The Cat and the Pendulum
The No. 2 Feline Detective Agency, Book 10
by Mandy Morton
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Pub Date 18 May 2022 | Archive Date 18 May 2022
When the celebrated crime writer Agatha Crispy engages Hettie and Tilly in the search for a stolen manuscript, our feline detective duo is plunged into a world of Dickensian thieves and murderers.
Does the ghost of Jake the Nipper prowl the London Streets of Kitzrovia? Will Madame Two Paws’s exhibition wax or wane? And will the secrets in the crypt of the church of St Mavis and Cucumber finally be revealed?
Join Hettie and Tilly as they attempt to unravel yet another darkly humorous case for The No. 2 Feline Detective Agency.
*Praise for The No. 2 Feline Detective Agency series*
‘Original and intriguing… a world without people which cat lovers will enter and enjoy.’ P. D. JAMES
‘I loved it. The whole concept is just so “real”!’ BARARA ERSKINE
‘Mandy Morton’s Feline Detective Agency instigates a new genre, both wonderful and surreal.’ MADDY PRIOR
‘The world that Morton has created is irresistible.’ PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
‘Witty and smart. Prepare to be besotted.’ M.K. GRAFF
‘Mandy Morton’s series is both charming and whimsical.’ BARRY FORSHAW
‘Hettie Bagshot might be a new face at the scene of a crime, but already she could teach most fictional detectives a thing or two.’ THE HUNTS POST
‘An absolute delight from beginning to end… Totally original, very different – and I’m in awe of the author’s imagination. Very much recommended.’ BEING ANNE BLOG
Average rating from 17 members
I was looking forward to read this book, I love Hettie and Tilly and their adventures are always a compelling and highly entertaining read.
This one is a bit darker and it deals with serious issues like memories, respect for the victims, and how tourism can exploit historical tragedy.
There's a lot of books about serial killer and there's a lot of books about Jack the Ripper. Most of the time there's a sort of morbit fascination with the killer and the victims are often forgotten.
That said there's a matrioska of mysteries and the plot flows as they're all solid. Hettie and Tilly are as lovely as usual and I loved Agatha Crispy.
I missed the usual cast of characters but this one features some very interesting cats.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
cats, cosy-mystery, detective-fiction, detective, famous-author, historical-urban-fantasy, friendship, situational-humor, verbal-humor, copycat-murders, England*****
Miss Agatha Crispy, the famed author, wants the Agency to find the missing manuscript but keep it a secret. While in London they visit Madam TwoPaws wax works, watch a movie starring Boris Katloff, read the Daily Snout newspaper, and get involved in the Jake the Nipper historical mania. Of course, there's lots more going on, the mystery itself is as good as it is entertaining, complete with plot twists, suspense, and red, well, herrings. I highly recommend this book for anyone who likes cosies and fun!
I requested and received a free e-book copy from Farrago via NetGalley. Thank you!
I don't usually read cozy mysteries, but this one looked intriguing. It is clever, and fun -- the Feline Detective Agency is tasked with locating a missing manuscript by Miss Agatha Crispy and have various adventures and mishaps along the way. Entertaining and suspenseful. Recommended for anyone who loves cats and cozy mysteries. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC!
Hetty and Tilly, famous cat detectives, head to London to help Agatha Crispy find out who stole her latest book. A lot of play on words to create the scene, but if you enjoy Agatha Christie, Jack the Ripper, and Charles Dickens you will enjoy this. A new twist on the theme makes for fun reading. Did get a bit tired of their eating details, but might just be me. Highly recommend this cozy mystery.
A missing manuscript that is the work of Agatha Crispy and the long-ago murders of Jake the Nipper set the stage for murderous events in “The Cat and the Pendulum,” the latest in the “No. 2 Feline Detective Agency” series by Mandy Morton. Yes, you read that right, folks. The characters in these books are cats, including the two proprietors of said detective agency, Hettie Bagshot and Tilly Jenkins, who investigate crimes in an England that requires, shall we say, a real suspension of disbelief. But it’s worth it, because Hettie and Tilly are really, really, good detectives.
