Publication Order of Sunny & Shadow Mysteries Books
|The Big Kitty||(2012)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Cat Nap||(2013)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Last Licks||(2014)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Hiss and Tell||(2015)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Catch as Cat Can||(2016)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
Claire Donally is the author of the much acclaimed A Sunny and Shadow Mystery Series. The author’s name, Claire Donally is a pseudonym. The series has 4 books so far. The first book, The Big Kitty debuted in May 2012. It was followed by book two, Cat Nap, exactly one year later. Book three, Last Licks came in exactly one year after book two. The last book of this mystery series – Hiss and Tell, is quite recent having been released just a month ago – May 2015. Claire Donally has kept her fans entertained for over 4 years and she has been a consistent author.
The name of the series is derived from the two lead characters. It is intriguing and quite refreshing when an author chooses a non human to take on a lead role. Sunny is the lead female, a reporter from New York who has been forced by circumstances to move to Kittery Harbor, Maine, her childhood neighborhood. Her partner in crime is big grey stray cat called Shadow. Their encounter is interesting as Shadow pretty much forces Sunny to take him in. The two characters will take the lead roles in all the four books as they join forces to solve the town’s mysteries before they are made to disappear just as the victims of their cases.
Book 1; The Big Kitty
The series begins with the return of Sunny Coolidge to Kittery Harbor, Maine. This is the place where she grew up though she moved to New York, which has been her home for a number of years. Sunny moves back to Maine to go take care of her ailing father. She soon gets bored because she finds nothing interesting to do – no news stories to investigate or chase after. Luckily for her, an old cat lady in Kittery Harbor enlists her help. She had a winning lottery ticket which she now realizes it has disappeared. She asks Sunny to help her find. This is where the adventure of Sunny really begins. As she heads home from meeting Ada Spruance – the town’s cat lady, she finds a rather defiant intruder perched on her car. The intruder is none other than Shadow, the big grey cat.
With the deadline for turning in the lottery tickets coming up, Sunny must work harder to help Ada find her winning ticket. She heads over to her house, with Shadow in tow. What they find is unbelievable – Ada is dead, having tumbled down her basement stairs and died from the fall. While it seems probable that the old lady could have fallen to her death, Sunny and even the town’s Constable are skeptical and think that someone must have pushed her with the intention of taking her life. Her journalistic instincts kick in and together with Shadow; they help Constable Price follow the trail of the purloined ticket. Will they catch the killer in time before their cards are up?
Book 2; Cat Nap
More characters are introduced in this second mystery that unravels quite fast. The plot is fast paced and the suspense very deliberate. Claire Donally brings character development to a whole new level. While Sunny will be busy chasing after the bad guys, Shadow will have to deal with misfortunes of his own. It starts with an injured paw and Sunny takes him to the vet’s. Here, she meets Jane, a divorced vet whose ex husband is also a vet. Helena, a lady that Sunny’s dad is fond of, displeases Shadow more when she brings a puppy home. Shadow has to deal with this intruder, The Biscuit Eater, as well as his sore paw. And he is none too fond of this situation.
As the story goes on, it is revealed that Martin, the divorced vet has been asking his ex wife for some money since he is in trouble. His ex-wife, Jane, blatantly refuses. Martin, a man known for his womanizing ways goes to Sunny and asks her to convince Jane to lend him the money. He promises to share this money with Sunny. Jane learns about this plot and together with Sunny, they go to confront his ex husband. They walk into his examination room and find him sprawled across his examination table, dead.
Who could be the murderer? Martin has too many enemies – scorned mistresses, a loan shark baying for his blood and other people he probably crossed paths with. Sunny once again has to help find the real monsters before she and Jane are framed.
Book 3; Last Licks
Claire Donally once again keeps her audience on the very edge of the seat. This third installment brings in deliciously creepy setting and lovers of thrillers will find it quite engaging. As with the first two books of the series, Sunny has to solve a murder case – this one is much more complicated than the rest.
Claire Donally also introduces a character that readers will definitely fall in love with. It is Sunny’s boss Oliver and he’s just a pain in the backside as most bosses are. He is cranky and bossy and Sunny has to put up with temper tantrums during his recuperation at a rehab facility. His roommate, Gardner is the complete opposite. To begin with, he is a total flirt. All hell breaks loose when he suddenly dies.
This is the mystery that begs to be solved by Sunny and her detective feline Shadow. But will Shadow be able to focus seeing that he has fallen head over paws in love with the rehab facility’s female cat Portia? Besides, Portia has the reputation of being the Angel of Death. There are enough twists and turns in this book to keep you guessing what the motive for this unexpected death was or even who the real killer was.
Even with her last book, Hiss and Tell, Claire Donally still takes her readers through a murder investigation. In this case, it is a young woman whose body was found dumped in a river. What makes this series really special is the ability of the author to hide in plain sight the real killers. You will find yourself suspecting many different characters and you will be pleasantly surprised once the mystery is solved. Claire Donally has also been a big secret keeper with her true identity. The characters are brought to life with ease, the stories have a good sense of originality and they will keep you entertained from beginning to the very end.