Slay in Character (Cat Latimer Series #4)

Slay in Character (Cat Latimer Series #4)

by Lynn Cahoon

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Overview

Staying in character can be murder when Cat Latimer and the members of her writers’ retreat head for a ghost town . . .
 
Cat and the members of her writers’ retreat have just arrived in Outlaw, Colorado, an “Old West” tourist town complete with inhabitants dressed up as famous figures from history. But this authentic slice of Americana takes a murderous turn when a college student masquerading as a 19th-century saloon girl becomes history herself.  

Was she the intended target? Or did she take a hit meant for someone else? With a cast of suspects to choose from—including some notorious gunslingers and the sleazy town founders—Cat must unhorse the real culprit before a real-life ghost story is given a killer twist . . .
 
Praise for Lynn Cahoon
 
“Better get your flashlight handy, A Story to Kill will keep you reading all night.”
—Laura Bradford, author of the Amish Mysteries

“Lynn Cahoon has created an absorbing, good fun mystery in Mission to Murder.”
Fresh Fiction

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496716811
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 11/27/2018
Series: Cat Latimer Series , #4
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 57,710
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lynn Cahoon is an Idaho expat. She grew up living the small town life she now loves to write about. Currently, she’s living with her husband and two fur babies in a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi River where her imagination tends to wander. Guidebook to Murder, Book 1 of the Tourist Trap series, won the 2015 Reader’s Crown award for Mystery Fiction. Visit her at www.lynncahoon.com.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

How did the saying go? History repeats itself, or to forget our past is to relive it in our future? She was probably mixing a few different sayings. Cat Latimer played with the quote in her head as she helped Seth unload the five writers from the SUV. The day trip to Outlaw, a local ghost town, was a new retreat adventure add-on, and all five writers had signed up for the extra day for the June retreat. Even the Covington College student attendee, Jessi Ball, had paid the extra fee to visit Outlaw with the group.

The dust from the parking lot settled around them, and Cat wiped it from her face. The air here was thinner, as they were nestled high in the mountains. Outlaw had originally been an old mining town. In the high valley, the sun seemed even closer and brighter. She adjusted her sunglasses and took in the entrance. The pine smell from the trees filled her senses and reminded her of a camping trip she and Seth had taken the summer after senior year. The last campout before he'd joined the army and left for his new future. She could taste the s'mores they'd made before they'd lain out on the air mattress he'd set up next to the fire pit. She pulled herself from the memory and looked over at him as he helped the last guest out of the vehicle.

Feeling the heat from the memory and the Colorado summer day, Cat handed each writer a small backpack she'd had made up with Warm Springs Writers' Retreat on the front along with a black-and-white picture of a Victorian-era house. "Inside you'll find a water bottle, a disposable camera, a notepad for inspiration, two pens, and a few bakery items from Shauna, our resident chef, to keep your brain cells firing."

"When do we meet for lunch?" Connie McDonald slipped on her sunglasses as she glanced around the parking lot.

"We'll be eating at the saloon, so meet us there at high noon." Cat smiled. The group, except for Jessi, were all historical romance authors and were all from the same writers' group in Connecticut. They'd booked the retreat as soon as Cat had put up a note about the added visit to the Colorado ghost town. After that, Cat had had several inquiries from romance groups wanting to book the entire house. She'd have to work out the arrangements with Shauna, but if they could pull it off, the retreat could probably host two or three of these special events a year at full occupancy.

"Does anyone want my camera? I'll be using my phone, and besides, I can get pictures anytime." Jessi held up the camera and Kelly Adams snatched it from her hand. Kelly was a striking brunette whose emerald green eyes seemed to bore right though you when she talked.

Kelly tucked the camera into her bag, then looked around at the group, who were all staring at her. "Oh, yeah, please and thank you."

"Kelly doesn't get out much," Cora Sanders fake-whispered to Cat. The woman was in her fifties, but with her blond hair loose around her shoulders, she looked younger. "She's been under continuous deadlines for the last two years since her book sales went crazy through the roof."

"My sales aren't that crazy," Kelly muttered, a flush on her cheeks, "but my contracts are keeping me busy. I'll admit that."

"She's a contract collector," Lisa Freeman teased. "The rest of us are lucky to have one contract at a time, and our friend Kelly here has three."

Kelly's face turned beet red. "Four, counting the novella contract I just signed last week."

The group exploded into laughter.

"Frankly, I'm not sure why we keep her around." Cora took Kelly's arm in hers. "Let's go step into the Old West and get some ideas for our next best sellers."

Seth Howard leaned against the vehicle and watched the women leave. They'd included Jessi in the group quickly. "Your retreats are never boring. I guess I always thought writers would be the type to stay in the library reading until they turned into a book or something."

