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How to Paint a Cat

(The Cats and Curios Mystery #5)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  197 ratings  ·  33 reviews

San Francisco isn’t the biggest city in the country, but it feels pretty vast when you’re canvassing its neighborhoods looking for clues to your missing uncle’s hidden location. Aided by my two cats, Rupert and Isabella, I try to follow Uncle Oscar’s painted clues on a trail that leads from Coit Tower’s famous murals through San Francisco’s N
Paperback, 357 pages
Published March 2014 by Berkley Prime Crime
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3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  197 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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Apr 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Another wonderful installment in the Cat and Curios series. I love this series. This time the niece solves a murder along with newspaperman Hoxton Finn. As she, Rupert, and Isabella travel through San Francisco following the clues left by James Lick, she discovers more about her uncle and the history of San Francisco. This time the history is a little more recent--the 1920's and 1930's. The usual suspects show up--Monty (will he ever leave her alone?), Dilly, and Sam. I particularly loved how Is ...more
Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2014
an Francisco isn’t the biggest city in the country, but it feels pretty vast when you’re canvassing its neighborhoods looking for clues to your missing uncle’s hidden location. Aided by my two cats, Rupert and Isabella, I try to follow Uncle Oscar’s painted clues on a trail that leads from Coit Tower’s famous murals through San Francisco’s New Deal art—all while hoping my uncle’s sudden disappearance is unrelated to the murdered intern at City Hall.

Just when it seems our search has hit a wall, w
Oct 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
How To Paint A Cat is the fifth book in the Cats And Curios Mystery series.

I love this series and the author's style of writing. Ms. Hale will have two or three stories going, switching back and forth and in the end tying them all so neatly at the end. For this reader, I like to read these engrossing stories, but also take my time and think about what the author is writing so that I don't miss any of the subtleties that the author likes to use.

It's busy times in San Francisco, the interim mayor,
Mar 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
When I began this series, I wasn't quite sure what to make of it. It was different. And not different in a bad way, just unlike anything I'd ever read. The humor was fantastic, the multiple POV's were brilliant, and the entire idea behind making the series one big mystery with an array of smaller ones made me keep coming back for more each time another book was released.

The thing that I loved the most about this installment, was the city of San Francisco itself. It was it's own character in thi
Paul Lunger
Mar 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The 5th Cats & Curios mystery, "How to Paint a Cat" by Rebecca Hale continues the story of the Green Vase antique shop given to a woman by her Uncle Oscar. In this installment, the murder of Spider Jones remains at the forefront of things as well as the inauguration of Monty Carmichael as mayor of San Francisco. Hale does a bit of backtracking in the story to bring we the reader up-to-date with events from prior novels & continues the story along rather well & using Rupert & Isab ...more
Michael Brown
Very strange plots, quirky characters of which several are so annoying they disrupt the story, an overall theme which after 5 or 6 books is still not evident, cats that should be sedated and sent to a kitty asylum ( I like cats but not so strange as these ), and very odd story structure. Al least these are from the library and I can always just stop reading the.
Sarah Sammis
Sep 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book! There's a bit of a cliffhanger so hopefully that means there will be another one coming. HOPEFUL!
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This story has a lot of complications, which the author does an excellent job of keeping untangled for the reader.

San Francisco is so well-described, it took me two days just to dry out from the mostly present fog, drizzle, and rain!

There has been a murder, and the niece's Uncle Oscar is a suspect, although he is supposedly dead. The niece, with the help of her cats, a 40-year in office Former Mayor, and a persistent ghost, must track down Uncle Oscar, and find the real killer.

If you like solvi
May 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Debbie Lester
Mar 10, 2014 rated it liked it
The fifth installment in Rebecca M. Hale's Cats and Curios series brings readers a little closer to finding out what Uncle Oscar is up to. How to Paint a Cat centers around the murder of an intern, clues in the murals of San Francisco and two feline heroes. Hale knows how to draw out a mystery and fans of the series will on the edge of their seats wondering if Uncle Oscar will finally be revealed. The history of the beautiful city of San Francisco plays an important role in this series and histo ...more
Mar 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: beth

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Beth
how-to-paint-a-cat-cats-and-curios-mystery-rebecca-m-haleThis fifth book in the series brings us to another entry in the search for Uncle Oscar’s secrets. The secrets that are being searched for are reveled throughout the series, and this continues in this installment. Central to this book is the murder of a young intern Spider, with suspicion falling on Uncle Oscar and Sam, the frog whisperer. Spider’s ghost is very much
Nola Arganbright
Sep 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
This is the fourth book in the Cats and Curios Mystery series by Rebecca M. Hale. I have read the first book in the series which was How to Wash a Cat and was happy to renew myself to the series when I saw the book in the library.
The series takes place in San Francisco and the books revolve around mysteries involving historical sites and information about San Francisco. I am a history lover and enjoy all of the information that the author packs into the books.
The main characters of the book ar
Dec 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
I had read the first two books in the series found them just so-so and decided I would not continue to read any others. For some reason I picked this one up and even though I had skipped numbers 3 & 4 decided I would give the series another chance. Mistake. While there is something about the style I can appreciate overall I have finally reached the conclusion I don't like the series.