Our two girls have just returned from a well-earned vacation to find an invitation from the famous crime writer Agatha Crispy. She wants them to visit her at her London home, to discuss a problem. She needs their expertise. Her latest manuscript -- titled “The Cat and the Pendulum” -- has gone missing. Find it, she hopes they can. To do that, they must embark on a stay in Kitzrovia, which happens to be the old stomping grounds of Jake the Nipper, where he plied his trade of gruesome murders. And the denizens of Kitzrovia won’t let anyone forget it; the whole place is a veritable homage to the murders. And there’s a copy-cat on the loose; cats are being dispatched in the same places where the earlier killings took place. Nobody in Kitzrovia seems too upset about this, however. It’s good for business!
First off, mention must be made of the eating that takes place throughout the books. Our cats do like to eat. Readers are treated to a rolling commentary throughout the pages, and no, it isn’t kibble. Our detectives are feline aficionados of whatever they can get their little paws on.
Ms. Morton always makes sure there’s a wealth of suspects to reckon with. Some rather nasty characters in this one, definitely; dodgy reenactment actors, smarmy undertakers, and especially, Cheesedon Wilks, who “keeps a nice church” in Kitzgrovia, St. Mavis and Cucumber. We are told that St. Mavis was the patron saint of salads, and alas, was burnt at the stake for growing lettuce. I don’t make these things up, folks. Mandy Morton does.
Our ‘tecs, seasoned professionals that they are, do a whole lot of sleuthing, looking for the manuscript and uncovering the truth behind what is really going on in Kitzrovia. One thing you might notice; there are no police in these books. Hettie and Tilly do all the mystery solving completely on their own.
There’s a whole lot going on here, including another murder (at least the manuscript is returned), plagiarizing, and kitten labor exploitation. “The Cat and the Pendulum” has rather a darker theme that earlier books in the series, I thought. Hettie and Tilly are on top of their game as always, and they hatch a plan that will expose what’s going on in Kitzrovia and rid the district of its problems at the same time. They’re on a mission to return normalcy to the area, as normal as it can get, anyway. And right some very bad wrongs. They get some help, in a very unexpected, but welcome, fashion. The graveyard at St. Mavis and Cucumber hides its secrets well.
“The Cut and the Pendulum” is one of those books that will keep you entertained throughout. So, sit back, enjoy a bag of crisps and a Screaming Scamp or two and immerse yourself in these pages. It’s always a fascinating journey.
What a fantastic addition to the series! Hettie and Tilly are in London, searching for Agatha Cripsy's stolen manuscript. Meanwhile, the streets of Kitzrovia are once again haunted by Jake the Nipper. The detectives find themselves drawn to the serial killings.
The mystery behind Jake the Nipper murders and the stolen manuscript kept me guessing till the end. I really loved the ending - and there seems to be some form of closure to Jake the Nipper's identity as well as the recent killings.
Completely engrossing and entertaining mystery. Mandy Morton is a master storyteller and to write a mystery featuring cats and set in a cat-world, well that's the work of a genius.
I was looking forward to reading this and I was not disappointed.
Hettie and Tilly have been summoned to London by Agatha Crispy, the mystery writer they had befriended previously. She has a job for them, her latest manuscript has been stolen and she needs it back.
She has arranged for them to stay in Kitzrovia, a place where Jake the Nipper killed 5 cats in 1888.
When they arrive there they find that the place is like a theme park and everywhere has been themed on the murders - the room they are staying in has been named after one of the victims, there are cocktails in the pub named after them, there is a nightly Jake the Nipper tour every night - to name a few things. This doesn't sit well with them and they feel that the dead are not being respected. To add to this there also appears to be a series of copycat murders happening.
They both that something is amiss and in their own inimitable way, eating their way through fish suppers and cream cakes, they throw themselves into the investigation. In the absence of Bruiser and Poppa, two American tourists, Marni and Arthur, become their co-investigators as they uncover the dark secrets of Kitzrovia and track down the manuscript.
