Cats in a Dreamspell by Lisa Rene Smith
Review by Molly
With a full dozen mixed fiction genre narratives filled with stealthy kitten exploits, Cats in a Dreamspell, really has something to interest every reader.
When writer Mark Rosendorf mentioned he had written a short story for an anthology using cats as a theme I knew I would want to review.
“Cat in the Cockpit” by Mark Rosendorf is the first offering presented. This tale involves an orange cat who stowed away aboard a 747. “Cat in the Cockpit” is a bit of a change for this talented writer, author of novels The Rasner Effect Trilogy.
“Cat in the Cockpit” is a mix of the unexplained with hints of reality as student pilots Mike and Joe board an airplane only to find themselves alone in the cockpit. They do have an instruction manual; maybe they will be able to get the plane to their Los Angeles destination. Maybe. A nice satisfying ending wraps up this, tale of a small cat, two student pilots, a cast of unusual characters and a series of peculiar happenings.
“Dog Matters” by D. Nathan Hilliard is an inimitable tale told to the reader by Minke the cat. Minke and his dog Chipper face a fearsome evil as they try to protect their family. Chipper gives his all, Minke finds unexpected aid in this fast paced narrative worth the reading.
“Chronicles of a Cat Woman” by Cathy Noonan conveys a psychological anecdote of a journalist assigned a story involving an elderly lady, Muriel Whethorford, who takes in lost cats and ends with a bit of a shocker.
“A Cat Named Ginger” by Laurel Lamperd is the story of widowed Gordon Smith and Gladys Dobson. The pair enjoy one another’s company, the only chink is Gladys’ cat Ginger. Twists and turns leads to a surprising ending.
“Investigator Incarnate” by Christy Tillery French presents a mystery told by a cat, a cat who is the reincarnation of a human. As a human he was a lazy cop who fudged reports, took payoffs along with assorted other chicanery. As a cat trying to do something good he is a feline who learns to type on a keyboard, studies investigation notes, sends telepathic messages to a rookie cop regarding an important case, and keeps the reader turning the pages.
“Mystery, Mischief and Mayhem” by Teresa Leigh Judd is another mystery presented with impact and wit as a pair of cats belonging to computer software analyst, Janet Spaulding, help solve a murder and do a bit of match making to boot.
“Just the Three of Us” by Jacqueline Seewald features Angel a professional dancer and Jeff a CPA who decide to move in together. Jeff returns from a business trip anticipating anything but a small cat, however, there he is. The kitten was left outside the door a week ago and Angel is quite taken with the little beast. There may be more to him than meets the eye.
“The Purrsistant Cat” by Teresa Leigh Judd introduces Shannon, teacher, writer who takes a sabbatical to finish her book. Perhaps she should have stayed with teaching. Smoky her cat knows there is terror in the rented house. Too late Shannon realizes it too in this well written tale filled with mystery, horror and more than a little suspense.
“Mal’s Bounty” by Darren Pearce and Neal Levin finds new recruit Arthur Knowlington has joined the city watch. The City of Carravale is quite a busy place, and has its share of ne’er do wells, in particular Weaver Finch thief by night and cat Mal who just happens to be telepathic. The reader is carried into an odd and amazing place where trouble lurks right around the corner.
“Amelia and the Better Path” by Tony Williams solves the mystery why are cats coming up missing in a small English village. It doesn’t take Amelia long to find her beloved Ivan and solve some other thorny problems as well.
“Chester’s Treasure” by Linda Houle offers an interesting peek into the lives of newlyweds Valerie and Authur Augustine. Valerie’s cat Chester is beginning to enjoy his move from Val’s beach house to Arthur’s Texas ranch. Even Arthur is surprised when Chester makes an important discovery.
“Smokey & Bandit” by Randy Rawls wraps up the selection of stories as two cats give assistance to Josh Rivers, their South Florida Private Investigator owner. The tale filled with mystery, an attempted break in, Mr Kaleb the neighbor, robberies, arson, an intruder bent on mayhem and a lost Bandit is narrated by Bandit’s brother, Smokey.
When writer Mark Rosendorf mentioned he had written a short story for an anthology using cats as a theme I knew I would want to review. I was right. This is absorbing and agreeable anthology filled with well-written, entertaining tales.