Wednesday, September 9, 2015

"Superstition ain't the way..."*

by special guest Kay Finch.

Kay Finch grew up on a Pennsylvania farm but she got to Texas as fast as she could and discovered the Texas Hill Country, setting of her Bad Luck Cat mysteries. 
As a child Kay wrote mystery stories, but it wasn't until she went to work for a renowned criminal defense attorney in Houston that plot ideas began to flow. In addition to the Bad Luck Cat mysteries, Kay is the author of the Corie McKenna PI mysteries Final Decree and Final Cut, as well as Relative Chaos: A Klutter Killer Mystery
Kay is a long-time member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the State Bar of Texas Paralegal Division. She lives with her husband, a rescue cat, and two wild and crazy rescue dogs in a Houston suburb.


We all grew up hearing a variety of common superstitions. 

Walking under a ladder, breaking a mirror, Friday the 13th, opening an umbrella inside – all of these things are supposedly unlucky. 

I’m not superstitious. For one thing, superstitions are illogical. And they’re inconsistent. One says "to dream of a black cat is lucky," while another states "dreaming of a cat is regarded as a sign of bad luck in the future." I certainly don't believe that a black cat crossing my path will cause me bad luck. Since I began writing the Bad Luck Cat series, though, I've learned that several acquaintances of mine would seriously turn around and go the opposite way if they saw a black cat in their path. Hearing this annoys me, but I don't argue the point because their minds are already made up and everyone is entitled to an opinion.

In Black Cat Crossing, aspiring mystery novelist Sabrina Tate faces a similar situation when residents of the fictional town of Lavender, Texas announce the legendary Bad Luck Cat is back. They're on a mission to trap the cat so they can remove him from the area and keep the town safe. One of those people is Thomas, who works for Sabrina's Aunt Rowe at her rental cottage business. Here's a snippet from the book:

Thomas lifted his arm to check his watch, and I spotted a bloody cut on his forearm. Looked to me like he might need stitches. 
"What happened to you?" I pulled a fresh napkin from the dispenser and handed it to him.
He accepted the napkin and dabbed at the wound. "El Gato Diablo is what. Gosh-darned cat crossed my path, next thing my toe caught on the curb, and I fell flat out. Arm caught the edge of one of them fancy metal planters in front of the wine shop. Better'n smacking my head, I guess."

"A devil cat?" My forehead creased. "What are you talking about?"
"The black cat," he said. "Big fella. Been around these parts since I was a kid."

The coffee shop's owner, Max Dieter, came up with a mug for Thomas in one hand and a steaming coffee pot in the other.

"Heard you talking about the bad luck cat," he said. "Legend around town. I thought we'd seen the last of him when Wes Krane loaded him up and carted him off to Nolan County."

From the start, Sabrina feels a kinship with the cat whom she sees as an ordinary, loveable stray black cat. Well, maybe not always ordinary, but still…Sabrina loves him. When he sits on the window sill of her cottage and watches as she works on her novel, her writing takes off and suspense flows effortlessly onto the page. Sabrina names him Hitchcock and declares that this cat is creating good luck for her.

Yes, Hitchcock leads Sabrina to discover a dead body in the river, but he also helps her solve the mystery. Believe what you will – Sabrina and I are sticking to our story – Hitchcock the cat brings us both good luck, and we intend to keep him around for a long time.

*From the song Superstition by Stevie Wonder


  1. Good luck with Black Cat Crossing, Kay!!! Looks good!

  2. Loved the book... But I still think that black cats should be "inside" cats so they don't cross my path!

    1. Good thing you're not superstitious, Neil.