By Lisa Orchard
Back Cover Blurb:
This book opens in a small town in Michigan where fifteen-year-old Sarah Cole is stuck spending the summer at her Aunt and Uncleâ€™s with her sister, Lacey. Sheâ€™s not happy with the situation until she befriends a girl named Jackie. The three girls stumble upon the ruthless murder of a reclusive neighborhood woman. One of the officers investigating the crime believes the girls are responsible for her death. Fearing that this officer will frame them for the murder, the girls organize their own detective squad. They become the Super Spies and start their own fact-finding mission. The Super Spies canâ€™t understand why anyone would want to murder the â€œCat Ladyâ€ until they start digging into her past and discover a horrible crime that happened thirty years ago. They uncover a connection between the two crimes and attempt to bring this information to the police, only to be reprimanded for meddling in the inquest. Not only are the girls upset by the admonition, but they also struggle with the fact that their exuberant investigating could provide a legal loophole allowing the killer to go free. To make matters worse, the police donâ€™t even believe them. Frustrated by this turn of events, the Super Spies realize itâ€™s up to them to snare the Cat Lady killer, or die tryingâ€¦
The house sat hunkered down as if it were tensed to spring like a cat stalking a mouse. Sarah shuddered at the thought of going up on the porch and she chewed on her thumbnail.
Looking behind her, Sarah studied the church facing the Cat Ladyâ€™s home. It was a strong structure built of huge stones. She could tell it was as old as the town itself and its presence made her feel safe. Motioning for Jackie and Lacey to follow her, she moved from the sidewalk to the huge oak tree growing on the churchâ€™s lawn. The girls hid behind it, peeking out at the witchâ€™s home.
â€œAre you still going to do it?â€ Jackie teased.
â€œDo you think sheâ€™s inside?â€ Lacey asked wide-eyed.
Sarah smirked at her. â€œWhere else would she be? I hear she never leaves her house.â€
â€œBe nice.â€ Jackie smacked Sarahâ€™s arm.
â€œWhat are you waiting for? Are you afraid of the witch?â€ Lacey asked as she stared at the house.
â€œSheâ€™s not a witch. Sheâ€™s just a freak, thatâ€™s all.â€
â€œWell, if sheâ€™s not â€¦then what are you waiting for?â€ Jackie snickered.
â€œI just want to make sure the coast is clear.â€
â€œHey, you guys, look at all the cats,â€ Lacey whispered. She pointed at the clusters of felines lolling about on the porch and walking in the yard. â€œThere has to be at least twenty of them.â€
â€œYeah, thatâ€™s why sheâ€™s called the Cat Lady.â€ Sarah rolled her eyes and then felt the sting from Jackieâ€™s slap.
â€œDo you think she put a spell on those cats?â€ Lacey asked with a wide-eyed expression, twirling her hair with her finger.
â€œCould be,â€ Sarah snickered. â€œOr maybe she justâ€¦you knowâ€¦gives them food.â€
â€œKnock it off, Sarah,â€ Lacey glared at her sister.
Sarah stuck her tongue out at her. â€œOkay, Iâ€™m going for it. Iâ€™ll meet you back here.â€
â€œCool beans,â€ Jackie said.
â€œCool beans? Is this town still in the nineties?â€ Sarah teased.
â€œShut up.â€ Jackie smacked her arm again.
â€œThis is physical abuse.â€ Sarah rubbed her arm, trying to appear injured.
Jackie laughed. â€œBe thankful I like hanging out with you.â€
â€œAll I have to do is ring her doorbell, right?â€ Sarah poked her head out from behind the tree. She noticed the tomato pulp still clinging to the siding and peered up and down the street for the notorious Wykowski boys.
â€œThatâ€™s right,â€ Jackie chuckled.
Sarah took a deep breath and sprinted across the street. She stopped at the porch stairs. A group of cats were sunning themselves on the stepsâ€”they meowed at her as if they were hungry. Jumping when one of them rubbed against her legs, she bent down and stroked its back, never taking her eyes off of the house.
Sarah petted the cat, while she worked up the courage to climb the stairs. She heard the loud purr of the contented feline and it eased her anxiety. All of a sudden, she felt a hand squeeze her arm. Her heart leapt in her chest and she let out a yelp.
Turning, she spied Jackie. â€œI almost peed my pants!â€
â€œWhat are you doing here?â€ Sarah muttered and gave Jackie the evil eye.
â€œI couldnâ€™t stay behind the tree and miss all the action.â€
Sarah glanced around her and pointed to some overgrown bushes in front of the porch. â€œYou can hide over there.â€
Out of the corner of her eye, Sarah spied her sister running toward them and stifled a groan.
â€œI didnâ€™t want to stand by myself,â€ Lacey whimpered, slightly out of breath. She tugged nervously on the hem of her T-shirt as she eyed the house.