"You're stereotyping. Writers are fun people. We want to experience life so we can write about it in our books later." Cat put her backpack on. "I put your water and cookies in with mine so I wouldn't lose you here."

"Where do you think I'm going to go? Ride out on the range to drive in the cattle? Or maybe wander about in the mountains to stake a mining claim?" He shut the doors and remote locked the car.

"Either one sounds exactly like where I might have found you one hundred years ago. Your ancestors helped build Covington, didn't they?" Cat took his hand as they walked toward Main Street and the action. She enjoyed being home in Colorado. More, she enjoyed reviving her relationship with Seth Howard, her high school sweetheart. Her mom even asked about Seth during their weekly calls.

"Howards were some of Covington's founding fathers. Just wait until we have your group do my hiking day. You'll learn all about my mad mountain man skills." Seth pointed to the horses tied up at the end of town near the blacksmith's shop. "Looks like they're getting ready for the trail ride. Next time we schedule this, we'll have to do the weekend so we can actually get out into the mountains."

Cat thought about the women who'd signed up for the Outlaw retreat. Of the five, only Jessi seemed like the type who'd brave getting on a horse and riding through the wilderness. Cat could just see her insurance agent's eyes widening as she explained the additional activity. "Maybe. I'll have to talk to Henry about a bigger umbrella policy."

Seth chuckled. "I always forget about the business side of things. Maybe we should just stay with visiting Outlaw. I'm planning on playing a few hands of blackjack while we're here, though. I hear they let visitors win."

"With play money." Cat smiled at the childlike grin that covered Seth's face. Between that and a slight scruff of beard, the guy looked like he could step into one of many roles actors played in the tourist town. All he needed was a cowboy hat and a button-down shirt to replace the I Heart Rock T-shirt he currently sported. And some cowboy boots to replace his Nikes. "I wish this had been open while we were going to high school. I would have jumped at the chance to spend my summer working here."

"They hire a lot of the drama kids from Covington. I guess their folks would rather they stay here and work than go back east to the bigger cities." Seth pulled her onto the wooden sidewalks attached to the buildings and out of the dirt of the main street. "Speaking of Covington, have you seen your friend Dante lately?"

Cat winced. She knew Seth didn't like the guy. She had to admit, Dante was a little scary, mostly due to his belonging to a large Mob family. Seth was watching her. "No, I haven't seen or talked to Dante lately. Why? Have you seen him in town?"

"I did some work for his butler over at that huge house down the street from yours last month. Did you know he has signed copies of your books in his library? I think they are the only paperbacks he has in the entire collection." They paused at the Olde Tyme Photo Shop, where the writers had stopped to get pictures of themselves in Western garb. "Thought it was a little strange, that's all."

"I have a fan." Cat leaned into him. "Stop being so overprotective. I know Dante isn't the type of man you want me to be friends with."

"Your uncle agrees with me." Seth didn't look at her as he spoke.

"I know the guy's bad news. I'm not going to do anything to put myself in any danger." She felt like she was being lectured like a child.

Seth put an arm around her and pulled her close. "Now, that, my love, is an utter falsehood. Trouble finds you like a dog with a buried bone."

Cat had to grudgingly agree. Sometimes she did seem to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. But it wasn't her fault. "I don't do it on purpose."

Seth was about to speak when Cora came out in a saloon girl outfit and pulled them both into the shop.

"You two have to be in the picture as well." She pointed to the racks of clothes. "Go get changed, we'll wait."

Cat sent Seth a what-can-you-do smile and headed off to the side of the room where the women's clothes were located. She was relieved the conversation had been interrupted. She'd wanted it ended before she had to admit that she'd actually been in Dante's study signing the books for him. Seth wouldn't understand, even if it didn't have a thing to do with their relationship.

She chose a dress in a soft blue and walked toward the changing room.

"Oh, no, that won't do at all." Jessi traded the dress Cat had chosen for a sexy saloon girl dress. "We're all being bad girls. You have to join us. And Seth can be our bouncer."

"I think they were called protectors back then, dear." Kelly adjusted a headband with a long pink feather.

"Whatever, it will be a cool picture." Jessi hung the more conservative dress out of Cat's reach. "And you are going to look hot. That's one reason I love working here. I look smoking in these costumes."

"You always think you look hot." Another girl giggled next to Jessi.

"Because I do." Jessi grinned and hugged the girl. "Cat, this is my roommate, Danielle. She and I have been friends since freshman year, and now we're both working this summer here at Outlaw."

"Hey." Danielle held up a hand in greeting. "My shift starts in a little bit, I probably better be going."

"It was nice to meet you." Cat glanced at the dress Jessi had shoved into her hands.

"You too." Danielle turned to Jessi. "Don't worry, I'll handle your shifts this week. I could use the extra money. Some of us are putting ourselves through graduate school."

