Two Books To Read For Fall

I recently received two books to review, one featuring a dog, and one a cat, both published by St. Martin’s Press.

The first is a paperback, selling for $7.99, entitled “Miss Ruffles Inherits Everything,” by Nancy Martin. It’s a cozy, with the body safely and bloodlessly disposed of before the book begins. Wealthy Honeybelle Hensley has died, and, while she is leaving some of her money to family members, there’s a catch. No funds will be distributed for an entire year, and even then, it’s based on how well Miss Ruffles is treated during that year.

Miss Ruffles is Honeybelle’s dog, described as a Texas cattle cur. I can’t find much information on this type of dog. A Texas cattle dog is a cross between an Australian Cattle Dog and an Australian Shepherd. The dog on the book cover looks like an Australian Cattle Dog. Australian Cattle Dogs are tough working dogs, so the name “Miss Ruffles” made me smile every time it was used. I can’t think of any breed less likely to deserve the name “Miss Ruffles” than the ACD.

Honeybelle’s assistant, Sunny McKillip, is in charge of the care and well being of Miss Ruffles, but almost immediately, the dog is kidnapped, and Sunny has been warned to tell no one or Miss Ruffles will be killed. This necessitates bringing in another dog that looks like Ruffles, so Sunny adopts Fred, who is much older and slower, as well as being the wrong sex.

Of course, things start to unravel, but there are plenty of suspects and a delightful surprise ending. It’s fast-paced and was fun to read.

The other book, which is coming out this month, is a hardcover, “Oliver, The Cat Who Saved Christmas,” by Sheila Norton. The price is $24.99.

The story is told by Oliver, which made me a little apprehensive at first. Sometimes talking animals can just be way too annoying for me. But, this one is well done and it was easy to picture Oliver and to relate to his dealings with humans, as well as other cats.

The title also made me a bit nervous, because I was afraid that the cat was going to end up talking to Santa, or helping to steer Santa’s sleigh, or something along those lines. Again, this was a needless worry. Although by the end of the book, it was easy to see where the plot was going, it was still enjoyable. If you’re after something light and enjoy books that feature animals, Oliver, The Cat Who Saved Christmas is a good choice.

If you’re looking for light fiction for the animal lover in your family, I think they’d enjoy either one of these books.