Light Cosy Mystery, set in a small Texas hill country town, with a she's-just-like-us heroine, a preternaturally intelligent black cat and a not very challenging murder to solve.
"Black Cat Crossing" is a smile of a book. The kind of thing that you listen to when you want an amusing, unchallenging distraction as you get on with unavoidable chores.
This book is fundamentally nice.
Sabrina Tate, our heroine, (late thirties, divorced, no kids) is a nice, likeable everywoman, who in the wake of her divorce, has left her paralegal job in the big city to come back the small town of Lavender, where she spent her childhood summers with her Aunt Rowena. Her ambition is to become a published mystery author but rea life keeps distracting her, initially in helping her Aunt run her vacation cottage rental business and then in trying to solve a murder in which her aunt is the prime suspect.
Sabrina has nice friends (one of whom is a bookseller who introduces her to a well-known literary agent) and mostly nice neighbours.
The only really not nice person quickly becomes the murder victim, which Sabrina wouldn't have minded if her aunt hadn't been the one most likely to have killed him.
The most mysterious thing in this mystery is The Bad Luck Cat, a large black cat that local superstition holds brings bad luck to anyone whose path he crosses. The cat, for reasons of his own, adopts Sabrina and then pops up whenever she needs her attention drawn to a critical clue or needs her life saving.
The writing is clean, clear and amusing. The pace is slow and easy without actually dragging. Tension is just high enough to stop you losing interest but not high enough to cause any real worry.
I think this was well done but it's the kind of thing, like salted caramel ice cream, that I can only take in small amounts.