"I can't help it if my mom is insisting on a second degree for me. If she wants me to get it, she's footing the bill." She hugged Danielle. "I left my keys to the BMW on top of my desk. Use it tonight. I don't want you trying to catch a ride from any of these losers."

"You didn't call them losers when you were dating them." Danielle held up a hand. "No time to discuss, I'm going to be late."

"She seems nice." Cat tried to reach for the more conservative outfit while distracting Jessi.

"She's too nice. I guess she's naïve. She doesn't realize that there are bad people out there. I learned that lesson early, but Danielle? She was raised in Idaho. Nothing bad ever happens in Idaho." Jessi stared sadly in the direction her friend had left. Then she caught Cat's movement out of the corner of her eye. "No way. You aren't looking like a nun with that hot man next to you."

"You work at the saloon?" Cat hadn't known Jessi was actually one of the summer employees. She stopped trying to get the outfit she'd picked out and went inside the dressing room and slipped out of her clothes and into the dress Jessi had given her. Or what appeared to be a dress. The bodice was a corset and the dress was hiked up and sewn to show off the wearer's legs. "I didn't know that. It's nice of you to come with us."

"Oh, I love being here, especially when I'm not working. It's like a playland. I get to play dress-up every day and they pay me." Jessi swished her skirts. "Besides, I really wanted to meet the other attendees. I love talking to real writers. Come on out and I'll fix your corset. It's a pain to do by yourself."

Cat adjusted herself, then folded her clothes into a neat pile by the bench. Glancing at her image in the mirror, she thought she looked like Hollywood's idea of a saloon girl. The neckline dipped low and the shoulders of the dress hung to the side, so there was no way she could wear a bra with the getup. She took one last look in the mirror and exited the dressing area.

"Turn around and I'll get you laced in." Jessi leaned close as she did up the back of the dress. "You look totally mag. Your man is going to want a copy of this for his private collection."

Cat felt her cheeks heat. What was it with romance writers that they always wanted to chime in on her relationship with Seth? He glanced over and gave her a wink. The guy didn't look half bad himself.

Cora called out to the group. "Okay, everyone, come and get set. It's time for us to go back in time. Think of the last heroine you wrote and pretend you're her."

Lisa moved toward the stage and snorted. "My last character was a schoolteacher. If she'd have been caught in a dress like this, she would have been run out of town."

The woman laughed as the photographer adjusted them into a pose. After taking several shots, he checked his camera and nodded. "I think you all will be happy with this. Anyone want some individual or couple shots?"

"Yeah, get one of me and the ball and chain." Seth grabbed Cat by the waist and spun her around. "We've got some dancing to do later."

By the time they left the photo shop, several of the women had gotten individual shots taken. As they returned to the street in their normal clothing, Seth leaned close. "You know he's got to be making a mint off those."

Jessi overheard his comment. "Oh, he's just an employee like the rest of us. The entire town is owned by a corporation. We all work for one man, a guy out of Denver. Of course, we never see him, but the kids call him Mr. McDuck, like that rich guy in the old cartoons?"

Cat glanced around the street. She could see how this town could be the brainchild of one person. It all fit seamlessly. The next shop was a general store where you could buy period reproduction clothes and, to her surprise, snacks.

"Chocolate? Or salty?" Seth looked at her. "I have to buy my favorite girl a treat."

"You are taking this courting thing way too seriously." Cat pointed to what looked like fudge in the glass case. "I'll take a hunk of that. It looks yummy."

Kelly stopped near her. "I have to say, I'm enjoying today. I told the others I'd come to the retreat but all I was going to do was work, not play around. I've got a deadline at the end of the month and two more by end of year. I didn't have time for the travel and to take a day for this."

"Sometimes taking a real break is just what you need to jump-start your creativity." Cat looked at the woman. "Did you really just sign a fourth contract, or were you teasing back there?"

"I have four contracts and, now, three different publishers. I don't know if I'm coming or going, but I love writing these series. And then, wham, a bright and shiny idea hits, and I'm talking to my editor, and before you know it, I have an offer. On a book that was just an idea. Who would turn that down?" Kelly stretched out her arms. "So if you don't see me after today, just know I'm upstairs in my room writing."

"You're going to shame me into writing this week." Cat fingered the fabric on what appeared to be a leather vest. Glancing at the price tag, she knew it was a real leather vest. "I have been trying to take retreat week off from word count days."

"This is working. You're running this retreat. That can't be easy." Kelly picked up a leather journal. "Now, this is cute. I'm going to get one for each of my sisters. Add a nice pen and my Christmas shopping is done."

Cat watched as she scooped up ten of the journals and went to the cash register to pay. When she came back, Cat reached for the sack. "Let me take this back to the car so you don't have to carry it all day."

