A Pose Before Dying

Kensington Cozies. (A Cat Yoga Mystery, Bk. 1). May 2024. 272p. ISBN 9781496747365. pap. $17.95. M
Despite family expectations, Ashley Branson forges her own path to start a yogic version of a cat café, whose goal is to adopt out cats and build a clientele of yoga enthusiasts. But shortly after the launch of A Purrfect Pose, Ashley’s attention pivots to solving the murder of a much-disliked college professor whose posed corpse has been found in the yoga studio. Not only is her studio threatened, but Ash’s wayward brother Hunter might also be involved. Ash’s anxiety as a brand-new small-business owner is heightened, but cute cats and encouraging friends strengthen her admirable resolve. Complex family history and pressure to join the Branson family business also add depth to the story. Finally, the revelatory ending gives more interactions to look forward to among Cardinal Lake’s dynamic residents.
VERDICT While cat yoga may be an extremely cozy activity and setting for a novel, Erickson (“Bookstore Café Mystery” series) also offers a vexing murder mystery that will unsettle and intrigue readers. This series starter quickly piles up the tension and conflict and establishes a main character who’s worth rooting for.
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