The Case of the Parrot Loving Professor is the second book in author Debbie De Louise’s Buttercup Bend Mystery series, and it is an excellent and exciting follow-up to the debut. The action starts immediately with the heroine’s discovery of her anthropology professor’s body and the oddly cryptic chatter from his pet parrot. With this exciting opening, I was glued to the story until the very end.
Cathy Carter has decided to return to college while juggling her responsibilities at the rescue and cemetery, which have doubled since a bequest from book one has allowed for some major expansion in their services and facilities. She is still a freelance photographer for the Buttercup Bugle, the local paper, and her friend, Nancy, wants her to join her and her partner in their private investigation business. I liked that because she has her fingers in so many pies, she can easily insert herself into investigating the murder. Consequently, however, Cathy has a lot on her plate while trying to fit in a love life as well.
Cathy is torn between two wonderful men in her life: Michael, the local veterinarian, and Steve, the gardener who takes care of her grandmother’s home garden and the landscape at Rainbow Gardens pet cemetery. Both men are looking for an exclusive relationship with her, but she’s not ready. I began to feel sorry for Cathy as everyone she knew questioned her about when she was going to choose between the two men. Everyone needs to back off and calm down and let the matter rest, for goodness’ sake. All her moments of anxious indecision were starting to wear thin. Nevertheless, I find myself firmly on Team Steve.
I am unfamiliar with upstate New York, so the setting in fictional Buttercup Bend is attractive to me. This book occurs during October, and New York experiences a fall season. I enjoyed the descriptions of various locations, especially of the farm that has become the new rescue center.
Although the story is light and easy to read and enjoy, the mystery and investigation that results are pretty robust. Getting from the murder to whodunnit isn’t simple and takes a couple of great twists and turns. I was never sure I knew who the murderer was or why until the reveal was made, and I was surprised by the outcome.
The plot is strong, and the characters are engaging; however, I felt there was quite a bit of unnecessary repetition in the story about a couple of background elements, as well as Cathy’s angst over her two suitors, which kept me from giving this one a full five stars. I recommend THE CASE OF THE PARROT LOVING PROFESSOR to cozy mystery readers, especially those that enjoy stories featuring pets or settings in upstate New York.