Jessi popped into the conversation. "I'll do it. I need to make sure I hit my steps today anyway." She held up her wrist and showed them her Apple watch. "I love this thing. My mom sent it to me at the beginning of term last year."

"Nice computer on your arm." Seth handed Cat the fudge. As she reached for it, he held on for just a second longer. "Don't think you're not sharing that."

"Give Jessi the keys, she's going to take Kelly's package back to the SUV." Cat took a bite of the chocolate treat.

He glanced at his own watch. "It's almost time for the big shoot-out on the street. You sure you don't want to stay and watch? I can take the bag back so you can enjoy the day."

Jessi laughed and held out her hand for the keys. "It's the guy in the black hat. It's always the guy in the black hat that dies. Do you know how many times I see Bradley killed during a summer? I think I can miss one show."

"Okay, but it's going to be cool. I hear they use fake blood and everything." He dropped the keys into Jessi's hand and put his arm around Cat. "Just don't go for a joyride. I know what the mileage is on the car."

"You're not such a trusting guy, are you?" Jessi headed to the door, Kelly's bag swinging in her hand. "I'll meet you guys at lunch."

Cat got the group moving out onto the street so they could watch the staged gunfight. Before the show started, a white cat with black patches ran across the dirt road and jumped up on the railing where residents could tie up their horses. Or at least they could back in the day. The cat blinked its green eyes at her as if to say, You know you want to pet me.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Slay in Character"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Lynn Cahoon.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Slay in Character 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
EileenAW More than 1 year ago
A wonderful cozy mystery, Slay in Character by Lynn Cahoon, book four in her Cat Latimer Mystery series was a fun read. Catherine “Cat” Latimer is an author and the owner of Warm Springs Writer’s Retreat in the small college town of Aspen Hills, Colorado which she runs with her friend along with Cat's boyfriend Seth, who does the handyman jobs. A group of writers who already know each other arrive for the week. One other person attending is a student Jessi who earned the right to attend. Cat arranged for a fun day trip for everyone to visit a local ghost town. Unfortunately, Jessi's roommate, who worked at the ghost town, is found murdered. Cat is on the case as someone then tries to kill Jessi. Cat, Shauna, Seth & the writers all work together to figure out what happened to Danielle and to keep Jessi safe. Soon the suspects and clues become overwhelming and Cat might just find herself in over her head. This cozy mystery had all the elements I enjoy interesting likable characters, an intriguing mystery, friendship, and romance. Plus, it isn't graphic, intense or scary. Ms. Cahoon did an excellent job keeping her readers on their toes as they read. She had me miss-guessing who the killer was. I highly recommend Slay in Character to other readers and look forward to Cat’s next adventure. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
Abridges4 More than 1 year ago
Slay in Character is the first book I’ve read by Lynn Cahoon. This book was very good and I really enjoyed it. Since this book is the fourth in the mystery series, Cat Latimer, I’m going to have to go read the first three books because I was somewhat confused of the character’s relationships to each other. Throughout the book, I kept wondering who the killer was. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.
C_Fowler More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed Slay in Character -- it is a great cozy mystery that is hard to put down. Cat Latimer is an author who has a large home in Warm Springs, Colorado where she holds writers' retreats several times a year where authors' can get their creative juices flowing. This particular retreat ends up giving the visiting writers not only several new plot ideas but also a murder at a nearby ghost town that they are determined to investigate. Consequently, Cat has her hands full trying to solve the mystery so she can keep her inquisitive guests safe. This book is the first I have read in the Cat Latimer Mystery series, and even though it is the fourth book, I did not feel lost or that I was missing out on anything. It is entertaining with lots of excitement and surprises, and I really liked reading about the interaction between all the authors and Cat. I can't wait to start this series at the beginning and am also looking forward to the next book in the series. I received a copy of this book from the author. All thoughts and opinions are solely my own.
KTempleton More than 1 year ago
Cat Latimer is hosting another writers' retreat this time with a group of historical romance writers from the same writers' group. This group quickly adopts the local college student attending the retreat into their group so the getting to know one another part of the retreat is not necessary. Cat thinks that because of this group already is so close to one another that she might have a peaceful retreat for once. Quickly she is proven wrong when the college student learns someone close to her has been killed. The whole group of writers jumps into their own investigation. I love this book, I think it's the best in the series so far. There is a very strong plot with great pace and several red herrings to throw you off solving whodunit right away. The characters both primary and secondary are full of personality. I really enjoyed Cat being on the other side of the investigations this time. It was kind of funny seeing Cat having to go get her guest because they were nosing in on a police investigation this time instead of it being Cat nosing into things. The ghost town setting of Outlaw is a wonderful addition to the already cozy setting of Aspen Hills. In addition to the wonderful mystery and humor, this book made me a little emotional near the end of the book with Seth's surprise (I will not say any more so I will not give away any spoilers.) Bonus if you like to cook there is a great recipe for Easy Blueberry Coffee Cake. I recommend this book to fans of the series, Author Lynn Cahoon, and all cozy mystery lovers. I was given an ARC of this book in hopes I would give a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.
