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Review: Orange as Marmalade by Fran Stewart

Martinsville Georgia, is home to Biscuit McKee who has returned home and is the new librarian at the local library. Wait there is more perfect news, she is about to marry Bob Sheffield who is the local police chief.
Normally this news would be enough but it's been years since Biscuit has seen her sister Glaze, however Glaze is coming early to help preparing for not only the wedding but to visit her sister.
Marmalade is the library cat and is he first to find the body. The body of Harlan Schneider, Marmalade wasn't thrilled to find the body on his watch. The only body should have been the mouse but while Marmalade was busy moving in for the kill someone had killed a human.
Biscuit came to the library and found Harlan's body. Apparent that he was murdered did dampen an otherwise perfect day. To Biscuit the murder seemed personal because of the knife through Harlan's heart.
Everyone in Martinsville has their theories as to why the nature photographer was in the library after closing hours. How did he get in and if he had a key who gave the key to him and why would they do that especially since not many keys are given out to anyone.

As time goes on and Glaze arrives Biscuit is happy to have something besides murder to think about and there is a lot to do to keep her mind off of the murder. Not before  few people in law enforcement who seem to be relentless with their questions to Biscuit and other staff, friends and every time Biscuit thinks she can put thoughts of murder aside there is always a knock on the door to remind her that murder is on everyone's mind.

Biscuit show Glaze what has changed since she last lived there. Not to mention there are no secret in Martinsville so everyone Glaze meets already knew she was coming, that she is Biscuits sister and they greet her with open arms.
At first Glaze is a little taken aback but soon warms to the small town residents. Little does everyone know there is a secret about Glaze nobody know and soon the reason why she is a bit of a nomad becomes evident.

Marmalade is busy loving Biscuit and Glaze. Glaze he has given the nickname Wide Lap needs lots of Marmalade strokes she works through her secret and the horror that becomes clear to Marmalade he must protect his small family. He knows Human Bob will do his part but Marmalade is on the prowl.

Marmalade tries to let the sisters know who is outside, where some of the clues are but Marmalade is a little frustrated he can't get his point across to the sisters.

Little by little we learn the past might have a lot to do with the present and why the murder might have happened. The past also is part of what haunts Glaze and why she must stay moving along every few months or years.
As the women sew curtains and discuss the wedding plans,  they also fill their tummies with a part of their past that is cozy for their stomachs and their souls. Biscuit always and I mean always has soup. if not once a day then twice a day. Soup hold the key to her happiness.
Glaze loves milkshakes and must have milkshakes to comfort her soul. They have been like this since their childhood. Other foods might be great for gathering with others but the women rarely defer from their meal traditions.

ORANGE as MARMALADE is such a feline feel good mystery and Fran Stewart knows what the reader wants in their mysteries. They want real characters, setting, pets who are family and plots that unravel slowly like a pot of soup left to simmer but the excitement of that page turning milkshake of is meant to satisfy to the last sip.

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Biscuit and Bob are on their honeymoon when Bob tries to help someone dying with resuscitation efforts that leave him poisoned and in ICU.

The story time hops a lot and introduces a lot of characters and isn't really your typical amateur sleuth asking questions all over town.

It is a series of pieces out of the life of the Holvers family and events that led to the current situation she and Bob are in.

It is interesting and complex at times but satisfying as the pieces come together.

I saw several reviews where the number of characters and time hopping frustrated readers and I admit, I had to pause a few times to make sure I was in tune to everything going on, but I thought it was fun a non-traditional which was a bit refreshing.

Terri