Cover Image: The Trouble with Talent

The Trouble with Talent

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This book has it all, cats, music, murder and a little romance.  When the rude oboe instructor is found dead it is revealed that Colbie was one of the last person that saw him alive.  Normally that isn't a problem but when you call him out for being a jerk the police tend to look at you.  This is a fast paced mystery that is a quick read.
Was this review helpful?
The third book in the Gourmet Cat Mystery series by Kathy Krevat is The Trouble with Talent. Colbie's good deed of picking up a friend's son from an oboe lesson puts her in the middle of another mystery.  The oboe teacher is abusive to his students so when he winds up dead the suspects are plentiful.  The main plot of this book seems taken from real life as it focuses on college fixers who "help" students get into college.  I enjoy reading about Colbie and her family and friends.  I did solve the mystery very early on, but I still enjoyed the book.  I have read previous books in this series, but it is not necessary to enjoy this book.
Was this review helpful?
This was a fun, cute cozy mystery! I love the theme throughout, and I will definitely be continuing with the series.
Was this review helpful?
The story was written as a first person narrative where characters are described directly. The major conflicts include internal and external as characters battle themselves, other characters and society. The major themes shown throughout include character, facing reality, family, growing up, injustice, losing hope, manipulation, motherhood, greed as downfall, power of wealth, quest for discovery, reunion, vanity as downfall, will to survive, and wisdom of experience.
Colbie Summers is a single mom and business owner and has been turned into an amateur sleuth. She is a dedicated friend and protects them when she can. Joss Delaney a divorced father who lives next door to Colbie and has an interesting set of animals on his farm. Quincy Powell is Colbie’s investor who becomes a murder suspect but also plays a key role in protecting Zoey, Colbie’s head chef. Colbie should be spending her time growing Meowio Gourmet Cat food and prepping for the upcoming holiday season but she is pulled into a murder investigation. A simple helpful task of picking up a teenager from a music lesson leaves Colbie diving into rumours of a college fixer, college recommendations being faked, and grades being changed and the murder of Benson Tadworth, the music teacher. This leaves her attempting to clear Quincy’s name after he is named a suspect. She is attempting to discover who is all involved in this college entrance scheme. Plus her head chef is being stalked by her ex and could lose her infant son and her boyfriend’s ex-wife seems to decide that now she wants him back and is there every time she goes to see him. What else could Colbie have to deal with?
The ideas were interesting and unique, especially for anyone who has attempted to deal with college applications. The flow was organized and logical as the voice was individualized. The sentence structure and word choice help to enhance the overall story. Yes, I would recommend this book. Those not interested in manipulation, murder, abusive teachers, abusive exes, or college entrance schemes may want to skip this book. Those interested in friends sticking together, new romances and dedication to friends may want to give this one a try.
Was this review helpful?
This was a fun cosy mystery. I liked the characters, especially Trouble, in addition to the plot and sub-plots. I also want to give credit to the author for talking about domestic violence.
Was this review helpful?
Wonderful Cozy Mystery
This is such a good mystery! The story has some sweet and clean romance, a high school play, serious musical study, and gourmet cat food. It all meshes nicely into a well-written mystery. I enjoyed this book so much that I plan on reading the other books in this series. I received this ARC book for free from Net Galley and this is my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie

The Trouble with Talent is a new, exciting offering in the Gourmet Cat Mystery series! Trouble comes in all shapes and sizes. In Colbie’s world, Trouble is an adorable orange female tabby cat with white paws and belly. Trouble is the mascot of Colbie’s organic cat food company, Meowio Batali. And trouble is what Colbie runs into ever since moving back to Sunnyside, California. She doesn’t go looking for murder, creepy jealous exes, or other problems. They just to find her.

Colbie and her son Elliott live with her father, Hank, and the gorgeous, very vocal Trouble. Elliott is settled in his new school and a happy member of the middle school drama club, preparing for a presentation of The Lion King. Colbie is dating Joss, an organic farmer near their home, and his daughter Kai and Elliott get along well. Colbie’s business is doing well. One successful health food chain distributes the food she began experimenting with when Trouble couldn’t digest regular cat food. She hopes to have another store distributing it soon, but trouble got in the way of the deal.