Lulu1992 More than 1 year ago
I confess. I’m a huge fan of Lynn Cahoon’s Cat Latimer Mysteries. So much so that after reading the first three books, I didn’t think I could fall any more in love with the series… until I read Slay in Character (book four)! Now I’m absolutely head-over-heels in love with these endearing characters and captivating plots. The series centers around Cat Latimer, published author and former college professor. Cat has converted her large home into a writer’s retreat, which she runs with Shauna, one of her dearest friends. Other regular characters include Cat’s boyfriend Seth, her uncle Pete, the chief of police, and Dante, the series bad boy who is mysterious, wealthy, educated, sophisticated, quite hunky, and somehow involved in organized crime. The series chronicles Cat and Shauna’s adventures as they host a house full of writers at their retreats. The retreat writers in Slay in Character are probably my most favorite of the series. They are fun, adventurous, and very supportive of one another. I’d love to see them featured again in a future book in the series. What I particularly love about Slay in Character is that the growth and maturation of each of the main characters is very evident in this book. Since book one, they’ve grown not only as individuals but also in their relationships with one another. Cat and Seth’s romance continues to mature. It is such a joy to read a mystery series where the boyfriend isn’t from a wealthy family or hasn’t become a millionaire by age 25. All four of them have experienced great loss in their lives, and Ms. Cahoon doesn’t try to heal their grief in one book. She allows them time to grieve and heal throughout the series. The only negative in this book for me is the character of Dante. He was definitely needed in the first three books, but now it feels like he has overstayed his welcome. He’s a bit of distraction for me, and I’d really like him replaced with a character from the local college or maybe someone from a bookstore or restaurant. I’m not really sure why he’s still involved in these people’s lives, but his presence doesn’t detract from the overall awesomeness of this book. Slay in Character has a great mix of mystery, intrigue, and a splash of romance. Ms. Cahoon’s writing is so strong that you’ll find it is hard to put the book down. Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. Though it can be read as a stand-alone, I recommend reading the books in order.
carol223CS More than 1 year ago
Lynn Cahoon’s Slay In Character A fast paced, action packed Murder mystery in Outlaw Town, Colorado. Cat Latimer is hosting a writer’s retreat in Aspen Hills, Colorado. Cat has her crew which consists of Shauna, her boyfriend, Seth and Uncle Pete, the town law officer. The writer’s group consists of a group of five experienced romance writers from Connecticut and Jessi Ball. Jessie is a student at Covington College. She has earned the right to attend this session. Cat takes the group on a tour to an old mining town in Outlaw, Colorado which sets the scene for a Western town in the 1800’s. There is a saloon, an old time photo shop, a gift shop and gunfighter battles. Jessie and some of the college students work in the town to earn extra money. What a shock when Jessie’s roommate dressed in Jessie’s saloon girl costume is found straggled in their room! Was Jessie the real targeted??? Come along with Cat and the group as they decide to investigate the situation. The cast consists of cleverly, crafted, mischievous, well defined and interesting characters. Murder, robbery, run away cars, danger, intrigue and suspense add to this well written fast paced adventure. The reader will feel as is they are with this group due to the author descriptive flair. Come join the fun and read this story. This is book # 4 in the Cat Latimer Mysteries series. It can be read as a stand alone as the author mixes the past and present together effortlessly. I volunteered to read Slay in Character. Thanks to the Cozy Mystery Review Crew for the opportunity. My opinion is my own.
carol223CS More than 1 year ago
Lynn Cahoon’s Slay In Character A fast paced, action packed Murder mystery in Outlaw Town, Colorado. Cat Latimer is hosting a writer’s retreat in Aspen Hills, Colorado. Cat has her crew which consists of Shauna, her boyfriend, Seth and Uncle Pete, the town law officer. The writer’s group consists of a group of five experienced romance writers from Connecticut and Jessi Ball. Jessie is a student at Covington College. She has earned the right to attend this session. Cat takes the group on a tour to an old mining town in Outlaw, Colorado which sets the scene for a Western town in the 1800’s. There is a saloon, an old time photo shop, a gift shop and gunfighter battles. Jessie and some of the college students work in the town to earn extra money. What a shock when Jessie’s roommate dressed in Jessie’s saloon girl costume is found straggled in their room! Was Jessie the real targeted??? Come along with Cat and the group as they decide to investigate the situation. The cast consists of cleverly, crafted, mischievous, well defined and interesting characters. Murder, robbery, run away cars, danger, intrigue and suspense add to this well written fast paced adventure. The reader will feel as is they are with this group due to the author descriptive flair. Come join the fun and read this story. This is book # 4 in the Cat Latimer Mysteries series. It can be read as a stand alone as the author mixes the past and present together effortlessly. I volunteered to read Slay in Character. Thanks to the Cozy Mystery Review Crew for the opportunity. My opinion is my own.
