Purrloined Bumpkin

Country Cousins Mysteries Book 8

LaLee is a typical cat. She’s snooty, hostile, and opinionated. She’s also been kittynapped. Heaven help the idiots who thought that was a good idea. The good news is that they’ll probably be so sick of her antics by the time we find them that they’ll be happy to give her back! 

My name is Joey Fulle and my superpower is solving mysteries with my handsome PI boyfriend. We also get a little help from my sweet Pitbull Caphy and her sisters in crime, LaLee the Siamese cat and Ethel Squeaks the miniature potbelly pig. Fortunately, we’ve been in a mystery dry spell for a few weeks and I’ll admit, I’ve been a little bored. A condition I immediately regretted when LaLee was kittynapped. Now my posse and I need to discover why they took the crotchety cat, figure out how to save her, and then solve a murder. 

Just another day in Bumpkinville!

5 Stars! "A well written cozy mystery with pets included! What could be better? Suspense, intrigue, mystery and so much more will hold your attention from beginning to end. The characters are fun, engaging, and enjoyable. The interaction between them is fun, entertaining and a bit humorous at times. Cozy mystery fans will love this one." 

More from this series

Praise for Purrloined Bumpkin

Booksprout Reviewer

This is such a fun series! It was nice to revisit ‘bumpkinville’ for this mini mystery! The characters are always entertaining. The pets that are an integral part of this series are wonderful and add so much to the enjoyment of reading these mysteries. Escapist entertainment in a mini mystery package!

 Booksprout Reviewer

This is a fun, fast, and exciting cozy mystery with lots of twists and turns that keep me guessing of what is really going on and who is the bad guy.There are cute scenes between Caphy the adorable pibl and Ethel Squeaks the cute pot bellied pig that will make you smile.This book provides something for everyone with mystery, suspense, and romance. I highly recommend following along as they try to solve murders in Deer Hollow with all the fun characters and the author's smart witty quotes.

Read an Excerpt

EXCERPT

“I’ve had LaLee for a little over a year,” I said, tears clogging my throat. My first encounter with her nearly required stitches. But I still came out of it better than the Greek deity, aka my boyfriend, Hal. In addition to a series of pretty painful claw tracks, he had to go to the hospital because of an allergic reaction.”

“Really?” 

I nodded. “He’s allergic to cats.” I cleared my throat, sniffling. “But, I’m getting off track,” I told the attractive, dark-haired woman taking my statement. I took a deep breath. “I can’t believe she’s been gone for almost two days in this weather.” I stared out the windows running the length of the sheriff’s station and tears spilled from my eyes. 

So much rain.

I gathered my thoughts again, forcing my gaze from the window. “I’m sure she was kittynapped. Or catnapped. I’m not sure which is more accurate. I mean, one involves wrangling a hostile Siamese armed with claws and teeth that she’s not afraid to use. And the other implies a nice little nap.” 

Deputy Schmidt’s dark blue eyes showed no emotion. She had her “cop” face on. 

I sighed. “Kittynapped it is.” 

“Are you sure she hasn’t just run away?” the deputy asked. 

“I’m sure.”

She peaked a brow to encourage me to explain. 

So, I did. “It’s raining.”

The second brow joined the first. 

“LaLee hates getting wet. But even more than that, she hates getting dirty. If she’d gone out of the house she would have gotten both wet and dirty. There are mud puddles all over the yard.”

Unfortunately, Deer Hollow was in the middle of a long stretch of rain. Spring in Indiana could be a decidedly wet affair. 

Schmidt made a notation on the report she was filling out. It was a missing persons report. I was pretty sure there was no formal “missing pets” form at the sheriff’s office. Though, they had made me wait twenty-four hours after I’d realized LaLee was missing to come into the station. “Okay. Do you have any idea who might have taken her?”

“No idea. I wasn’t lying. That cat would try the patience of a saint.” Still, the house seemed just a little too empty without her. And my sweet Pitbull Caphy had been laying in front of the door all day, looking like somebody stole her last dog cookie. 

“Do you have any idea why somebody might have taken her?” 

That one was harder to answer. I’d been in the middle of several lawless episodes lately. By that, I mean I helped Hal, who’s a private investigator, and our friend Deputy Arno Willager solve crimes. “Maybe somebody I helped put in jail isn’t happy with me.”

That brought a slight smile to Deputy Schmidt’s well-formed lips. “Anybody in particular?” Clearly, she didn’t respect my mad PI chops.

I sighed. “I’ve been racking my brain. I can’t come up with anything.”

The deputy tried a few more questions, all versions of the same ones she’d already asked me pertaining to the main two concerns. Who would take my cat, and Why would they take her. I was more interested in the How since both Caphy and I had been home when the cat disappeared. Granted, I’d been vacuuming while rocking to music on my earbuds at the time. I probably wouldn’t have heard a gun go off under those circumstances.

Deputy Schmidt stood, offering me her hand. It was my cue to leave. “I’ll keep an eye out for your cat, Joey.”

I allowed her to clasp my hand in her strong, lightly-calloused grip. “Thanks. I know I didn’t give you much to go on.”

“Hopefully, it was just a prank. Maybe someone is hoping to get you to pay a reward for her return.”

I nodded, though I didn’t really believe it. 

Two minutes later, I stood in front of the glass door leading to the parking lot, watching an apocalyptic level rainstorm flood the area beyond the glass. I looked at my pitiful umbrella and frowned. The poor thing would be no better than tissue paper against the force of that rain. 

“Lovely day, huh?” said a voice behind me. I turned to find Deputy Mark Sheppard approaching from the hallway where the public restrooms were located. 

I gave him a smile. “Gorgeous. I can’t wait to go out there.”

The deputy stopped next to me, peering out the door with a look of disgust on his small face. Deputy Sheppard was one of the smallest cops I’d ever met, male or female. I was five feet four inches tall, and I thought he might be my height or shorter. He was also famous for losing pens and writing reports that would rival Tolstoy’s wordiest books pound for pound. But even given his slightly off-putting personality, he was a good cop and a decent man. “I hear you lost a cat.”

I winced. It sounded so silly when he said it. They surely had more important things to do than search for a missing cat. “Yeah. I think somebody took her.”

“Why would somebody do that?”

“That’s the question of the day.” I opened my umbrella and cast a wary glance outside again. “I guess I might as well get this over with,” I told him. 

He nodded. “I’ll do a drive-by in your area later, see if I can find her.” 

His words brought unexpected tears to my eyes. “That would be great. Thanks so much.”

He shrugged. “I like cats.”

I felt it only fair to warn him. “If you come across her, you might want to call Hal or me for backup. LaLee can be a handful.” 

He squared narrow shoulders and lifted his chin. “I think I can handle a cat.”

Since anything I said at that point probably wouldn’t have made a difference, and I didn’t really want to talk him out of looking for my cat, I just thanked him and shoved the door open. 

I’d pay his hospital bills if he encountered LaLee. It seemed like the least I could do.

Get more from Sam