Colbie went to pick up Steven, the son of her friend, Yollie, from his oboe lesson. A high school senior, Steven eats, sleeps, and breathes playing his oboe. While she was outdoors waiting, she heard a crash inside the garage/ studio where the lessons are conducted, the teacher, Benson Tadworth, yelling at Steven. Unable to stop herself, she raced inside and yelled at the man for being awful to Steven, who begged her to let it go and wait for him outside. Without the recommendation of Tadworth, he would not get auditions to music conservatories, which would destroy everything he had loved and worked hard for.

Colbie asked her business investor, mentor, and friend, Quincy, if that was the same teacher his granddaughter has and why. When he talked with his granddaughter and learned more about him, he was irate. Quincy saw the instructor in the parking lot of a store, and their words turned into a knock-down fight.

Yollie was very angry and concerned about Steven’s future. They agreed that Yollie and Colbie would return to Tadworth’s home on Sunday and Colbie would apologize for her outburst. After arriving, they recognized the horrible reek of rotten eggs outside the converted garage/ studio. Knowing it was probably a gas leak, they open the door to find Tadworth lying on the floor, and they dragged him out, seeing his shirt covered in blood. They were barely away from the garage when it exploded. Tadworth was dead, murdered, with a hole in his neck.

Quincy, having had a public fight with him, was the primary suspect. Everyone who knew Quincy knew he could not kill anyone. Norma, the lead detective, must follow the leads, however, and despite her friendship with Colbie, must do her job. Between the challenges Zoey, Colbie’s head chef, endures from the father of her son, and Joss’ ex-wife trying to get back together with him, Colbie’s hands are full. There comes a time when she has to help Quincy by asking questions and sharing what she learns with Norma. They are going against big money folks this time, finding a military-grade GPS on her car, bugs in her dad’s home (Trouble tried to tell her there was something weird in the chandelier!), and learning about “fixers” who help get students into the schools of their choice, at any price. Even murder.

I am partial to the characters in this series, especially Colbie, Joss, and their respective pets. The goats and Charlie the rooster are fun farm friends. If it wasn’t for Charlie, would Colbie and Joss met as quickly? Trouble, who has much to say throughout, is a charmer, behaving like many felines I’ve known. Colbie’s family and friends are likable and defined well through their actions and realistic conversations.

The plot twists keep the story moving at a steady, rapid pace, and before I knew it, the story was over. It was so hard to figure out who the real killer was! While I was curious about who it turned out to be, I didn’t see the person as anything other than a bit creepy. I appreciated watching Colbie and Norma working together with Norma respecting Colbie’s opinions and suggestions, even when at great risk. Elliott’s enjoyment of the junior theater is refreshing, and I learned more than anticipated about “fixers”.   I highly recommend this novel to cat-loving cozy mystery fans!

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*
Was this review helpful?
It was so good to return to Sunnyside, CA and catch up with Colbie, Elliott, her dad and all her friends. Little did she know that the death of a talented oboe teacher would lead her down a slippery and shady road searching for the killer, not to mention the danger her own life was in as some unknown person had been tracking her every move. 