ArizonaJo More than 1 year ago
Slay In Character by Lynn Cahoon is book four in the Cat Latimer series and I was pulled in from the first chapter. Another writer's retreat in Aspen Hills with a group of women writers who actually have a writing group in their home town. As much as I enjoy visiting Aspen Hills, Cat, Shauna, Seth and Uncle Pete, I really enjoyed meeting the women at the retreat. They were all supportive of each other and seemed to genuinely enjoy spending time together. Ms. Cahoon's descriptive writing is vivid and allowed me join the group as they not only went on outings but began to help investigate a murder. Poor Uncle Pete. The plot moved quickly, there seemed to be more than just one mystery to be solved, and there were only a few suspects to consider. For once, I actually did figure it out before the reveal but was glad to read that my reasoning was spot on. I am eagerly awaiting the next book in this series. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Kensington. All of the above opinions are my own.
MeezCarrie 25 days ago
Slay in Character is a really fun addition to the Cat Latimer series while also being sweet and sincere. Another reviewer said that one of the draws of this series is the combination of the delightful ‘regular’ cast of both main and secondary characters & the rotating cast of additional secondary characters that are new in each book – and I completely agree! We get more layers in the lives & back-stories of Cat, her boyfriend Seth, her best friend Shauna, and her Uncle Pete (as well as some of the townspeople who play a role in each retreat) but we also get to meet a new cast of retreaters in each book. The writers who have booked the retreat for the week in Slay in Character are hilariously fun friends who are part of a regularly-meeting writers group, so their bond is really enjoyable to read about, as is the way they ‘adopt’ the Covington College student into their dynamic. Which mostly translates into getting into trouble with her, trying to solve the murder on their own lol. There is a very sweet side theme as well, as Cat’s bestie (and resident chef) Shauna is still dealing with grief from a tragedy in book #3 – and how she begins to heal. Speaking of the murder, I was 99% sure I knew whodunit (I was right) but I had NO IDEA why. This kept me fully engaged in the story from beginning to end – along with several red herrings that almost made my certainty waver – and the sub-setting of the Old West tourist town added additional elements of possibilities to the mix. (Plus it was another fun aspect to the story too.) Bottom Line: This fourth installment in the Cat Latimer mysteries is brimming with all the elements that make it such a great series – with a few additional bonuses that are the icing on the cake. It’s easy to read as a stand-alone if you need to, but you’ll want to catch up on the series, especially Of Murder and Men after reading Slay in Character. Every retreat where we get to tag along is sure to contain yummy food, delightful characters, and a masterfully-plotted mystery … and Slay in Character is no exception. (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)
Anonymous 11 months ago
I've really enjoyed this series up to now but in this book the main character seemed deliberately obtuse and the culprit was much too easy to discern, almost from the moment it was introduced. Not the best of the bunch but I'll be eager to see if the next book has a bit more nuance and depth!
CozyMarie More than 1 year ago
This was the first book I have read in the series and I found myself fully engaged in Cat as a protagonist and her adventures. She is a well rounded character with lots of depth and personality. I like the idea of a Writer’s Retreat. It has the potential for a lot of secondary characters to come and go throughout the series, which is a lot of fun. The book had me hooked from start to finish – once I started, it was hard to put down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like all her books. They definately keep you interested.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love this series! Cannot wait for the next book. You can really feel the characters and the emotions they go through. Light murder mystery. Fun!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this series faithfully, but I find myself Skimming all the words that seem to just add to the word count and not to the story.
CozyUpWithKathy More than 1 year ago
a character driven mystery that takes a writer's life to the next level SLAY IN CHARACTER by Lynn Cahoon The Fourth Cat Latimer Mystery When a group of historical romance writers come for a writer's retreat, Cat Latimer hopes for a quiet productive time with camaraderie and a few laughs. A visit to the Old West tourist town of Outlaw leads to tragedy when a young woman is found strangled in a room above the saloon. The murdered girl happened to be covering for the Jessi Ball, the Covington College student attendee of the retreat, a student with "family" connections. Could Jessi have been the actual target? The other writers take Jessi under their wing as her life gets even more out of control.Will Cat be able to keep everyone safe, even as the writers attempt to solve the murder themselves? And just what is Seth up to in the back yard? I really love this smart writer oriented series. Cat shares the expertise and life of a writer to her retreat participants and in doing so Lynn Cahoon shares it with her readers. I particularly like the tips to encourage productivity. I'd do those writers sprints myself, except that I write long hand! Aside from a realistic look at the life of an author, readers are also provided with a well plotted mystery. Subtle clues, inferences, possibilities, and red herrings cloud the investigation making for an interesting read. The characters are complex. Each has not only a history, but dreams and aspirations, goals and motives, some bubbling under the surface, hinted at, and some expressed. Readers are pulled in, identifying, commiserating, and intrigued with the characters and so with the story. SLAY IN CHARACTER is a character driven mystery that takes a writer's life to the next level. Despite the murders that seem to beset Cat's writing retreats, I'd love to sign up to attend one! FTC Disclosure – The publisher sent me a copy of this book in the hopes I would review it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
