Ryan applied the Page 69 Test to A Whisker of Trouble, the latest Second Chance Cat Mystery, and reported the following:
Page 69 falls partway through Chapter 4 of A Whisker of Trouble—a much longer chapter than I remembered it being. The narrator, Sarah Grayson, is talking to Charlotte Elliot. Not only is Charlotte one of Sarah’s grandmother’s closest friends, she also works for Sarah, she’s one of the senior citizen sleuths who operate out of the sun porch at Sarah’s business, and she’s the mother of Nick Elliot, Sarah’s teenage crush who is an investigator for the state medical examiner’s office. Not all of that information is available from that one page, but the section is a good indicator of Nick’s personality and his relationship with the detectives, aka the Angels, which is important not only to this book, but to the entire series.Visit Sofie Ryan's website.“Sarah, have you talked to Nicolas?” she asked.The other thing I think this page does is give readers a glimpse of the close, loving relationship Sarah has with her grandmother’s friends, which is why she keeps getting pulled into their investigations.
“Not since he was here yesterday. Why?”
She sighed. “To quote Rose, Nicolas has his knickers in a bit of a knot.”
“Did you know what she and Alfred were up to?” I reached over and flipped on the light switches as we stepped into the shop.
“Not for a long time, no,” she said. “I just can’t seem to get it through to Nicolas that we don’t want to spend whatever time we have left just organizing bake sales and growing roses. He’s hardheaded sometimes.”
I smiled and set her bag down by our feet. “When he makes up his mind about something it is pretty difficult to get him to change course.” I tipped my head to one side and studied her face. “I wonder where he got that?”
“It comes from the Elliots,” she said, straight-faced. “They’ve always been a stubborn bunch.”Charlotte was wearing caramel-colored pumps with her dark brown skirt, which made her several inches taller than I was. I stood on tiptoe and kissed her cheek. “I love you and your britches are starting to smoke,” I whispered.Charlotte and her friends are family as far as Sarah is concerned. She loves them, she worries about them and she can’t help getting involved with their cases if only to keep them from getting into trouble. Sarah’s a bit of a reluctant sleuth. Her ability to connect with people is what makes her good at it.
She smiled and I started for the stairs.
“I’ll open up,” she called after me.
“Thank you,” I said without turning around.