Title: The Mystery of the Golden Cat
Series: Adele Gossling Mysteries: Book 4
Author: Tam May
Genres: Historical Cozy Mystery
Release Date: January 28, 2023
For Adele Gossling, Labor Day is about giving voice to progressive reforms such as the eight-hour workday and minimum wage for women. But for business owners in Arrojo, California, Labor Day is about making money. City slickers flock to the country seeking holiday deals they can’t get in San Francisco or Sacramento. What better way to celebrate than with bargains and the community picnic?
What they don’t know is there’s a thief in town. He’s already succeeded in getting away with burglarizing business owners in neighboring towns and the county police can’t seem to get their hands on him.
Who is stealing gold trinkets from the shops in Arrojo, California? Is it the dandified Mr. Lyman? The town’s junk collector and pariah, Zephyr Brown? or is it someone or something beyond their wildest imagination?
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Hatfield said, “I’m sure your brother told you about the reports we’ve received from my friend Sheriff Hill about thefts they’ve had in Sacramento.”
“But that’s far away from here.”
“Not far enough, Del.” Jackson folded the paper on the crease and laid it down. “Last week, we had a few thefts in some of the towns in this county.”
“Vargas was the first,” Hatfield said. “And yesterday, we received a dispatch from Wells Fargo that Rosa Gris and Blue Springs reported items missing from some of their shops.”
“That’s ghastly!” Her cup dropped to the table, missing the saucer. Tomas mumbled his dismay in soft Spanish. “No one was hurt, I hope?”
“The thief is only interested in valuables, not people,” said Jackson. “There have been no reports of violence.”
“Still — it’s horrible to think —” She took another slice of toast from the holder, feeling her hand shaking.
Hatfield drew his hand toward the edge of the table between them. Adele’s shoulders gave a quick flinch, though she knew the sheriff would never take liberties. But there was something in the man’s gaze, his mouth closed but his eyes large and almost innocent, that gave her the feeling of being in a too-intimate corner with him just then.
“Perhaps Nin and I should warn the Bridge Street merchants before Monday,” she suggested. “From one shop owner to another.”
Silence buzzed around her, muting the brilliant blue sky to gray. Even the pair of doves nesting on the gazebo hushed up their morning song.
“We’ll be very discreet, of course,” she continued, her voice less assured. “We’ll ask to speak to them in private.”
The sheriff cleared his throat. “I’m afraid you can’t do that, Adele.”
“Why can’t we?”
“Because,” Hatfield said, “the town council refused to allow it when I suggested it.”
“They want us to keep it quiet, Del,” said her brother. “We shouldn’t have even told you.”
The butter knife slipped from her hand and scraped against her empty plate. Tomas darted forward, mumbling in Spanish, glancing around to see if anything had been broken. “That’s perfectly ridiculous! Why for heaven’s sake?”
“They believe it would cause ‘unnecessary panic’ and ‘soil the potential prospects for prosperity in our good town’,” Hatfield grumbled. “Those were Mrs. Faderman’s words. They all agreed with her, of course.”
“They didn’t have much choice,” Jackson remarked.
Adele threw down her napkin. “So that’s what you meant when you said their behavior borders on negligence! That civic pride of hers has blinded her again!”
“Not to mention made her deaf and dumb,” Hatfield said dryly.
Adele rose, pacing the veranda. “Her behavior doesn’t border on the negligent, Sheriff. It is negligent. Even criminal!”
“Really, Del,” her brother mumbled. “Must you always exaggerate?”
“What else would you call it, Jack?” She insisted. “She’s prepared to risk what could be a mess of thieves roaming in our midst.”
About the Author
As soon as Tam May started her first novel at the age of fourteen, writing became her voice. She writes engaging, fun-to-solve cozy mysteries set in the past. Her mysteries empower readers with a sense of “justice is done” for women, both dead and alive. Tam is the author of the Adele Gossling Mysteries which take place in the early 20th century and feature sassy suffragist and epistolary expert Adele Gossling. Tam has also written historical fiction about women defying the emotional and psychological confinements of their era. Although Tam left her heart in San Francisco, she lives in Texas because it’s cheaper. When she’s not writing, she’s devouring everything classic (books, films, art, music) and concocting yummy vegetarian dishes in her kitchen.
Social Media Links
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Tam-May/e/B01N7BQZ9Y/
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Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16111197.Tam_May