Clara Bennett isn’t much interested in attending the seance her Aunt Gwen is hosting. She likes it even less when the medium channels someone from her past. Things rapidly go downhill with a dead body, missing lady’s maid, and eight magical cats. It’s naturally quite overwhelming.
Clara is determined to get to the bottom of all this mayhem. She volunteers her services to the admirable Detective Inspector William Davenport from Scotland Yard as he attempts to unravel the mystery.
The eight black cats are Gloom, the token female, and her brothers, Onyx, Eclipse, Shade, Midnight, Fraidy, Carbon, and Jet. They are known collectively as Infiniti and are the immortal familiars attached to Hattie Jenkins’ family on the Coven Isles on the planet Earth. The egg-transportation device carries them to Thera, an alternate universe that resembles 18 century England, where they land right next to a dead body.
Apparently talking cats are none too odd an occurrence in this alternate world. Of course, the felines are held for questioning since it is obvious that the dead girl was murdered. After they are cleared, they have young Clara taking selfies with a tablet discovered inside the egg ship as they travel by carriage around town following up leads.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed the 18th-century mystery, I’m not so sure how I felt about the cats. Even though they all had different “accents” and Jet was a cat-nip tweaker, I couldn’t really distinguish between them. If there must be magical, talking, time-traveling felines, then one would have been more than enough.
Then there were the ‘s instead of plurals instances. Even though there is a disclaimer at the beginning of the book clarifying that this book is written in Brit-speak, I’m fairly certain that apostrophe s is used when it is identifying a possession and never to indicate more than one even in the UK (i.e the universe’s demise vs. multiple universes).
Talking cats aside, Clara makes an excellent amateur sleuth. There seem to be some romantic inclinations between her and the good detective, who suffered some sort of accident in the past and may have a glass eye, or perhaps not. It wasn’t clear to me.
If you are looking for something a bit out of the ordinary with a classical who-done-it theme, then A Right Proper Murder by Pearl Goodfellow is the book for you.
You can read my review at Reedsy Discovery here.