I wish there was a 3-and-a-half star rating, as this book was better than 3 stars, but maybe not quite a 4 . . . I have read all of Lydia Adamson's "Cat" books, most of which I have enjoyed immensely, but her last few have not overwhelmed me in either plot or character (but especially plot).
"A Cat with No Clue" brings Lydia Adamson MUCH closer to some of the best of the series, and I hope the trend continues. In this one, perpetually out-of-work Manhattan actress Alice Nestleton attends the anniversary party of a dear old theatrical couple who have graced over a hundred Broadway stages in various character roles that have not quite made them famous, but popular nonetheless. After leaving the party, Alice comes up with a brainstorm to send the dear old couple an anniversary dinner consisting of the same food prepared the night of the old couple's first date. Alice goes to her friend Nora's bistro and talks her friend into getting the food prepared and delivered, capping off a romantic and nostalgic evening for the couple.
But this is a mystery, and things don't go as planned -- within 48 hours the elderly couple are dead of poisoning (speed introduced into the meal prepared by Nora's chef), and the waiter that delivered the meal is found shot to death in the alley behind Nora's restaurant. As far as the police are concerned, all clues point to Alice herself, but Alice is determined to not only clear her name, but also avenge her friends' deaths.
Various clues and/or red herrings include two precious kittens, a gargoyle poster, an old kidnapping case complete with a huge reward, one crazy rich woman and her philandering husband, and of course Alice's motley crew of friends and former/current love interests.
The characterizations and writing in this entry in the series seems fresh and more alive than in the last few; I enjoyed this one quite a bit. My main complaint would be the ending, which somehow didn't satisfy; like a good build-up for just a bit less than should have been expected for the finish. Still, it seems Ms. Adamson (a pseudonym) seems much more back to herself, and I enjoyed getting a good entry in the series - all of which I've read, even though I don't particularly like cats! But try this one, it will hold your interest and still has a suspenseful ending, even if the final explanation IS a bit left-of-center.