Raining Cat Sitters and Dogs, Blaize Clement
Sitting down with the fifth in Blaize Clement's mystery series was like catching up with old friends, and I was captivated from the first pages. I have enjoyed every book in this series so much. The main character, Dixie Hemingway ("no relation to you-know-who"), is an ex-police officer, recovering from devastating loss who has rebuilt her life around a new career as a pet-sitter. Like all my favorite series, this has a lively cast of continuing characters, including Dixie's Greek-god brother Michael and his equally stunning partner Paco, and a wide range of the pets Dixie cares for. Those pets play major roles in the stories, and they are true characters as much as the humans, described in loving detail but never with sentimentality.
This book has a corker of a plot, involving a hilarious African Grey parrot, a kidnapping, drugs and gangs, and a teenager named Jaz in need of serious help. The denouement caught me completely off guard, a real "oh wait, how did I miss that" moment.
I found the newest, Cat Sitter Among the Pigeons, just out in hb at the library - so I've got more Dixie (and Guidry! I peeked!) ahead.