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What the Cat Saw (Nela Farley #1)

3.33  ·  Rating Details ·  767 Ratings  ·  185 Reviews
National bestselling author Carolyn Hart presents an original new novel about a woman with a curious ability that drops her headfirst into a world of intrigue and murder…

Ever since the death of her fiancé, Nela Farley has found herself plagued by a sixth sense: she understands the thoughts of cats when she looks into their eyes. Nela knows that what she’s experiencing is
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Berkley (first published October 1st 2012)
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Dec 28, 2013 Christie rated it did not like it
I've never written a review on here before but felt compelled to comment on this book, which might tell you something! I also might add that I love cheesy Lifetime movies and "light" murder mysteries a la Mary Higgins Clark. This book, however, was so repetitive, boring, and downright boring that by halfway through, I knew the only reason to keep reading was to be able to write this review!

Here are a few highlights:

-The cast of characters/suspects in this tale are so dull. The author kept listin
Alana ~ The Book Pimp
Okay, where to begin? Well, first of all, I received this book in exchange for review from the author via NetGalley. It sounded like a slightly quirky/paranormal mystery, and it involved a cat. Seemed like a win/win in my book when I decided to try it.

What the Cat Saw made it to 3's. Why didn't I round up to 4's, you might ask... I think because it had potential. It was a unique, if unexplained idea of 'hearing' cats inner thoughts and using that to solve a mystery. So the novelty of the premis
Nov 03, 2012 C.G. rated it it was ok
I found this book frustrating in that it did much more explaining than was necessary. Some of it was repititious and some would have been better off being 'shown' rather than told. The main character's feelings had to be told, though, because for me they didn't feel real. None of the characters seemed more than two-dimensional. I liked the cat, of course, and the fact it could communicate with the main character was interesting but even that wasn't explored very well.

It was okay and I read it to
Dec 02, 2012 Jessica rated it did not like it
Shelves: library
I used to read everything Carolyn Hart wrote. There were two things that should have led me to skip this one, but I ignored them. 1. It was published by Berkley Prime Crime, not her usual William Morrow (Step down? Right? I don’t really know publishing) and 2. “Ever since the death of her fiancé, Nela Farley has found herself plagued by a sixth sense: She understands the thoughts of cats when she looks into their eyes.”

It was awful. Really awful. Besides the whole cat thing, it was just a bad b
Debbie Lester
Oct 29, 2013 Debbie Lester rated it liked it
Carolyn Hart begins a new paranormal cozy mystery series, with her book, What the Cat Saw. Hart's trademark style and character development draws readers into the story of a C.O.O (corporate operating officer) and a fill in employee who gets some information from an unlikely source... the woman's cat. Hart's brand of lighthearted mystery is full of surprises. With an interesting paranormal theme and a great new protagonist in Nela Farley, Hart's new series is bound to strike a cord with readers, ...more

Steve liked Nela's voice. Not high. Not low. Kind of soft. A voice you could listen to for a long time. She looked small in an oversize chintz-covered chair, dark hair still tangled by the wind, face pale, dark shadows beneath her eyes. Bu she no longer seemed remote as she had in his first glimpse at Hamburger Heaven.

His eyes slid from her to a photograph on the table next to her chair. A dark-haired laughing man in a tee and shorts stood near an outcrop of black rocks on a beach, the w
Jan 16, 2016 LORI CASWELL rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2012
Nela Farley can't really understand what that cat is thinking, can she? Nela knows that what she’s experiencing is completely irrational and tries to convince herself that she is simply transferring her own thoughts that she doesn’t want to face.

Nela is doing her sister Chloe a huge favor by filling in for her at her job while she goes off on vacation. Chloe has even arranged a place for Nela to stay. A woman she worked with has recently passed away and Chloe has been taking care of her cat. Whe
Oct 02, 2012 Fred rated it it was amazing
What The Cat Saw is the first in, what I hope, is a new series from the wonderful storyteller, Carolyn Hart.

Nela is only too happy to help her sister out on the spur of the moment, as Nela has lost her job as an investigative reporter and her boyfriend was recently killed in the war overseas. She needs a change in her life to sort out her problems. Her sister Chloe is one who often speaks in half sentences and tells half a story. Chloe has asked Nela to fill in for her at her job with the Haklo
Jan 14, 2013 Joanne rated it it was ok
I don't know why I had trouble getting into this book. I had heard great things about Carolyn Hart, so I was excited to get her new book, especially since it had someone who communicate with cats in it!