For fans of previous books, enjoy. For new readers enjoy and then go back and read the rest in the series as they are just as well written and funny.
This is book 10 in the Feline Detective Agency series. I have only previously read book one although I do have books 2 to 6 sat on my bookshelf waiting to be read. It can be read as a standalone but I think the reader should read the first book at least in order to understand what it's all about.
Every character in the boom is cat and it is an addictive but bonkers read. The author is extremely clever in creating this and I love how everything/everyone has a car related name e.g. madam two paws wax works, flea street.
Thanks to Farrago and netgalley for this advance read.
My thanks to Farrago Books and NetGalley for a review copy of this book.
The Cat and the Pendulum is a whimsical and delightful mystery by Mandy Morton brimming with puns, food, and fun but also a solid mystery (in fact, two … no, make that three) at its core. This is book 10 in the series centred around Miss Hettie Bagshott who runs a detective agency with her friend and sidekick Miss Tilly Jenkins. Only Hettie and Tilly just happen to be tabbies and their agency—the No 2 Feline Detective Agency (no prizes for guessing that pun). This rather innovative series is set in an alternative cat world, which is much like our human one, with the exception that there aren’t any police in the picture. This is only the second book I have read in the series, and they’re easy enough to follow as standalones.
In The Cat and the Pendulum, Hettie and Tilly return from a week-long seaside holiday to find a letter from none other than the Queen of Crime, Agatha Crispy, summoning them to London to look into a case she has for them. Both ladies are excited, and Tilly who’s been reading all about a copycat killer committing murders like Jake the Nipper in the same neighbourhood, Kitzrovia, is convinced this is the case Agatha is handing to them. But when they arrive, they find that what Miss Crispy wants them to look into is the theft of her latest manuscript which has disappeared without reaching her publishers. Being the only copy since all her work is ‘top secret’ until published, its value is immense. They begin to look into all the cats who visit Miss Crispy regularly and also those employed in her home. Meanwhile, as they are to stay in an inn run by Miss Crispy’s cook, Mrs Croop which just happens to be located in Kitzrovia, they get a chance to look into the copycat killer as well. They soon find that many of the cats that are associated with Miss Crispy have some or other connection with Kitzrovia as well, from running shops or establishments or acting at the theatre there. Kitzrovians also seem to be engaged in making the most of the Jake the Nipper legend, and exploit it for the businesses in what seems to Hettie and Tilly to be a rather morbid and disrespectful way, and many don’t take well to Hettie and Tilly’s interventions. Hettie and Tilly investigate both matters while also exploring all Kitzrovia has to offer.
What I love about these books is how Morton manages to fill them with puns and catty elements in just the right balance without going too far or over the top with them. So, in this book while we have the title of course and Agatha Crispy, Boris Katloff on television, presenting theories on the Jake the Nipper murders, Twiglet in Vanity Fur magazine modelling clothes, or the fake French Madame Two Paws running her museum, Mr Dickens, Sherlock Holmes and Stratford Upon Avon remain as they are as does Miss Crispy’s Mousetrap! I also loved the little touches that she adds like Agatha Crispy enjoying her bowl of cream every day much like her real-life counterpart who relished her Devonshire clotted cream.
And like the last book in the series, in this one too, Mandy Morton puts Enid Blyton to shame in terms of the food in it. The sheer amount of food these tabbies (and their friends) eat is jaw dropping—pies and baps, sausage rolls and pasties, custard slices and trifles, scones and tea cake, and much much much more. And having just had a meal is no impediment to having a whole other one. Just reading about them makes one hungry!
Both mystery threads in the book were interesting, and as in the other book I read, these aren’t cosy in any way—Jake the Nipper’s murders were rather gruesome, and in the present too, some of the cats are as ruthless and degenerate as humans, as are their motivations. To add to the mysteries were also the original Jake the Nipper murders which Tilly certainly also wants the answer to. The resolutions too, are fairly unexpected and come with their own bit of danger and drama.
If you love cats and if you love mysteries, you will certainly love this one.
