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The Big Kitty (Sunny & Shadow Mystery #1)

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  370 ratings  ·  76 reviews
Did curiosity kill the cat lady?

Sunny Coolidge left her New York City newspaper job to go back to Maine and take care of her ailing father. But there’s not much excitement—or interesting work—in Kittery Harbor. So when Ada Spruance, the town’s elderly cat lady, asks for help finding her supposedly-winning lottery ticket, Sunny agrees. But when she arrives at Ada’s, with a
...more
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Berkley Publishing Group (first published January 1st 2012)
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The Cat, The Quilt And The Corpse by Leann SweeneyPaws for Murder by Annie KnoxDial C For Chihuahua by Waverly CurtisFile M for Murder by Miranda JamesThe Big Kitty by Claire Donally
Mysteries with Animal Main Characters
4th out of 60 books — 27 voters
The Cat Who Could Read Backwards by Lilian Jackson BraunWish You Were Here by Rita Mae BrownThe Cat Who Played Brahms by Lilian Jackson BraunThe Cat Who Knew Shakespeare by Lilian Jackson BraunMurder Past Due by Miranda James
Cozy Cat Mystery Books
13th out of 82 books — 39 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 880)
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Yvonne
After taking a leave of absence to care for her ill father, Sunny Coolidge loses her well paying newspaper job in New York City and returns to her home town of Kittery Harbor, Maine. She moves in with her father and is stuck in a low paying job which doesn’t even cover her expenses – not to mention her unreasonable and demanding boss.

When Ada Spruance, also known as the “Cat Lady”, asks Sunny to help locate a missing winning lottery ticket, Sunny agrees to help. When Sunny pays Ada a visit, she
...more
Beth
I am an avid cozy fan and usually love most cat themed mysteries but this turned my stomach. Not only was it offensive to cat lovers by having the one woman in the entire town who was kind to animals and rescued them be a ditzy, hoarder type, "cat lady" but it promoted animal abuse! I was frankly shocked when the main character's father started not only to make obnoxious comments towards his daughter about Shadow the cat but towards the cat as well. When the verbal abuse progressed towards actua ...more
Fred
The Big Kitty is the first book in the A Sunny and Shadow Mystery series.

Sunny Coolidge has returned to Kittery Harbor, the town where she grew up, to take care of her father. Ada Spruance, the elderly cat lady of Kittery, asks Sunny if she could help her look for the winning lottery ticket that she has lost. The deadline for turning in the winning tickets coming up very soon. As Sunny is getting ready to head home after this meeting, Sunny finds a large grey cat on sitting on her car. Shadow, a
...more
LORI CASWELL
Meet Sunny Coolidge, a New York journalist who has returned home to Kittery Harbor, Maine, to take care of her father after his heart attack. She finds work at the local travel agency for Ollie Barnstable a.k.a "Ollie the Barnacle"" but she hopes it is temporary and that she will be able to land a job at a local newspaper.

She is surprised one day when Ada Spuance, the eldery woman everyone calls "the cat lady" comes into the office and asks Sunny to help her find a winning lottery ticket. Sunny
...more
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
For a debut novel in a new series, I found the book to have a good premise, interesting characters, and a solid mystery. It was a wee bit slow paced but that, I think, is due to the fact that a first book often does.

Sunny Coolidge is now residing in Kittery Harbor, Maine to help her father recover and adjust to his new life as a heart patient. I must admit that the Father's character was off-putting to me, at the beginning, as he was so physically cruel to the cat that Sunny brought home. I can
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Paul Lunger
The debut novel for Claire Donally in the Sunny & Shadow mystery series takes us to fictional Kittery Harbor, Maine & introduces us to Sunny Coolidge a writer who works in a travel office in this town. When a local resident, Ada Spruance (the local cat lady) who has a lottery ticket worth $6-8M comes up dead after telling her this things a rather clever mystery ensues. Shadow, the cat, ends up adopting Sunny making this a change from the usual items in this genre & he is a cat that's ...more
Amy
Dec 14, 2012 Amy added it
Shelves: 2012, ad-mystery
When I saw this book at Lift Bridge Book Shop, I flipped out because we call our cat Gordon "Big Kitty." One I got it home, Big Kitty - true to form - proceeded to puncture the front and back covers with his teeth. Big Kitty was chewing on "The Big Kitty" - SO META. It was an OK book. I didn't love the main character - she seemed a little generic and low on personality. And I don't love it when authors try to write from an animal's perspective - it usually seemed kind of affected or gimmicky or ...more
Roxann
The Big Kitty is the first book in the A Sunny and Shadow Mystery series. I read the second one first and went back to find this book. This is another cozy mystery.

Story line: Sunny Coolidge has returned to Kittery Harbor, the town where she grew up, to take care of her father. Ada Spruance, the elderly cat lady of Kittery, asks Sunny if she could help her look for the winning lottery ticket that she has lost. As Sunny is getting ready to head home after this meeting, Sunny finds a large grey c
...more
Teresa Kander
First book of the series, and I'm already anxious to read the next one (thankfully it's on the nightstand waiting for me!)

Sonata (Sunny) Coolidge is a brave, or perhaps foolhardy, young woman. She's come back home to Kittery Harbor to take care of her ill father, and winds up staying permanently. She has a low-paying job which depresses her, and a boss who is driving her crazy.

Shadow is a stray cat who adopts Sunny, and parts of the story are written from his point of view, which I love. It's fa
...more
Dyana
The last book I read was very intense so I needed a cozy mystery and this one filled the bill. Sunny Coolidge returns to Kittery Harbor, Maine to care for her ailing father. As a result, she is let go from her New York City newspaper job; and her boyfriend, who was also her editor, finds it convenient to dump her.

