When your character is a cat...

How do you get into the mind of a cat? T.S. Eliot would know, of course. His Old Possum’s Tales of Particular Cats has inspired and entertained a host of cat lovers as well as lovers of a tale well told. His is a high benchmark for those of us who would follow in his footsteps.

It’s a writer’s nature to be observant, to see the whimsy in the mundane, to see the lesson in tragedy, to… Oh, fooey on all that literary analytical stuff and nonsense. To write about a cat, from his perspective, is to be a kid again. Or at least, that’s my experience. With Trouble, the Sherlock of black cat detectives, I can let him be sassy, superior, finicky, or vain. He is all that and a super sleuth into the bargain.

The Mad CatterTrouble is a shared character. The other writers in the Familiar Legacy Mystery Series share his world. Each of us has our own tale to tell of his adventures, but each of us stays true to his character. I did a lot of binge watching of Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock in preparation for this series, as did Trouble. This experience shaped him in many ways, like his British accent, for one, as did his inherent talent passed down from his famous father and sleuth, Familiar.

The first book in the series, Familiar Legacy, was launched in July, 2017. July is a very auspicious for all the Mad Catters as it’s Cumberbatch’s birthday month. That iconic incarnation of Sherlock is the font from which we draw inspiration for Trouble. We’ll be celebrating this July with another release in the series but that’s for another day. Now, in this moment, I’m here to tell you that the sixth book in the series is now available.

Trouble in Paradise pbTrouble in Paradise, my second contribution to the series, finds our black cat detective in Key West, that idle surrounded by the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It’s not quite the land that time forgot, but it’s close. It was the hideaway for Hemingway for many years of his life and it’s the perfect spot to drop a dead body among the characters, cats, and other odd life forms that populate the island.

Can Trouble solve the mystery of the dead body in the locked room at the Paradise B&B? Can he discover what the lost treasure is that has everyone’s dying to possess? Silly humans. Of course he can, he’s Trouble. Smart, yes. Superior, absolutely. A super sleuth? Without doubt.

Mark Twain famously said, “It takes a heap of sense to write good nonsense.” I don’t, by any means, compare myself to Mark Twain. I do, however, thoroughly enjoy writing what I hope is good nonsense. You be the judge.


21CRebecca Barrett writes historical fiction, romantic mysteries, post-apocalyptic fiction (writing as Campbell O’Neal), children’s stories, and short stories of life in the South. An avid reader all her life and a product of “front porch” socializing, she became a story-teller at an early age.

Her current novel, Trouble in Paradise, features that handsome, sleek, black cat detective, Trouble. The game is afoot in Key West, Florida and there’s a dead body in the Toucan Suite of the Paradise B&B. This is Rebecca Barrett’s second book in this series written by multiple authors (The Mad Catters) who follow the antics of super-sleuth Trouble as he lands in first one crime scene then another. Of course, the humans help a little. These romantic mysteries are fun and lighthearted and just perfect for a beach read or a rainy day.

Visit the author’s website rebeccabarrett.com to enjoy some of her short stories.