Nela (Cornelia) is a grieving and unemployed investigative reporter who agrees to fill in at her sister Chloe's job (not knowing at all what it is) at a philanthropic organization while her flighty sister takes off with her boyfriend to Tahiti. She also ends up staying at the apartment of a recen
Dec 12, 2012 Patty rated it really liked it
What The Cat Saw
Carolyn Hart

My " in a nutshell" summary...

A crime occurs, a cat sees it and sends sort of mental messages to Nela...who is there helping her sister.

My thoughts after reading...

Fascinating...complex...yet cozy...this mystery was hard for me to get into but once I did...I was caught up in it!

It seemed to be an odd beginning...a sister calls her sister to live in someone's apartment and take over the sister's job while she is away for a week? And the apartment owner has just myste
R J Mckay
Feb 26, 2013 R J Mckay rated it really liked it
Nela Farley is filling in for her free-spirited sister, Chloe while she takes a trip to Tahiti. Along with filling in at the Haklo Foundation, she is caring for Jugs, cat whose owner, an employee of Haklo, recently died. Nela is grateful for the change of scenery, as she is still reeling from the death of her boyfriend. However, the tragedy of Bill's death has left her with a strange ability...she can understand a cat's thoughts. When Nela encounters Jugs, she senses the loss he feels for his ...more
Oct 28, 2012 Nancy rated it really liked it
Good book. Story keeps you interested, fast-paced, suspenseful. Doesn't stretch reality toooo much.

Ever since the death of her fiancé, Nela Farley has found herself plagued by a sixth sense: she understands the thoughts of cats when she looks into their eyes. Nela knows that what she’s experiencing is completely irrational and tries to convince herself that she is simply transferring her own thoughts that she doesn’t want to face.

When her adventurous sister, Chloe, goes on a trip and asks for a
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
Feb 07, 2013 Jeannie and Louis Rigod rated it it was amazing
A young woman, Nela Farley, is trying to make sense of the tragic death of her fiancé, Bill by an IED. To add to her pain, her job at a small southern Californian daily newspaper has been eliminated. When Nela's sister, Chloe phones and begs that she take her job for two weeks in Oklahoma, Nela can't see any reason as to why not.

Nela arrives in Oklahoma and finds keys to an apartment previously owned by a Secretary of a charity foundation that has suffered death from a misadventure. Only thing i
Apr 04, 2013 Meredith rated it did not like it
Periodically, I make a stab at reading the mystery genre. These types of books really seem like a nice escape, especially when you just want something light and fun. But I must keep choosing the duds.
Ok, I admit it, I picked up this one because the main character could read the minds of cats, a lifetime secret desire of mine. I really tried, but the writing was killing me and new, flat characters were introduced on almost every page. After plodding through 150 pages, I finally just read the las
Nov 02, 2012 Katiedavis rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
Not up to Hart's usual writing. The "talking to cats" premise was weak - maybe I expected more being a fan of Rita Mae Brown's Mrs. Murphy series. The mystery plot was weak and the blossoming romance between the two main characters felt forced and too quick.
Dec 01, 2012 Bette rated it it was ok
I got taken in by the adorable tabby cat on the cover, who looks like our cat Katie, who died this summer. The cat had almost no role in the mystery, the writing was pedestrian, and the characters were not particularly well drawn. But it passed some time when I was too tired to read for class.
Aug 22, 2013 Mary rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Initially I wasn't a big fan, as I was having a hard time keeping the characters straight. When I relaxed and didn't worry about every detail, I found this to be a much more enjoyable book.
Jan 31, 2013 Angela rated it it was amazing
Hardcover free for honest review

All Nela was trying to do was a favor for her sister Chloe, instead she finds herself in the middle of a huge mystery and to her dismay she is seen as a suspect as well as her sister. Chloe has always been a flighty and free girl and being an adult hasn't changed that at all, so when her boyfriend wins a trip to Tahiti she is more than willing to ask her sister, Nela, to come and fill in for her at her job so she can go. Nela has had a rough patch in her life late
Oct 06, 2012 Ariel rated it it was amazing
Nela Farley is a newly unemployed investigative reporter - and she is grieving the loss of her fiance. So she helps her free-spirited sister Chloe by temporarily doing her job at the Haklo Foundation while Chloe goes on a free trip to Tahiti. Nela thinks she is expressing her grief by imagining that she can hear cats lately.

Nela arrives and finds that she is staying in the apartment over a garage on the grounds of a mansion. Within minutes of arriving, the resident cat, Jugs, that she is also t
Dec 05, 2012 SidneyKay rated it liked it
Shelves: murder-mystery
How do you get a warm fuzzy feeling from a murder mystery?