I loved that Colbie and Joss overcame some hurdles in this book and are at a good place right now. (Please just stay there lol). Her dad and his lady Annie were happily dating, Elliott was involved in another amazing play, and one of the coolest things was Colbie's friend Tod who previously wouldn't even let her in his apartment due to a psychological condition he had, had come such a long way. He was really helpful in getting information in this case too. I really loved that an abused mom was able to get revenge on her abusive ex. And little Trouble cat continued to love cuddles and seemed able to detect electronic bugs. All in a cat's day's work, right? This is a great series, and I'm very much looking forward to the next book!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book that was provided via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
Colbie lives with her son Elliott, her father and Talent her cat. She loves her job making organic cat food and trying out her new recipes on Talent.
Her boyfriend Joss and his daughter is Kai live close by and her life seems pretty perfect.
Then when Colbie and her friend Yollie go to speak to Benson, Yollie’s sons Music Teacher, about bullying pupils they find him in his gas filled garage. They drag him out just before it explodes but he is already dead.
Against her better judgement Colbie starts to investigate Benson’s murder but when she finds a tracker on her car and listening devices in her house she wonders if she is in over her head. 
Throw in Joss’ ex-wife Gemma arriving to try to get him back and another person connected to Benson being killed and Colbie certainly has her hands full.  
Colbie has to dig deep and play dirty to uncover the truth before anyone else gets hurt.
Thoroughly enjoyable, definitely will be reading more of these.
Was this review helpful?
Single mom Colbie Summers has a lot to be grateful for in the run up to Thanksgiving. Relocating back to her California hometown has brought her irascible dad and adolescent son closer.  Her gourmet cat food line—vetted by her trusty taste-tester, Trouble—is about to get a big re-order. And she’s made wonderful new friends and colleagues. Too bad one them has just been accused of murder . . .
Sunnyside’s most gifted students have been at the mercy of a shadowy network of college fixers—including an abusive oboe teacher whose recommendation is necessary to get into Julliard and a school secretary who alters grades for cash. When they turn up dead, Colbie has to untangle a cat’s cradle of suspects and motivations—from livid parents and students whose dreams have been crushed to an entire secret Facebook group of spurned lovers.
Suddenly, holiday preparations just got a lot hairier. With the big re-order now on hold and the real killer still at large, Colbie discovers that someone has been grading on a very dangerous curve—and it will take all her newfound sleuthing talent to land safely on her feet. 

I just couldn't get into this one. I wanted to read it initially because it reminded me of the college admission scandals that were unearthed recently, but it just wasn't entertaining.
Was this review helpful?
Enjoyed this book. Kept me interested all the way through. Would recommend to a fellow reader.  Love the cover.
Was this review helpful?
The Trouble with Talent by Kathy Krevat is the third book in the cozy Gourmet Cat Mystery  series. Each book of this cozy series contains it’s own mystery to be solved so they can be read and understood as a standalone. However, those that read from the  beginning will get all of the character development that happens from book to book.

In the first book of the series single mom Colbie Summers had packed up her twelve year old son and their cat, Trouble, and moved back to Sunnyside, CA. Colbie’s father had taken ill so she needed to be closer to him and decided she could move her gourmet cat food business to Sunnyside and continue to work from there.

Now Colbie’s business is continuing to grow and expand after taking on an investor and business partner, Quincy Powell. When Colbie is doing a favor for a friend she crosses paths with a cranky music teacher and doesn’t like how he’s treating his students. Colbie warns Quincy since he also has a child in the teacher’s classes and it causes a confrontation so when the teacher is found murdered Quincy is at the  top of the suspect list.

I have read this series from the  beginning and will admit going into book two I had really forgotten about the characters so while enjoyable overall I was a bit put off they hadn’t stood out more. This time however everything clicked right away and I was happy to return to the series as the characters seem to grow on me with each read. There’s a touch of quirky and plenty of suspects to the mystery so I’ll definitely be back for book four.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
Was this review helpful?
This series is pure catnip for cat lovers ! I love this series and have read the previous in series.  The writing is well crafted, the author knows cats and writes well of their personalities and the people in the series are likable . This is the third in series of what I hope will be a long cozy series!  Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for the opportunity to read this for review. My opinion is my own. 
In this next in the Gourmet Cat Mystery series by Kathy Krevat the author brings the animal characters to the forefront with Charlie the rooster and his friend a Nigerian goat and many entertaining moments with the animals that makes this series so fun  to read. Colbie Summers and her cat Trouble, whose digestive  problems grew the idea for her new business  "Meowio Batali Gourmet Cat Food. " Colbie now distributes through Twomey’s Health Food, a chain of stores all over greater metro  San Diego., She has reached success with her business while creating cat food that is healthy for all cats as well as popular with finicky feline palates. Trouble is her taste kitchen and humor ensues when he rejects Colbie's ideas for new flavors. 

