Blaize Clement's pet sitter character, Dixie Hemingway, is a survivor, although she's a troubled woman. She lost her job as a deputy in Sarasota County, Florida, after she broke down following the tragic death of her husband and daughter. She turned to pet sitting, and, in the course of earlier books, she struggled to cope with her life, and other people. The animals, and her brother and his partner, have helped to get her through. In Cat Sitter on a Hot Tin Roof, she just might be ready to take the next step in adjusting to life.
Dixie's first step is to reach out to a friend. She likes Laura Halston when she first meets her, and thinks she's made a connection. Laura tells her she's hiding from an abusive husband, and Dixie believes her. But, when Laura is murdered, Dixie finds that everything she believed is wrong. Dixie is forced to examine her own behavior, when she realized she fell so easily into Laura's story. How can she trust her own judgement about men, deciding between two sexy men, a lawyer and a homicide cop? As Dixie herself says, "There was absolutely no way I could have known that my chance meeting with Laura Halston would one day haunt me, or that knowing her would ultimately make me question myself in a way I'd never done before."
Blaize Clement's mysteries continue to be some of my favorites. Who can resist the wonderful Siesta Key setting? Clement's characters are likable, from Dixie, to Lieutenant Guidry, to Dixie's brother Michael and his partner, Paco. This book introduces another marvelous one, Pete Madeira, a former circus clown. There's always humor, and, of course, the pets. And, so far, Clement has remembered the rule, "Don't kill of a pet."
Cat Sitter on a Hot Tin Roof is another enjoyable, solid entry in this series. It's a book that allows Dixie to continue to grow as a character. Dixie's job allows her access to so many different types of people and households. Let's hope this pet sitter continues to stumble on crime for quite a long time.
Blaize Clement's website is www.BlaizeClement.com
Cat Sitter on a Hot Tin Roof by Blaize Clement. St. Martin's Minotaur, ©2009. ISBN 9780312369552 (hardcover), 288p.