January Black Ice (Cat Collier Mystery #1) By Carol Ann Kauffman

Mary Catherine Collier is called to the penthouse apartment of the city’s very rich, most influential lawyer, Detrick Bittmor. He has a very personal assignment for her. It involves a mysterious young man who sits on a park bench every day at noon and stares up at Bittmor’s top floor apartment.

Mary Catherine, or Cat, as she’s better known, has a soft spot for this lawyer with a nasty reputation. There’s something about this old man she likes, and even finds charming.

Detrick Bittmor thinks the young man on the park bench resembles a younger version of himself. He thinks this young man could be his son from an affair he had many years ago with a beautiful New Year lawyer. This man could be his only heir.

And old man Bittmor isn’t getting any younger.
January Black Ice (Cat Collier Mystery #1)

characters Å eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB ☆ Carol Ann Kauffman


Decent enough

Too quick of a read. Everything happened in hyper speed. I wanted some meat and potatoes to fill the story out more. Kindle Edition This is a very short book and it ended way too soon to suit me! It leaves you with a cliff hanger------Luckily there are more in this series and I can tell you right now I will be reading them.

Do you believe in love at first sight? Well that is what happens when Detrick Bittmor convinces Cat Collier to befriend a young man who he thinks may be the son he never knew he had until he received a letter from a long ago love. Why Cat--who is the obituary writer for a small town newspaper.

Will Cat manage to befriend the young man? And what happens afterwards? Is this young man the son that Detrick Bittmor thinks he might be?

Get ready for a clean short mystery which will keep you enthralled and wanting to read more!
January Black Ice: A Cat Collier Mystery Kindle Edition January Black Ice

I really liked the story & the characters.
If you're a fan of mysteries then this is definitely a book for you to read! Looking forward to the next book in the series! Kindle Edition Investigating love

Fun, entertaining, mystery. Loved this story. Interesting twists and turns. Great chemistry with this couple! I recommend this story to others. Kindle Edition Tight and right. A great read. I enjoyed the story. The characters were well done the plot unfolded well as it moved to a satisfying finish Kindle Edition

As I write this, it's mid-summer. What could be better than sitting in the shade of a big old tree (well, maybe it would be sitting on an ocean beach) and reading a cozy mystery? Not much, in my book. And just as those relaxing thoughts popped into my head, I happened across a six-book series that's pretty close to perfect for just such occasions.

In truth, I didn't happen across them; rather, the author happens to have been one of my husband's speech and debate team students in high school (we won't say how many years ago). When he reconnected with her on Facebook not long ago, he passed on to me that she's written quite a few books. Curious, I checked them out and found her Cat Collier series. Hmmm, I said, I'm always on the lookout for a new mystery-type series, and this one just might work. Oh, and did I mention that it's mid-summer?

Because they're more like short stories than books, I snagged a boxed set of all six at Amazon. Figuring I'd read one to see how I liked it, I ignored my waiting stack of advance review books from publishers to sneak in the first one. Like it I did - quite well, in fact - and since it took only about an hour to finish, I kept going another couple of hours to read two more before I had to turn to the books I'm obligated to review. Better still, now I've got three more waiting in the wings to look forward to (yeah, I know about that sentence-ending preposition no-no, but hey - I'm not getting paid to write this, so deal with it).

This review, then, actually is of the first three in the series. Needless to say, the brevity of each means I can't divulge much about any of the stories without giving too much away, but I'll share what I can. First, though, I'll advise other readers interested in the series to start at the beginning (advice I give with any series). The length of each makes them perfect for the above occasions - or waiting in a doctor's office or long line somewhere - but it doesn't allow much room for carrying over details of what happened previously.

I'll also point out that anyone who is familiar with the Mahoning and Shenango valleys of northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania should get an extra kick out of reading these. That's where the author is from, and references that pop up are sure to elicit smiles. The fictitional setting of Heaton Valley, for instance, brings to mind the original name of the town in which we, and the author, used to live. There's a Central Park that overlooks the Mahoning River there, and the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport is just a few miles away. Also of interest are the names of some of the characters (which I won't mention here to protect the innocent and not-so-innocent). That seems to be a pattern; I'm told my husband and I make an appearance in a couple of the author's other books. Woo hoo!