another+great+book+in+this+series.++I+was+surprised+by+who+did+it
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
I've read all the previous books in this series and enjoyed them all, this one was another winner for me. This months writer resort group is a group of writer friends from CT and the Covington student Jessi, who has family ties and whose mother is friends with local mob family member Dante. Cat has decided to take the group to Outlaw, which was a ghost town that had been brought back to life as a tourist town depicting life in the late 1800s. Jessi also works in Outlaw with her roommate Danielle. When Danielle is found dead, strangled in an upstairs room at the saloon, there is speculation that Jessie was the actual target, not Danielle. Cat promised Dante she'd keep Jessi safe, and now she was worried about being able to keep that promise as a couple more attempts were made on Jessi's life. When Jessi finds out that her roommate has been stealing her jewellery and pawning it along with money missing from her bank account she becomes very worried and upset. I enjoyed this group of writers. They all got along well, had some humorous moments and one of them was like a mother hen to Jessi, whose own mom left much to be desired in the mother/daughter relationship. Cat tries very hard to stay out of this one, but this group of retreaters wanted to snoop to help their new friend. This kept dragging Cat into the investigation whether she wanted to or not. I enjoy the recurring characters in this book. Shauna is still getting over Kevin’s death but is doing better, Cat and Seth’s relationship is moving along nicely. Uncle Pete and Shirley are handling a long distance relationship. Dante is still popping up unexpectedly. The mystery was full of twists and I found it to be very interesting the way old cases that were similar were brought to light. I did not figure out who the culprit was until just before the reveal and of course the reason made total sense. A subplot throughout the story was a project Seth was working on. A secret project. Almost every day he went out the back door and through the woods to the back of the property. I will not give any details about it, you will need to read and find out. I enjoyed this story as I said before and think all cozy readers will feel the same way. I do recommend that you read this series in order if possible to follow the exploits of the characters as well as follow their development. The publisher, Kensington Publishing Corporation, generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
great+characters.+College+scholarship%27s+roommate+is+found+murdered+in+ghost+town.++Cat+and+other+writers+solve+mystery.++
annie2015 More than 1 year ago
This is my first time reading a book by this author so I wasn't sure what to expect. I have to say that I really enjoyed the characters and the author's style of writing. Since this is book 4in the series (and I haven't read the others), I was afraid I would be really lost but it wasn't too bad. It was definitely worth reading. And it made me want to check out the other books in the series. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. My thoughts and opinions are my own and without bias.
ganderson523 More than 1 year ago
It was nice to return to Aspen Hills, Colorado for another writer's retreat week with Cat, Shauna, Seth, and Uncle Pete. Cat opens her large home for the retreat while her friend and business manager Shauna cooks and works the business end of things. Cat's boyfriend Seth has his own room for the event when he helps out with maintenance and such. And unfortunately, the services of Uncle Pete, local police chief, is needed once again. This session brings a group of writer friends for the week of writing, research and fun. Local college student Jessi Ball from Covington College joins the group and brings excitement when her roommate is found dead at a old west tourist town saloon of nearby Outlaw shortly after the retreat group has lunch and a tour of the town. Jessi and her roommate, Danielle, both work at the saloon during their free time. This is the fourth death at the town in a similar manner over a course of forty years. Jessi comes from a wealthy family and doesn't need to work but does it for fun. After Danielle's death, Jessi discovers that she was not the best friend that she thought that she was. Not only did she take Jessi's clothes and jewelry but also her boyfriend. It soon becomes apparent that Jessi's life might be in danger as well. In fact, was Danielle even the target? I always enjoy reading Lynn Cahoon's books. Her characters are fun and realistic, someone that would make a good friend. This story line has a believable plot centered around greed and jealousy. We have a cast of possible suspects and action that keeps the story moving and interesting. This is another winner in the Cat Latimer Mystery series. I received a complimentary ARC from Kensington Publishing through NetGalley. The thoughts and opinions expressed are mine only.