My thanks to Duckworth Books/Farrago for an eARC via NetGalley of ‘The Cat and the Pendulum’ by Mandy Morton in exchange for an honest review.
This is Book 10 in her No2 Feline Detective Agency series of cosy mysteries that features Hetty Bagshot and Tilly Jenkins, two anthropomorphic cats who run the Feline Detective Agency. I have now read a few books in the series and found them all charming.
One of the occasional characters in the series is celebrated feline crime writer, Agatha Crispy. In ‘The Cat and the Pendulum’ she hires Hettie and Tilly to locate a missing manuscript. The feline detectives travel to London where they are plunged into a world of Dickensian thieves and murderers.
The streets of Kitzrovia are infamous as the hunting grounds of the 19th Century murderer, Jake the Nipper. Local residents and businesses are making the most of the interest in Nipperology with Nipper themed events.
As always Mandy Morton delights in puns and poking gentle fun at various targets while still making the important point that the sensationalism around Jack the Ripper focuses on the unknown murderer rather than his victims. She also acknowledges these women in her dedication.
As in previous books the cats really love their food. Might they be part Hobbit tucking in regularly though accompanied by plenty of milky teas rather than ale?
‘The Cat and the Pendulum’ was a great deal of escapist fun and I not only look forward to the next case for Hattie and Tilly but plan to read others in this playful series of cosy mysteries.
Very interesting and a cozy book, I really loved the characters, the story, the humour and the pins included in this book. I approached the book with caution since I Have never read something like this but boy oh boy! Did I love it. Thank you publisher for the e-arc.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me the opportunity to read and review this novel. I am rating this book based the stars due to lack of time to leave a full review. #NetGalley #TheCatandthePendulum
I cannot possibly say everything I want to about this book without spoilers or seeming gushing.
But this is 10/10.
I tend to read thrillers and mysteries and I was really interested in this one. What Morton does with her main characters as cats is probably the most astonishing triumph of literature I have seen. In some way the main characters being cats softens you and then packed with a punch of real social and criminal issues you end up reacting more strongly.
This book focuses on copy cat killings of “Jake the Nipper” and Morton reminds her readers of how truly ghastly the obsession and celebrity of murder has become. This was such a revelation to see written! It absolutely is shocking that we celebrate these crimes. Incredible.
Away from that, you will love Hettie and Tilly, you will because there is no other choice. People (cats) that you know exist here and it’s an absolute luxury of a read
Princess Fuzzypants here: This is a delightful series where former stage star Hettie joins former street cat Tilly to become the Number 2 Feline Detective Agency. In the books, our familiar world is now inhabited by very human cats who, whilst wearing clothing and going about a recognizable life, still remain totally cats. It reminds me a bit of Beatrix Potter. This time, they are invited to London by the queen of crime, Agatha Crispy, whom they helped out in a previous adventure. Her new manuscript has been stolen before it could be posted to her publisher. The famous author wants the two cats to investigate the various characters who have had access to her home. To this end, Agatha books them into a B & B in Kitzrovia which seems to have been time warped into the late Victorian era.
There are some decidedly shady characters, some of whom are quite happy to exploit the murders of Jack the Nipper and some of whom are quite capable of murder too. In the investigations the one crime morphs into two and then three crimes, all of which the ladies are determined to bring to justice. The mysteries and how they are solved are fascinating but I enjoy most the ambience created in this lovely feline world. It has a decidedly period feel to it in general and the world created for Kitzrovia is absolutely Dickensian.
This is number 10 in the series and I would recommend reading all the books but if you had to dip into one to start, this would be a fun one. I think it might just be my favourite so far. Five purrs and two paws up.
This a a cosy crime story in the style of Agatha Raisin with all the red herrings and clues you would expect but all the characters are cats! Although it felt slightly weird, I did enjoy the story and didn't guess the ending.. Names such as Agatha Crispy. Jack the Nipper and Boris Katloff are amusing and cleverly thought out. This is book 10 of the series and I would like to go back and start reading from number 1..
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