New cozy mystery with a paranormal twist—Ghost Cat at the Mystery Hotel packs the punches

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Fans of cat writer Mollie Hunt’s cozy cat mysteries are excited about her upcoming instalment of the Tenth Life series publishing May 30, 2024. After her successful Crazy Cat Lady cozy mysteries, Hunt’s new series takes a paranormal twist with a ghost cat character. Don’t we cat lovers wish our kitties could live forever? In Ghost Cat at the Mystery Hotel, some of them do!

The Tenth Life cozy mystery series features septuagenarian Camelia Collins and her ghost cat companion Soji. Camelia has fulfilled her lifelong dream of moving to the Oregon Coast, but her little cottage came with a shock. At the back of her garden lies the ancient gravestone of a cat named Soji, and now Soji’s ghost wants to play!

Ghost Cat at the Mystery Hotel is the third book in the series.

From the back cover: 

When Camelia Collins meets an old college friend for a murder mystery weekend at the coast, death becomes more than a game. Accompanied by her ghost cat companion Soji, Camelia begins to discover clues that aren’t part of the role-playing storyline. A lurking stranger, a vengeful spirit, a genuine murderer roaming the halls. Will Camelia’s senses and Soji’s wiles be enough to catch the killer before they kill again?

Here is an excerpt:

Penelope stared, her face tight with shock. “

Penelope stared, her face tight with shock. “But… it’s gone!”

Dr. Lance took her elbow to steady her. “What is gone?”

“The body, you silly man! It was right there.” Penelope pointed to a leather wingback chair, the one where Camelia had briefly seen the phantom.

“Hey,” Octavia demanded. “What are you trying to pull here, Penelope?”

“What do you mean it’s gone?” Millie furthered. “Where could it go?”

“Perhaps they weren’t dead at all,” Sage offered optimistically, “and you just thought they were.”

The huddle at the door began talking at once.

“Maybe they were only wounded and managed to crawl away…”

“Wounded? If someone had been wounded, there would be blood. I don’t see any blood…”

“I don’t see anything at all. I’m going back downstairs to finish my cocktail…”

Camelia ignored the protestations. She was beginning to get a funny feeling, a feeling she’d experienced many times before. As her eyes roamed the chamber, they finally landed on the thing she was seeking.

Soji was there after all, or maybe she had gone and come back, returning from a brief spin in the ether. At any rate, Camelia now saw her clearly. She was in her solid form, short black fur and emerald-green eyes, sitting loaflike on the mantelpiece.

Staring at Camelia with unabashed amusement, the ghost cat hopped down to the large oak writing desk and then onto the chair in question. Carefully avoiding the seat itself, she jumped instead onto the chair back where she settled on the lace antimacassar. Giving Camelia a slow, ponderous blink, she said, “Extinguish the light.”

“What?” Camelia exclaimed, forgetting for a moment only she could see or hear the little black spirit.

“What what?” asked Beth.

“Extinguish the light,” Soji repeated.

“Turn off the light,” Camelia relayed to Beth. “Please, just do it.”

Beth looked confused but did as she was bid. Stepping to the wall, she glanced back at Camelia who nodded. With a flick of the switch, the room was plunged into darkness. Now, within the gloom, Camelia could see clearly what she had only glimpsed before.

In the big chair sat a woman dressed in a long skirt and a jacket, the colors of which oscillated like a rainbow seen through a sprinkler. Her blank face was so pale and glass-like as to reflect the wavering hues. Though her eyes were open, black orbs against the mists of her visage, no life glimmered from within.

Soji transmuted to her spirit form and flowed down into the woman’s lap. With the ghost cat’s touch, the woman’s face lit, her empty expression morphing into that of a puzzled but normal young girl.

Help me, she mouthed to Camelia. Though no sound accompanied the moving lips, Camelia understood.

“Help you?” Camelia whispered back. “How?”

The ghost girl stared at Camelia a moment longer, then slipped her filmy gaze past Camelia into the hallway and beyond. Her face cleared, and she gave the sweetest of smiles.

I see, she intoned with a nod of her pretty head. Justice has already been served.

The ghost began to flicker and fade, and soon she was little more than a trace. Then she was gone, leaving only Soji curled up on the leather cushion. In another moment, Soji winked out as well, and Camelia was staring at nothing but the dark.

Mollie Hunt is a dedicated cat person herself. Besides writing cat fiction, she is a longtime volunteer at the Oregon Humane Society. She and her cat Tinkerbelle visited hospice patients and assisted living facilities through the Pet Partner Program until Tink’s retirement. She has taken cat-centric classes in first aid and CPR, cat behavior, cat agility, and the ever-annoying litter box issues. In 2014, she worked with celebrity cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy on the much publicized Portland case of Lux the 911 Cat.

Hunt’s cat writing has earned various honors, including CWA Muse Medallions and World’s Best Litter-ary Awards. She is the recipient of the prestigious Michael Brim Distinguished Service Award (CWA) and the Catalyst Council Connect to Care Award, celebrating a true story of the profound connection between a shelter cat and its adoptive pet parent. Her book, Cat’s Paw, was a CIBA Mystery & Mayhem Semi-finalist.

Mollie Hunt is a member of Sisters in Crime and Willamette Writers, as well as being on the board of the Oregon Writers Colony and Northwest Independent Writers Association (NIWA). She is also the librarian for the Cat Writers’ Association. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and a varying number of cats.

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