I thought perhaps it was just me but, each book leaves me feeling like I missed if you leave
Aug 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Ahhh! Much lighter than Cavendon Hall. This is a series (number 5) beginning with How to Wash a Cat. "The niece" inherits the Green Vase, an antique store in San Francisco from her departed Uncle Oscar. Soon there are hints that he is not deceased but is part of a conspiracy. Each book solves one step of the mystery but is slightly unrewarding in not apprehending the criminal. Hopefully all the story lines will converge and solve the grand plan in the last book...whenever that may be. Still very ...more
Jul 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
This book is part of a series, but not having read the previous volumes is not what caused me to rate it 2-stars. The hook is interesting: the protagonist, a plucky young woman who inherited an antiques shop from her "deceased" Uncle Oscar, only identified as "the niece," is following a research trail involving the death of a city hall intern and New Deal murals in San Francisco.

What I disliked was the treatment: the cats opine lugubriously, and the ghost of the slain intern assists in the sear
Apr 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
These mysteries are good and I like anything that puts cats in a major role. I had to deduct a star for this one as the author rambled quite a bit. I deducted another star for the annoying habit of not naming her main character. Or, more specifically, not using her name. At the end of the first book in this series, the author gives the main character the name of Rebecca M. Hale. Yeah, that's the author's name. Weird, but whatever. Subsequent books do not refer to it again. It wasn't as noticeabl ...more
Jul 02, 2015 rated it did not like it
I really should learn that books that look like Mills & Boon tend to be a bit that way. this has to be one of the worst books I have ever read. It is so twee with a Miss Marple like character solving mysteries with the help of her cats!! Seriously she talks to them and they apparently communicate and help her solve crimes. The writing is simple and rather naive. I certainly won't be searching for any of her other books and wuld not recommend them either unless you like very simple books alon ...more
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Although this one was a touch tedious here and there for me, the episodes were brief, and didn't detract from my overall enjoyment of How to Paint a Cat. Again, I am smitten with Rupert. Utterly. He's my kinda pussycat!

Oddly, this book didn't strike me as being the least bit tedious this time around! Guess it was whatever mood I was in on the first reading. And I am continuing my deep entrancement with all things Rupert. Where ever the "real" Rupert is, I hope he has LOTS of fried chicken!
Susan Ferguson
Mar 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, nook-owned, mystery
The next installation of the adventures of Uncle Oscar - or rather his niece and the cats chasing around after his clues. The death at the end of the last mystery has to be solved - and, while there is the fear that the murder was by Oscar or his companions - the tension adds to the fascination. Also her neighbor, Monty, has been chosen as mayor and he is being haunted by a ghost - which doesn't sit well with Monty. He hates the ghost bugging him.
Nancy Luebke
Mar 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
I liked this book although it did take a while to get into it. It took a bit to keep the characters straight. But with all the twists and turns it kept the story meandering towards the finish. This story included the ghost of the victim and 2 cats that went almost everywhere. There is a small chiffhanger at the end.
May 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Cute. I enjoyed the first couple a bit more, although I can't put my finger on exactly why. One thing that I found distracting was that the niece has no name! I do not remember that being so glaring in the first couple of books. My cat also has ideas that she should have a stroller and go places with me...
Colleen Mertens
Dec 04, 2016 rated it it was ok
This was my least favorite in this series. I figured out pretty quickly who the killer turned out to be but never would have guessed the reason. I also was disappointed with the trail of following the uncle. Others in this series were more original feeling to me. I was not happy with the ending to this one.
May 07, 2015 rated it liked it
I was a little disappointed in this book. It didn't have it's own mystery to solve, but it was a continuation of the previous book. It seemed a little tedious in places...sort of dragging on in the clues and descriptions.
Jul 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this book a great deal! Some loose ends were neatly tied up and so far I'm pretty satisfied with how the story is progressing.
Nan Hurley
Nov 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good book, interesting and different; kept me guessing right up to the end.
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Awesome, always enjoy the mischievous cats since I have four.
I enjoyed this story more. Of course, the cats draw me to the story. Rupert is my favorite! I'll have to see if there are more in the series.
Janet Camilleri
Jun 03, 2016 rated it liked it
How could I resist a title and cover featuring a cat?! A good read, loved the cat element!
Jun 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I adore this series, I can't wait to read each one. This book did not disappoint. I love the unique writing style of Ms. Hale, it is like no other books that I read. I can't wait for the next one.
Carol Stanley-Snow
Dec 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
A fine mystery....with cats. I'm not usually a fan of cat mysteries, but this one held my interest.
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NY Times bestselling author Rebecca M. Hale lives in Western Colorado with her feline writing associates - when she’s not off researching future books set in San Francisco, the Caribbean, or wherever else her wandering spirit takes her.

Other books in the series

The Cats and Curios Mystery (6 books)
  • How to Wash a Cat (The Cats and Curios Mystery #1)
  • Nine Lives Last Forever (The Cats and Curios Mystery Series, #2)
  • How to Moon a Cat (The Cats and Curios Mystery Series, #3)
  • How to Tail a Cat (The Cats and Curios Mystery Series, #4)
  • How to Catch a Cat