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Bad Kitty

Review

Bad Kitty

Las Vegas. Land of casinos, big money, showgirls. The perfect place to relax at the end of summer vacation. So Jas doesn't expect to find herself in the middle of a year-old murder mystery involving a famous actress.

It's a typical afternoon by the pool at the Venetian hotel. Jas is feeling listless, frustrated and flat in her green bikini. Her cousin Alyson is being her obnoxious and snotty self. Her overprotective father coos with his twenty-years-younger wife and clearly has no intention of letting Jas follow her dream --- a career as a detective --- any time soon. The sun is shining, the water is warm. Jas can't take her eyes off the cute guy at the snack hut. Then a cat with very sharp claws and an attitude jumps on Jas's arm --- and jumpstarts an adventure that drags her through seedy alleys, museums, hip nightclubs, and even out to sea.

The cat incident leads to Jas's first run-in with hotel security and her introduction to the cat's owner, the eight-year-old son of Fiona Bristol. Fiona is a famous actress who was embroiled in scandal a year earlier when her lover was killed and her husband was arrested for the murder. Jas's three best friends sense she needs help and show up to offer insight into the case and fashion advice. When the cute guy at the snack hut turns out to be deeply enmeshed in the case, Jas has to figure out whether he's a friend or a foe.

Jas is a particularly intriguing character, who gains in confidence and depth as she puts her brains to work and uses her detective skills to uncover clues and solve the mystery. The secondary characters, while less developed than Jas, are mostly believable and always amusing. Some of the conversations between Jas and her friends are laugh-out-loud hilarious. And the action-packed storyline nonetheless leaves time for a few unexpected character developments.

Overall, BAD KITTY is a compelling mystery with interesting characters. I think the book would have been even better, however, if the author had shortened or eliminated the footnotes. True, many times the dialogue found there, mostly involving conversations between Jas and her friends, was literally side-splitting. However, they pulled me out of the story every time and often made me lose my place in the main story. There's a reason that footnotes are generally saved for academic textbooks!

Footnotes aside, BAD KITTY hits the jackpot for anyone who likes mystery, suspense and chick lit all rolled into one. Full of witty dialogue and surprising twists, it is a fun read from start to finish.

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Reviewed by Paula Jolin on October 18, 2011

Bad Kitty
by Michele Jaffe

  • Publication Date: February 1, 2006
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • ISBN-10: 0060781084
  • ISBN-13: 9780060781088