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How to Paint a Cat    by Rebecca M. Hale order for
How to Paint a Cat
by Rebecca M. Hale
Order:  USA  Can
Berkley, 2014 (2014)
Paperback, e-Book
*   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

The premise of How to Paint a Cat by Rebecca M. Hale is a good one. An intern at the City Hall in San Francisco has been stabbed to death. And he seems to have not left. Rumors of a ghost circulate.

There is a back story that too briefly introduces Uncle Oscar. He is referenced many times but I still didn't get his place in the book. I did get that he is in hiding and is a bit of an unscrupulous character. His niece, who is never given a name but is a main character, is trying to find him. (I like that innovation. Clever.)

I'm sure I could find my way around this city using the niece's directions as she traverses San Francisco pushing a baby stroller with two cats occupying it. One feline gives her opinion at times of the niece's ruminations.

The niece is using murals painted during the Depression to find clues left for her. These murals gave living artists a chance to earn while enhancing the city. Niece is being given clues to find Uncle Oscar by the ghost. I had difficulty with sending the niece all over the city to find clue after clue. If the ghost could give clues found in the murals, why doesn't the ghost just come out at the first stop and write with paint on a wall, where the man is using references only Niece would know? Niece is concerned that Uncle is somehow embroiled in the murder.

Overall, I enjoyed the interaction with the cats.

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