Well, I don't know how you do, but that's the feeling I had while reading What the Cat Saw by Carolyn Hart. This is the first book by Carolyn Hart that I've ever read, and it probably won't be the last. In fact, I believe this is the first in a new series by her and I think I am interested enough in the characters to check out the next few.

What the Cat Saw was a fast entertaining read. There was a bit of traditional old-fashioned mystery
Sep 29, 2016 Karen rated it really liked it
Good mystery. Fast read. Short and enjoyable.
Jane Chizmar
Sep 25, 2016 Jane Chizmar rated it it was amazing
Very enjoyable who dun it by Carolyn Hart ...I had many happy hours of reading this weekend while camping. Thank you Carolyn Hart !!!
Pam Brownlee
Sep 19, 2016 Pam Brownlee rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
The cat psychic part was fun. There needed to be a little more development of that. The rest was pretty much fluff.
Jul 23, 2014 Carole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-books-read
Carolyn Hart is starting a new series with What the Cat Saw. In this first book of the series Nela Farley has left her home in California to substitute for her sister at her job at a foundation and to babysit the cat of one of her sister's recently deceased coworkers so that her sister can go off to Tahiti with her boyfriend. Nela is free to come to Oklahoma because she was recently downsized from her job at a newspaper, and since her husband had previously been killed in action while in ...more
Jan 30, 2013 Star rated it liked it
Cornelia ‘Nela’ Farley is adrift in life since her fiancé died and she lost her job. So when her sister Chloe asks Nela to take over her job while she’s on a week-long vacation, she has no reason to say no. When she arrives, she’s staying in the guest apartment belonging to a recently deceased woman who worked at Haklo with Chloe. And taking care of Marian’s cat, whose thoughts she thinks she can hear. Nela gets a taste of the mystery surrounding Marian’s death when the apartment is burglarized. ...more
I'm hard on cozies even as I consume them by the dozens. The heroines are "spunky" which means they go around accusing random people of untold crimes when they have little proof. Not so this lady. Which is why it's a 3 starrer for me. That and the cute cat on the cover.

Nela Farley is a former investigative reporter, and while she overlooks the obvious up until the very end, she's at least not hare-brained. She doesn't jump to conclusions, keeps an open mind and I could believe that she would sol
Mar 11, 2013 Bonnie rated it liked it
Nela Farley, a recent widow, is loney and agrees to drive from her home in California to Oklahoma to substitute at her sister's job while the sister is vacationing in Tahiti. When she arrives at the apartment, she meets the cat she is to care for and discovers she can read the cat's thoughts. The message, "dead...dead and gone...skate board on the step..." So, it's not only what the cat saw, but also what he says. Nela starts the job a Haklo, a charitable foundation, and quickly learns there is ...more
Dec 30, 2012 Saadia rated it it was amazing
I really liked the clear, easy to read, logical, compelling writing.

The setting is described early on and the heroine is fleshed out: Nela, sad young woman who lost fiance is now substituting as a temporary staffer on behalf of her sister who is off on a tropical jaunt. Local cat seems to transmit emotions or thoughts, to her doubtful mind.

An intruder attempts to rifle through her garage apartment upon her first night. Then as she starts work at the local foundation office, more incidents are re
Oswego Public Library District
Carolyn Hart begins a new appealing series with What the Cat Saw. Fans of traditional mysteries will find a lot to like. Hart provides plenty of red herrings and a touch of romance after a string of vandalism results in a murder. The victim's psychic cat can communicate with his new caretaker, a sympathetic young woman whose husband just died in Iraq. Together they will solve an elusive crime. -GD

Click here to place a hold on What the Cat Saw .

An author who writes in a similar style is Susan Wi
Aug 20, 2015 Laurie rated it did not like it
Wow, where do I begin? The whole idea behind this book is so contrived. Nela fills in for her vacationing sister at what appears to be a multimillion dollar foundation. What company just allows someone to show up and fill in for their sister? But then again, the storyline would not of worked otherwise. If I was not listening to this on audiobook, I would of been constantly looking up the characters mentioned in the book because I could not keep them straight. Finally at one point, a dossier is ...more
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Madison Mega-Mara...: What The Cat Saw 1 4 Dec 11, 2012 02:48PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Authors needing merge?? 2 36 Oct 14, 2012 12:33PM  
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Also writing as Carolyn G. Hart.

An accomplished master of mystery with 46 published books, Carolyn Hart is the creator of the highly acclaimed Henrie O,Death on Demand, and Bailey Ruth Raeburn series. Her books have won multiple Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity Awards. Letter from Home (2003), her standalone mystery set in Oklahoma, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Her latest book is Dead by Mid
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