Featured Book – CRIME AND CATNIP: A Nick and Nora Mystery by T.C. Lotempio

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Date Published: December 6, 2016
Publisher: Penguin/Berkley Prime Crime


While catering a gala for the Cruz Museum, Nora Charles agrees to look into the disappearance of director Violet Crenshaw’s niece, a case previously undertaken by her frisky feline friend Nick’s former owner, a private eye whose whereabouts are also currently unknown.

As Nora and her curious cat Nick pull at the string of clues, they begin to unravel a twisted tale of coded messages, theft, false identities, murder, and international espionage. Nora dares to hope that the labyrinth of leads will not only help them locate the missing young woman, but also solve the disappearance of the detective. That’s if Nora can stay alive long enough to find him…


About the Book Interview with Toni Lotempio

What was the inspiration behind this story?

The inspiration for the Nick and Nora series is my cat, ROCCO. I always thought he’d make a great book character! One day I was laying on my couch watching the Thin Man, and he jumped on my lap. I thought, “Wow, what would happen if Nick Charles came back as a cat?” And thus the Nick and Nora series was born.

Tell us about your main character.

ROCCO believes Nick is the main character, but I think Nora deserves that title. Nora’s a feisty ex true crime reporter who returned to her hometown to take over her late mother’s sandwich shop, but she still can’t resist a good mystery. At first she shies away from Nick, citing her terrible record with pets, but the feisty feline eventually wins her over. They make the purr-fect sleuthing duo!

Which is your favorite minor character and why?

I would have to say Chantal, Nora’s best friend. Chantal is into the tarot and has psychic abilities and she loves to talk in an affected French accent (even though she was born in the US). She’s delightfully quirky, yet she has a way of keeping Nora grounded.

Your character is at a bookstore. Which section is he/she shopping in? What book is in his/her hand right now?

OMG, Nora’s at the true crime section, naturally. She’s got anything by Ann Rule in her basket, most likely NEVER LET HER GO, the story of the murder of Anne Marie Fahey.

I’m inviting your main character to dinner. What should I make?

Since Nora is quite the cook, it had better be something good LOL. Nora will never turn down a good steak and baked potato!

Were you surprised by the behavior of any of your characters or the direction of your plot at any point while writing?

I’m constantly surprised all the time by the way my characters take over the story. That’s why I never follow a detailed outline. 🙂

If your book was made into a movie, who would you like to play the lead characters?

Definitely Emma Stone for Nora, and I could see Jennifer Aniston as Chantal. Ryan Gosling for Daniel, and ROCCO thinks he should play Nick!

Of all the books out there, why should readers choose this one?

How many cats do you know that can spell out clues with Scrabble tiles?????????

About the Author

While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic. She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – and the just released Cat Rescue Mysteries from Crooked Lane! The first volume, Purr M for Murder is out now! She, Rocco and company make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York. Catch up with them at www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com or at www.tclotempio.net



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