Although former Post-Dispatch columnist Elaine Viets now lives in Fort Lauderdale, both of her book series have St. Louis connections. Her Josie Marcus Mystery Shopper series is set in Maplewood while the main character in her Dead-End Job Mystery series is a St. Louis woman on the run in South Florida.
Catnapped! is the latest in Viets’ Dead-End Job Mystery Series. The plot involves Helen Hawthorne and her fellow private investigator husband’s mission to retrieve the show cat who is part of a shared custody agreement between a soon-to-be divorced couple. In the process, they discover a murder. In order to gain information in finding the cat and solving the murder, Helen takes an undercover job as a cat groomer.
As in all of her Dead-End Job books, Viets takes the same job as her main character as part of her research. As she told Cityscape host Steve Potter, she now knows all the ins and outs of grooming a show cat, a procedure that requires the cleaner Goop, a lot of brushing and a special hair dryer.
Viets returns to her home town on May 8 for a number of speaking and signing events. On Thursday, May 8 at 7:00 p.m., “An Evening With Elaine Viets” at Left Bank Books will benefit the no kill cat shelter Animal House. On Friday, May 9 at 10:00 a.m. it’s “Breakfast With the Author” at the St. Louis Public Library’s Buder Branch and at 7:00 that evening, Viets signs “Catnapped!” at the Book House in Maplewood. On Saturday, May 10 from 1:00 – 3:00, Viets will be at Barnes and Noble in Ladue Crossing. A Mother’s Day signing takes place on Sunday, May 11 at 3:00 p.m. at Barnes and Noble in Fenton Commons. On Monday, May 12 at 1:00 p.m., Viets will sign at the Festus Public Library and at 7:00 p.m. she’ll give a talk at the St. Louis County Library Headquarters in Frontenac.