 This story behind a murder  was very true to life with a focus on wealthy families using their money to gain access to top school for unworthy students.  This is a very timely subject and in our news today.  When a murder occurs of a instructor that was involved in the college scam suspects abound as he was not just crooked but also abusive to students and his co workers.  Colbie is on the case and kneed deep in possible suspects and motives. 
This was such a good mystery I could not put it down. I look forward to the next in series . The conclusion was great and very satisfying to the plot.  A very timely subject indeed that made a wonderful mystery read.
Was this review helpful?
Princess Fuzzypants here:  I have enjoyed the Trouble series.  I like Colbie.  She is a good pet parent.  She started her business after she began concocting recipes for Trouble’s sensitive tummy and discovered lots of other kitties also liked her cooking.  The series, like the business, has been going from success to success, growing along the way in character development.  Between Colbie’s family and friends, there is a wealth of potential as they are all interesting and compelling.  From her son’s passion for musical theatre to her friend’s son’s passion for the oboe, Colbie and her friends struggle with single parenthood and helping their children get the strongest start in life.
Parents do that.  Sadly, as headlines recently confirm, some go to extremes.  They get involved with toxic people whom they hope will smooth the way for their children to reach their dreams.  When one of those toxic individuals is murdered, Colbie gets involved as her business patron is the chief suspect.  Then Colbie’s detective friend suggests she ask questions too.  But after the second murder, wiretaps in both Colbie’s home and car and threats to her life, everyone, including Colbie herself wants her to back off.  Unfortunately, she may have “poked the bear” too often.
Too bad she didn’t listen to Trouble.  She told her something was amiss but being human, Colbie missed the message.  Silly woman.   Trouble never led Colbie astray over a recipe nor a murder.  She won’t lead you astray either.
Five purrs and two paws up.
Was this review helpful?
Colbie Summers is a single mother who, with her son, has returned home to live with her father. He had some health issues and she was there to help. Now she has started a specialty line of organic cat food thanks to the needs of her cat, Trouble. Set to grow from sales at the local farmer's market into the local health food chain, she has a very busy life. Her son is a budding actor and is set to be in a production of the Lion King, much of the costumes being created in her house and bringing its own kind of chaos. Her boyfriend seems to be a keeper if only his ex-wife can keep her distance - not any time soon. The Thanksgiving holidays are just around the corner and, all things considered, her life is going well. Until the fatful day when her friends' car breaks down and Colbie is asked to do her friend a huge favor - please pick up her son from his oboe lesson. of course, no problem....that is until Colbie arrives at the music teachers home and hears yelling. Going to investigate she discovers the man yelling at her friends son, berating him. That's just the start. The man wields great power in the local music community and a word, a letter to the right people and a student would have many doors open to them in their musical studies. Colbie has just stuck her nose into a situation that makes more than one person very angry. Unfortunately, one of those people is her mento, her financial backer of her cat food line - his granddaughter is one of the students being abused by the music teacher. When the teacher is found, by Colbie and her friend, they barely have a second to process that fact before his studio explodes. Next shock is the police focusing on her mentor as the prime suspect.
I liked everything about this mystery. The people are well developed, very real. The mystery itself is multilayered with some very current elements from recent news stories. As for the animals, well how can you not like a pair of dwarf goats named Percy and Pegasus, a rooster named Charlie who can't resist ringing doorbells and last but not least, Trouble the cat who is the worlds most finicky eater. Put them altogether and this is a mystery series that belongs on my must read list permanently. I'm ready for #4.
My thanks to the publisher Lyrical Underground and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Another winner in this series. Connie Summers just can't help getting involved. After agreeing to pick her friend's son up from his music lesson, she is shocked at the abusive language the teacher uses and interrupts the lesson. Shortly thereafter, the teacher is murdered and an explosion set to hide the murder. As Colbie gets drawn further into investigating another murder, she uncovers a link to a major lucrative college admissions scandal. Definitely a current hot topic and the first I've read to use it. Quick moving and characters you will enjoy spending time with. My only quibble was the identity of the main perpetrator was easily guessed fairly early, but the how's and what were fun to discover.
Was this review helpful?
The Trouble with Talent, the third book in Kathy Kravat’s Gourmet Cat series (and the first I have read), is an engaging cozy mystery with a timely message. Colbie Summers, a single mom, has formulated (and is marketing) a line of cat food sure to please the pickiest eater – her own cat, Trouble. Unfortunately, trouble (and not just the cat) has followed her to California. When Brendon Tadworth, a local oboe instructor, is murdered, suspicion falls on her friend and mentor, Quincy (who had a heated argument with the instructor), and Colbie is thrust into solving the mystery. 

