to know what happened to your former master too, wouldn’t you?”
Nick raised his sleek black head. “Er-ewl,” he mewled as his little (debatable point) kitty claws moved up and down, kneading my lap.
“That’s what I thought.” I picked up the piece of paper on which I’d written the address Ollie’d given me. “Saint Leo isn’t far away – as a matter of fact it’s only about two miles from Aunt Prudence’s house. We could conceivably kill two birds with one stone, say, tomorrow afternoon?”
His steady rumble made me smile. I gave his head a quick pat. “I thought you’d agree.” I reached for my cell phone. “Maybe I’d better warn Aunt Prudence we’re going to be stopping by, though. So she can prepare my sister.”
Nick’s eyes popped wide and he leaned back on his haunches, pawed at the air.
I laughed. “Yes, she might find you charming, and then again…with Lacey, you can never tell. We – we’ve never gotten along all that well. I’m sure she’ll like you, though.” I leaned over to stroke his head, and I didn’t imagine the cat smile he gave me. As I reached for my cell with my other hand, it started to ring. I snatched it up, glanced at the number, and then hit the button. “Aunt Prudence. You must be psychic. I was just going to call you.”
“Oh, Nora, I’m so glad I got you.” My aunt’s voice was a high-pitched wail of distress. “The most awful thing has happened.
“Your sister’s been arrested – for murder.”
Author T.C. LoTempio:
Born in New York City, T. C. LoTempio is the national bestselling author of Meow If It’s Murder, the first in the Nick and Nora Mystery series. She has been a staff reporter at the young adult magazine Susabella Passengers and Friends for more than a decade. When she isn’t reporting or writing novels, she and her cat Rocco fundraise for Nathan Fillion’s charity, Kids Need to Read.
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