Sunny takes a job in Kittery Harbor as a secretary at MAX - the Maine Adventure X-perience - a website for people looking for places to stay in the area. She befriends an elderly "cat"
...more
Kate
Really liked this one! Fast paced and breezy, set in a cute little town in Maine. Fun! I'll be looking for the next in the series when it comes out.
Diane
I enjoyed this book. And if you are any kind of cat person, you will love Shadow... I'm looking forward to the second in this new series.
Chrissy Kettenacker
Yawn. This book was kind of boring. Would have been more interesting if we got to see the murder case thru Shadows perspective.
Sunny Min-x
I really liked this one! I loved how sensitive the author was to write from Shadow the cat's perspective, when she switched to his POV. She did so great that parts of it made me tear up, thinking of how mean people could be to cats - this was a great feature and the author did a wonderful job developing his role, without being cutesy or condescending. that alone makes me want to go back for more.

I liked the protagonist, but the meth plot seemed a bit hard to believe. however, the book kept me e
...more
Maurie
This was a very enjoyable read with a great main cat character. I'm looking forward to more in this series!
Peggy
Loved this book. Loved how it has what the cat is thinking and feeling. Hope there will be more.
Carole
Sunny came home to Maine to care for her father who had a heart attack. She had been living in New York City where she was establishing a career as a newspaper reporter when she took time off to care for her dad; her stay became permanent when her boss and lover fired her.

Times are hard in Kittery Harbor as they are all over. The only job she can get is a bad paying one working for a bad-tempered, stingy man. She accidently gets involved in a murder which gets the bad guys on her trail. And alo
...more
Fanficfan44
I have had this book hanging around for quite a while and to be truthful, I don’t even remember where I picked it up. It is not my normal type cozy, being told in part from the perspective of Shadow, the big grey cat pictured on the front of the book.

I am really glad that I finally read this, it was very well done, not overly cutesy or full of anthropomorphic animals. The reader knows Shadow’s thoughts, but they are really from a cat’s perspective, not a cat with human emotions or perceptions. I
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Debbie
"The Big Kitty" is a cozy mystery. Though Sunny is supposed to have lived in New York as a reporter for several years, she seems very naive. She's not street smart. She doesn't even know what commonly used abbreviations mean, and someone has to explain these things to her. She didn't think her actions through very well, either. She started off the story doing something that made me think, "Do you want the old lady to be killed?!" yet she rationalized that her actions were going to help the woman ...more
Alannah Davis
First book in a cozy mystery series about Sunny Coolidge and her cat, Shadow. In this introduction to the series, Sunny and Shadow meet when the town "cat lady" Ada Spruance, is found dead at the foot of the stairs. Might be murder. And murder might have to do with the winning but missing lottery ticket Ada had wanted Sunny to help her find, or it might have something to do with the objections that snooty neighbors had to the local cat-lady-slash-hoarder.

A few sections were told from Shadow's po
...more
Nancy
Jul 28, 2013 Nancy added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Susan
A charming heroine, back in her coastal home town to care for her sick father, and a cat who needs love are brought together when the local cat lady suddenly dies. Sunny (the person) is suspicious of the death--Ada has just told her that she's misplaced a valuable lottery ticket. But Shadow (the cat) knows--he was in the house when the death took place. A handsome constable with issues with the sheriff adds to the mix.
Elaine
This one is pretty much a standard cozy all the way. The leading character, a young woman, comes back to the small Maine town where she grew up to take care of her father. Along the way she meets various characters, including Will the deputy, whom she begins a relationship with. Some of the characters, including her boss, are shady to begin with, and you know from the beginning they are up to no good. An elderly woman is murdered, and there is a lottery ticket missing. Sound familiar so far?

The
...more
Melissapalmer404
Book #77 Read in 2014
The Big Kitty by Claire Donally

This is the first book in a cozy mystery series. Sunny returns to her hometown after her father suffers a heart attack. She finds an office job while still trying to free lance as a reporter. Her first story is about the town's cat lady, who claims to have hit the lottery but she cannot find her ticket. The cat lady dies. One of her cats, Shadow, adopts Sunny. Sunny decides that the cat lady was really murdered and teams up with local police of
...more
Beth
The first in a series of light, cozy mysteries set in a small town in Maine where the main character has a bookshop. She also has a cat, Shadow, who periodically takes over the narrative voice. He is quite cat-like.

Fun to read
Linda
Another good cat series!

Love finding a great series. And even better if an animal is involved. But one thing I disagreed there isn't that much animosity between cats and dogs.
Bernie
Good Story

Very captivating. Shadow is definitely a heroic character, and the female human is interesting, somewhat snarky, and real. Definitely a well developed story.
Amber
I expected this to be like other books I've read where the animal plays a large part of the story- dull. But this author surprised me. The cat's point of view did not overtake the story but added to it. I enjoyed Shadow's take on the world around him. I enjoyed all the characters well except for one but what would the story be without a character you didn't like. There is the usual girl in trouble and cop comes to the rescue formula. However, it was not overdone. The main character is not presen ...more
Mary Havlovic
Sunny Coolidge gets fired from her NYC newspaper job and moves back home to care for her ill father. She has trouble finding a decent paying job and ends up working at tourist/travel type agency . She meets Ada Spruance, the Cat Lady, who has lost a lotto ticket worth 6-8 million dollars and asks Sunny to help her find it. The Cat Lady is found dead at the bottom of the stairs and attempts are made on Sunny's life as she tries to find the killer and the lottery ticket. Some parts of this story a ...more
Sherrie
I really like Shadow the cat who follows her around. a little different than other books I have read but very interesting. Ready for the next book.
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