There are so many things to like about this book. Colbie, her boyfriend, Joss, and her son, Elliott, are extremely likeable and relatable characters. And Trouble has a personality all his own! The writing is smart, funny and well-paced. The underlying theme of the book -- students who are using instructors and “fixers” to get into college – is especially timely and well thought out. The subplots involving Elliott’s involvement in theatre and Colbie’s relationship with Joss (and his ex) are fun as well. The mystery itself had enough red herrings to keep the reader guessing.

The fact that I hadn’t read the first two books in the series did not detract from the story. There was enough background information (but not too much) to catch up with the characters. All-in-all, The Trouble with Talent was a quick, enjoyable read that has inspired me to go back to the beginning and read them in order.

Note: I received an ARC of The Trouble with Talent from NetGalley and Kensington Books/Lyrical Underground. The above is my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
The Trouble with Talent is the third in the Gourmet Cat Mystery series.
Out story begins with Charlie the doorbell ringing Buff Laced Polish rooster from next door and his sidekick Nigerian Dwarf goat ready to ring the doorbell at Colbie’s house.
I enjoyed that current issues are woven into Ms. Krevat tales. How she knew that the college fixing scandal was about to break is a mystery to me or just a great coincidence.
The main mystery is who killed the abusive oboe instructor. Colbie and her friend/mentor Quincy have unpleasant interactions with the instructor before his death. Quincy becomes the main suspect. Colbie feels obligated to investigate.

I like that the series is written showing us how a new business owner, mother, girlfriend, and friend has plenty going on in her life that she must try to balance along with the amateur sleuth aspect.

I found this well written, fun to read, and interspersed with humor.
Was this review helpful?
Colbie Summers is back as the sleuth in this series. Colbie is the owner of an organic, gourmet cat food company.

Her business has been growing and is on the verge of getting into a brand new market. At the same time, she is getting ready to host Thanksgiving at her father’s house, where she and her son now also reside.

She is asked, as a favor, to pick up a friend’s son at his oboe lesson. While waiting, something happens which makes her mad. When she tries to correct a wrong, she ends up uncovering a scheme for getting recommendations to get into the college of a child’s choice.

Then murder occurs and Colbie is, once again, drawn into solving the murder.

The plot is timely given real life events which have occurred recently. It was interesting to read and the whodunnit was surprising. I also loved the Thanksgiving group and how Colbie felt about it and actually dealt with it.

I was provided a digital advance reader copy of this book by the publisher via Netgalley.
Was this review helpful?
The Trouble with Talent by Kathy Krevat is book three in the Gourmet Cat Mystery series. Don't worry, if you haven't read the first two, Krevat catches you up quickly but having read the others, you will want to!  
The timing of the book is prefect since it deals with a college admission scandal.
Colbie is once again drawn into finding a killer. This time it's to find out who murdered the oboe teacher. Not only is there that mystery, you get exe's returning and wanting back what they gave up, baby goats, a rooster, likeable characters, humor, romance, family, and of course Trouble.
Over all, this is an easy to read mystery with a great plot.
I was given an ARC by Netgalley and the publisher for an honest opinion. '
Was this review helpful?