The Cat, the Mill and the Murder: A Cats in Trouble Mystery
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When cat lover and quilter Jillian Hart volunteers to help a local animal shelter relocate a colony of feral cats living in an abandoned textile mill, she never expects to find a woman living there, too. Jeannie went missing from Mercy, South Carolina, a decade ago, after her own daughter’s disappearance.
Jeannie refuses to leave the mill or abandon Boots, her cat who died years ago. After all, she and Boots feel the need to protect the premises from “creepers” who come in the night. After Jeannie is hurt in an accident and is taken away, those who've come to town to help repurpose the mill uncover a terrible discovery.. As the wheels start turning in Jillian’s mind, a mysterious new feline friend aids in her quest to unearth a long-kept and dark secret.
plenty since he’s lived in Mercy all his life—unlike you or me.” “Ed knows almost as much stuff about Mercy as he has objects crammed into his junk shop,” he said. “Can you be a hoarder of information as well as a hoarder of, well, everything?” I laughed. “You can.” Tom faced me and held my arm. “Do that again,” he whispered. “Do what?” Gosh, I could get lost in his brilliant blue eyes. “Laugh. I love to hear you laugh.” Our kiss was interrupted by a cat chase headed in the opposite
little illumination and I couldn’t help but take a peek beside me. See? Nothing there, silly. I got out, shut my van door and greeted Tom. The hug we shared felt wonderful. I definitely needed a hug. Gripping my upper arms, he held me back so he could look at me. “You’re upset. I mean, every muscle is tense. Let’s talk.” With his arm around me, we went inside. Three cats waited in the kitchen when we walked in. Chablis arched her back and squinted up at me, almost smiling, and I reached down
sofa. “Are you okay?” Dumb question, I thought. Nothing was okay about any of this. Not her on the floor. Not me being inside her house. Not a ghost cat rushing to Penelope Webber’s side. “Jillian?” B.J.’s voice came out of my phone and startled me. “Can you tell what’s wrong with her?” I was staring down at Penelope Webber, lying in the murky room. Staring at the blood blossoming like a giant red poppy on her white blouse. Staring at the splatters of blood marring the white leather sofa. A
“What’s the boy’s name?” I said. She stared straight ahead. “I promised I’d never say. And I keep my word. Don’t want to bring shame on the boy—and he would be shamed because one of his kind loved a mill girl.” Before I could press Jeannie further about this important piece of information, I heard cheerful hellos coming from the door. I turned and saw Pastor Mitch and Elizabeth come into the room. Jeannie turned her face away from them, but at that instant, I saw Boots—yes, saw her again—jump
for the upscale condos, asking if he’d developed any floor plans—she got very specific. He seemed happy, excited, but grew guarded when she started asking about his investor group. He said, “They want to stay in the background. I handle all the questions about financing. We have the money.” And one person wants to stay so far in the background, we don’t even have a name—yet, I thought. I glanced at the hallway where Beatrice lay sound asleep in her bedroom—or so her son said. We came to talk to