Black Cat Crossing (Bad Luck Cat Mystery #1) by Kay Finch (Berkley Prime Crime mass market paperback, 1 September 2015).
After Sabrina Tate's Aunt Rowena breaks her leg in a fall, she moves to Lavender, Texas to help Rowe manage her vacation cottages. The move is also supposed to provide time for Sabrina to work on her novel, but that's not going well at all.
In fact, she finds herself searching for distractions, like proving that black cats are not bad luck. Rowe's handyman, Thomas, complained about "El Gato Diablo", a black cat that had been around since he was a boy. Sabrina wisely doesn't mention that "El Gato Diablo" would be over thirty years old if he'd been around that long, but she does take exception to his assumption that his clumsiness resulted from a black cat crossing his path.
Sabrina keeps seeing the cat, whom she eventually dubs "Hitchcock" all over the place. Though she does wonder how he gets the several miles from the cottages to the town of Lavender within a few hours, she just assumes he's sneaking into someone's car.
Driving home from town one night, she see's something shining to the side of the road. She finds Hitchock next to the body of Rowe's cousin Bobby Joe. Bobby Joe had appeared out of the blue, trying to scrounge money from Rowe, and they'd had a heated argument. As a result, Rowe becomes a prime suspect, despite the fact that she has a broken leg and can't get around on her own.
Of course, Sabrina has to keep Rowe out of jail, but she's on deadline for her novel, too. Can she manage to do both, before Rowe is arrested for a crime she didn't commit?
Despite being a small town, Lavender has a fantastic bookstore, and a coffee shop called Hot Stuff, where Sabrina can drink fancy coffee to a disco soundtrack while she writes. But as one would hope, it does have its share of quirky characters, including an an elderly woman who owns a junk shop and can apparently see the future.
The book includes a few recipes for things that Sabrina likes to bake late at night when she can't sleep.
The publisher has generously offered a copy of BLACK CAT CROSSING to one of my readers. Please comment below by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, September 13th. Please don't forget to include an email address where I can contact you if you win. Entries from the US only, please.
FTC Full Disclosure: Many thanks to the publisher for sending me a review copy of this book.