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts Who knew a little trip to a ghost town would lead to murder? The latest group of writers have arrived for their week-long retreat and a day out to Outlaw, Colorado, a tourist attraction dedicated to the Old West is the destination for a day trip. One of the writers, Jessi, a college student, works there along with her roommate for extra cash. The next day the roommate is missing. She is later found dead in one of the rooms at the ghost town saloon. She went missing while working one of Jessi’s shifts – so was the killer after Jessi? or her friend? Cat tries to stay out of the investigation but her guests have other ideas and lie to her about where they are going. Twice she gets them out of hot water with police. She soon finds herself trying to solve the case to help Jessi, but also to keep her guests out of trouble. What she uncovers changes the course of the investigation and reveals a shady side of certain individuals. Cat actually had a few months go well, no murders or police investigations, so this book takes place in the following summer after the last book. Shauna is still getting over Kevin’s death but is doing better, Cat and Seth’s relationship is moving along nicely. Uncle Pete and Shirley are handling a long distance relationship. Dante is still popping up unexpectedly. The writers for this retreat all belong to the same writing group and are historical romance writers with the exception of college student Jessi, but they quickly pull her into the group. If it wasn’t for that doggone murder things would be great. One of the things I like about this series is that for each story we add a new group of characters to the core cast we have come to know so well over these four books. Ms. Cahoon does an excellent job at introducing this new group with great detail so readers can quickly grasp who they are, how they fit together, their similarities and differences. The character development of both the old characters and new is stellar. I appreciate the dialogues too, whether a quick quip or a full conversation. I also loved the writing drills, a little behind the scenes look at how writers get the word count in every day. The mystery plot line was full of twists and I found it to be very interesting the way old cases that were similar were brought to light. Having Cat stay out of the investigation at first was a fun twist. Seeing her tell her guests how dangerous it is to get involved in police matters almost made me laugh out loud. This group of retreaters was absolutely delightful. I loved the way the wanted to snoop to help their new friend. A subplot throughout the story was a project Seth was working on. A secret project. Almost every day he went out the back door and through the woods to the back of the property. He asked Cat and Shauna to not venture back there until he was finished. Both women were curious and had their own ideas what he what doing out there but stayed away until the big reveal. What a reveal it was, special, moving, heartwarming and perfect. I will not give any more details, it is a surprise you need to read about all on your own. Seth truly is a great friend and boyfriend. Until this story, I would have said each of the books in this series could be read as stand-alone, but I believe I enjoyed this one so much because I had read the others first and got to experience the characters growth in quick succession. The things they dealt with, the way the handled the previous murders,
Marshathereader More than 1 year ago
Slay in Character is book 4 in the Cat Larimer series by Lynn Cahoon. It can be read as a stand alone but you will want to read the entire series. Cat is again holding a writer's retreat when another murder occurs. Was the victim the intended or was one of her attendees the target. Cat is again set on investigating, much to her uncle's dismay. After all, he is the sheriff. Not only is Cat investigating, the writers there for the retreat get it on it. Cahoon has you guessing until the end with twists and turns, a great setting, and likeable characters. There is mystery, romance, and a heartwarming ending. Overall a great cozy mystery. You will want to attend the next retreat at Aspen Springs, Colorado. Thanks to Kensington Books and Netgalley for the ARC for an honest review.
bluegreen91 More than 1 year ago
This was a gripping tale from start to finish! Author Cat runs a writers' retreat from her Colorado college town home along with her boyfriend Seth and her BFF Shauna. This retreat's guests include a local college student and a writers' group from Connecticut, a mix that seem to all get along and support one another well but also know how to make some time to relax on their working vacation. When someone connected to the group is found dead, some of the ladies find themselves drawn to investigating. This was a fun group of guests to read about and the mystery was a little tricky! Though I suspected the culprit, I kept second-guessing myself until the very end. Aside from the mystery, we get to hear a little more about Shauna and her troubles. There was a great new setting in this book, an Old West town nearby, where some of the book's scenes are set. Slay in Character is a great entry in this series, though I feel it stands alone quite well for those who haven't read any others in the Cat Latimer series. If you read this one first, you may find yourself wanting to back and start at the beginning! I'm hoping this series will be around for quite awhile! I received an advance copy of this book. This review contains my own honest thoughts and opinions.
PrincessGlor More than 1 year ago
A solid installment in the Cat Lattimer Cozy series. I thoroughly enjoyed this latest visit with Cat, Shauna, Seth, Uncle Pete and the new batch of guests attending Cat's writer's retreat. The mystery kept me entertained and I all but devoured this story in the course of an afternoon. This group of ladies attending this retreat were fun and likable even with their escapades in trying to solve the crimes happening in the story. This has definitely been my favorite Cat mystery thus far. I received this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review. All thoughts above are my own.