Here’s something I haven’t told a lot of people about: when I was in junior high and high school, I devoured Lilian Jackson Braun’s books. You know the ones, featuring James Qwilleran and his cats Koko and Yum-Yum. I read all the ones the library had and forgot about them for a while. Then when an elderly cousin passed away, I managed to inherit her collection of her “Cat Who…” books as well. I re-read them, catching up on the ones I missed when I went to college. I loved the characteristics of the books and the light-hearted tone, in spite of serious events that would transpire all around Qwill and his friends. A certain supernatural flair surrounding Koko probably fed into my love of the books as well (I will also say as a cat-lover, the cats’ presence in the narrative didn’t hurt, either).
So…fast forward a few more years and I learn about the genre these books belonged to – cozies. As an “adult,” I kind of figured I was past reading these books. And then one of my friends went and wrote one. I agreed to give it a read before he published, and I do not regret it one bit. Ma Tutt’s Donut Hut by Lyn Perry is a fine addition to the Cozy Mystery genre and a great light read. A short novel, Perry tells the story of Ma Tutt, a recent retiree who settles in a new community to open a bakery. In doing so, she inherits a cat, who is a little more than he seems.
The book is really four separate short “tails” that compromise the beginnings of Ma Tutt’s time in her new town and her introduction to the main characters that presumably will propel this series further as Perry decides to write more about Mack the Cat.
As I read this book, I found myself reliving the stories of Koko and Yum-Yum and the seemingly telepathic and prescient way Koko interacted with the story. Since Jackson Braun passed away a couple years ago, I would say Perry’s new world with Mack the Cat may help fill any void left behind.
Ma Tutt’s Donut Hut is on sale for a limited time for just $1.75 ($3.95 normally). Don’t miss this opportunity to grab a copy for a low price!
(Writer’s Note: Lyn’s Silo story The Last Prayer is a part of WOOL Gathering, of which my story The Sheriff’s Son is also a part.)