Sarah groaned and her shoulders slumped as if she carried a heavy burden. She sighed and pointed at the bushes again. â€œYou hide over there with Jackie and be quiet.â€
Sarah waited until the other girls were out of sight, and then climbed the stairs. Stopping when she reached the porch, Sarah took some deep breaths before stepping onto the sagging stoop. Stepping gingerly, she hoped the porch would support her. Her stomach clenched when it groaned. She took another step and then another, the porch complaining with every footfall. Halfway across the stoop, she heard the girls behind the bushes.
â€œSheâ€™s almost to the door.â€ Lacey said in a low voice.
Sarah bit her lip, stifling the disapproving remark dancing on the tip of her tongue. Instead, she turned and glared at the bushes, willing its occupants to shut up. She made eye contact with Jackie, who quickly ducked behind the shrubs, pulling Lacey with her.
What in the world is she doing?â€ Lacey asked.
â€œShhh,â€ Jackie responded.
Sarah shook her head and continued her journey. She felt Jackie and Lacey watching her as she crept toward the door. Reaching the entryway, she was surprised to find the storm door wide open. The only barrier between the Cat Lady and the rest of the world was a flimsy screen door hanging askew on its hinges.
Alarm bells rang in Sarahâ€™s headâ€”this has got to be out of character for someone who never leaves their home. She turned back and whispered to the other girls. â€œHey!â€
Jackie poked her head out. â€œWhat?â€
â€œThe storm doorâ€™s open.â€
â€œSoâ€¦what do I do?â€
â€œDuhâ€¦Ring the door bell.â€
Sarah shrugged and pushed the doorbell. It let out an irritating buzz and she had the feeling it had been broken long ago and never fixed. She dashed down the stairs. The cats scattered, alarmed by the sudden activity. Reaching the shrubs, Sarah hid with her sister and Jackie.
Gasping for breath, Sarah waited for a reaction from the old woman. Her heart pummeled her ribs and she pressed her hand to her chest to calm it.
After a few minutes, Sarah started to pace. â€œWellâ€¦nothingâ€™s happened.â€ She peeked out from behind the shrub and saw the screen door hanging ajar. â€œI bet sheâ€™s not even home. Iâ€™m going to try again.â€
Jackie shrugged. â€œBe careful, remember sheâ€™s a witch.â€
Sarah shook her head, and then peered out from behind the shrubs. Once again, she climbed the stairs. She was braver this time and it didnâ€™t take her as long to make it to the door.
She looked inside, her heart lurching in her chest. She tiptoed to the picture window and peered through it. Gasping, she ran back to the entryway. Pulling it open, she lunged inside.
Sarah stared, unable to tear herself away. Shock ran through her body like an electrical current as she eyed the scene before her. The crumpled form of the Cat Lady lay on the living room floor, just inside the door. No life flickered in the old womanâ€™s staring eyes. Her mouth gaped open in a silent scream and her hands were up around her head as if she were warding off blows. Turning away, Sarah gagged as the coppery scent of blood assaulted her. There was blood splattered everywhere, on the wall, on the carpet and under the Cat Ladyâ€™s body.
Suddenly, Sarahâ€™s throat constricted and she gasped for breath. Fearing she would faint, she stumbled back out the door and collided with Jackie and Lacey on the porch.
Jackie grabbed Sarahâ€™s arm and shook her. â€œWhat are you doing? Are you crazy? I never said to go inside!â€
Sarah didnâ€™t speakâ€”she just stared blankly at the porch.
Jackie shook her again. â€œAre you under the Cat Ladyâ€™s spell?â€
Lacey whimpered. â€œHey, Sarahâ€¦.can you hear me? Sarah?â€
â€œSheâ€™s under the Cat Ladyâ€™s spell,â€ Jackie said waving her hand in front of Sarahâ€™s eyes.
â€œOh myâ€”,â€ Sarah moaned and clutched Jackieâ€™s arm.
â€œWhat is it?â€ Jackie shook her again. â€œSpeakâ€¦say something!â€
â€œTh-th-the C-C-Cat Lady, sh-sh-sheâ€™s,â€ Sarah stuttered.
â€œSheâ€™s what?â€ Jackie demanded.
The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer by Lisa Orchard is an absolutely amazing book. 5 out of 5 bookworms for sure.
The whole time it keeps you guessing and thinking about what is going to happen. It also has a little hint of humor. This story of great friends takes you on a mysterious and suspensful journey through a town of weirdos. It was very hard to put down. Every chapter there was a new twist that kept me up late at night reading. The characters were very different some serious, scary, and most of all silly! All ages would love this book and never want to stop reading.
The book is a great mystery and almost seems real. If you get scared or disgusted easily I would not suggest this book but if youâ€™re like me and are not scared very easily you will love it as much as I do.
The Super Spies are like Nancy Drew of the twenty first century but more FABULOUS!!! This book is a must read for all ages!
Right now, “The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer” is on sale for $.99!