Kitty Kitty by Michele Jaffe
Kitty Kitty is Michele Jaffe‘s highly entertaining, supremely quotable1 sequel to Bad Kitty. In fact, it’s even better than Bad Kitty2, thanks to a plethora of laugh out loud funny moments, a mystery that’s actually mysterious, and the return of the Evil Hench Twins and Roxy, Polly, and Tom.3
After Jasmine Callihan’s successful, if potentially life-threatening, sleuthing in Las Vegas4, her father decides to whisk the family5 off to Venice, Italy, figuring Jas can’t get into trouble there and he can write the definitive history of soap.6 Nevermind that it’s the start of Jas’s senior year of high school. She is to spend six hours a day learning Italian while also doing her regular schoolwork on her own, as if she were being homeschooled. Unfortunately for Jas, that still leaves her with plenty of time to mope about being 4,000 miles away from her best friends Roxy, Polly, and Tom, not to mention her hottie boyfriend, Jack. (Being 4,000 miles away from the Evil Hench Twins, Alyson and Veronique, does not make up for this.) And unfortunately for Dadzilla, as Jas has taken to calling her father, one of Jas’s classmates at Francesco Petrarca Instituto Per Le Lingue (a.k.a. Frank’s L’il Language School) is Arabella Randolph.
When Arabella first confides that she thinks she’s being followed and her life is in danger, Jas thinks she’s sweet but nutty.7 Though she didn’t believe Arabella before, after Arabella is found dead—of suicide, according to the police—less than an hour before she was to meet Jas, Jas realizes that Arabella was on to something. Assisted by Roxy, Polly, and Tom (who realize that Jas + investigation = danger! and so hitch a plane to Venice with, um, Menudo) and graced with the presence of the Evil Hench Twins (visiting Venice courtesy of the deluded Dadzilla), Jas is determined to discover who killed Arabella.
Kitty Kitty is one of the funniest books, and definitely the funniest mystery8, I can recall reading. The clothing and dialogue and Roxy’s gadgets may be more than a tiny bit over the top, but think of it like the movie Clueless (in terms of clothing and dialogue, I mean. And with smarter people.). So, while Kitty Kitty is probably not for everyone because of the style it’s written in, if you enjoyed Bad Kitty, you will like this one even more.9 I also think Meg Cabot and Louise Rennison fans in particular will get a huge kick out of it, and even non-mystery readers looking for something humorous, entertaining, and unique will find lots to enjoy here.
1 Seriously, I have got to start using phrases like “I was one hundred percent sure + shipping & handling” in everyday conversation.
2 Which was fun and cute, but nowhere near the level of Kitty Kitty.
3 Yay, Polly and Tom are still together!
4 See Bad Kitty.
5 Meaning himself, Jas, and Jas’s stepmother, Sherri!.
Sorry, I just wanted to write Sherri!.
6 GeekTrisha: If that was a real book, I would totally read it!
Trisha: So would I, but I need to get back to the review.
GeekTrisha: Let me just go and request Good Germs, Bad Germs: Health and Survival in a Bacterial World and The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History first.
7 Hmm, what kind of nut or candy could I use as an example?
8 MysteryReadingTrisha: That’s because you usually read all those dark, claustrophobic Scandinavian mysteries featuring divorced detectives.
Trisha: So? I used to read Janet Evanovich. And Colin Cotterill’s Dr. Siri Paiboun series is pretty funny. In a very different way.
MysteryReadingTrisha: And when are you going to read Voices? You haven’t read a book in translation since April! There went a New Year’s resolution.
Trisha: I’ll just make the same resolution next year. And Kitty Kitty is still the funniest mystery I’ve ever read.
9 I am one hundred percent sure + shipping & handling!