Everything revolves around Mary Catherine Collier, better known as Cat. As are the heroines in just about every cozy mystery I've read, she's her own person - independent and strong-willed. Unlike many of them, though, she's not bull-headed; when someone points out the folly of doing something stupid, she tends to listen. And although she's single, she's not bogged down in memories of a murdered husband for whom she still pines. Better still, from my point of view, she isn't wishy-washy - constantly wondering if she should do this, or that, or if she's offended him, or her. In both name and personality, she reminds me a great deal of Mary Catherine, the nanny in the Michael Bennett series by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge.

In the first one, January Black Ice, readers learn that Cat is the obituary writer for the Heaton Valley Herald (a task she performs among other researchy kinds of things). Early on, Cat gets called to meet with Detrick Bittmor, an elderly and irascible lawyer who suspects that a young man who's been sitting on a park bench every day staring up at his penthouse window may be his son - and more importantly, his only heir. He'd like Cat to finagle her way into the young man's good graces and try to ferret out the truth. Somewhat reluctantly, she takes on the challenge. On the one hand, she learns that she likes him a lot. On the other, there's a good chance that his life (and maybe hers) could be in danger.

Resolution of that issue brought me to the next story, February White Lies. In this one, Cat's newspaper goes out of business, she opens a business called Red Cat Investigations and she's canoodling with Carter, the young man she met in the first story. He's now formed something of a bond with his father, and in part because he and Cat are smitten, they've moved to the old man's fancy building (both with offices, and he in an apartment as well). Cat takes on and easily solves a couple of Mickey Mouse cases, after which she lands a far more serious one that involves a murder. More disturbing, though, are clues near the end of the story that her sweetie Carter might have something to hide (honestly, I'm not very fond of him anyway, so if she loses him, good riddance - he fills the role of whiny heroine that I detest in other cozies even though he's a, well, guy).

Then it's on to No. 3, March Bliss. Cat is still enamored of Carter and ensconced in her luxurious new office - complete with a new secretary she met under very different circumstances in the second story. She gets hired by a mother who wants to find her errant school-age daughter Lark. Cat locates her, but not under the best of circumstances (let's just say mom isn't pleased when she finds what her daughter's been up to). As Cat pokes her nose further, she not only alienates Carter but ends up in a life-threatening situation herself.

Now I'm looking forward to the next three, which I'll work in here and there around what's already on my book plate. Meantime, if you're looking for them - as I hope you will - the titles are April Yellow Moon, Lavender Mist of May and June Green Leaves of Deceit). Happy reading!

Kindle Edition Amazing book! Great mystery, and Cat is such a fun character to follow! Looking forward to more in the series! Kindle Edition Is he or isn't he

A good read but it is a continuing story so be prepared to get the next book. Her life as an obituary writer is fine but she really wants to be a PI. When she is asked to visit a senior, reclusive lawyer she is taken aback. He tells her that he believes that a newcomer to town is a son he was never told about and asks her to investigate. Hit and run plus a fortune mean that there are people willing to do anything to hide the truth. Is he or isn't he his son? She is a feisty redhead and he is handsome and kind. Kindle Edition This is a well-written mystery and love story that takes place in a small Ohio town. I read it in one evening and was happy for the experience. Cat Collier is a lot more than an obituary writer at the local newspaper. She's a bulldog of a sleuth and finds more than she expected when she shares her lunch with a stranger on a park bench one cold, January afternoon. Love blossoms, a murderous plot is revealed and lives are altered forever in less than 100 pages. It's free for Kindle readers. Try it now. Kindle Edition A captivating story.

It is a skilful writer indeed who can captivate a reader, transport them to a new place and situation, introduce them to new people,, and then hold them there throughout the story. Carol Ann Kauffman is one such writer. Having been impressed by her writing style when reading her fantasy novella 'Red Sarah', which I enjoyed immensely, I was keen to pick up another of her works.

'January Black Ice' is a delightful, feel-good cozy mystery. The story is really well written. It flows easily, has great variation in pace and tone where it's needed, and maintains a high level of engagement between the readers and the characters through tense and relaxed moments alike.

Kauffman writes lively, likeable characters whose stories intertwine in such a way that the reader thinks it's going to be a romance until the mystery bursts onto the page in front of them, seamlessly turning the story in a new direction for local journalist Cat and for Carter, the mysteeious new guy in town.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I'm pleased to see that there are more titles in the series. I'm definitely looking forward to spending more time with Cat Collier. Kindle Edition