by L. A. Taylor
INDIE EXCELLENCE AWARD FINALIST
Miranda Glivven’s husband left home months ago on a secret assignment for the Governor and has not returned. Even his letters have stopped. With no news and no idea what has happened to him, Miranda goes on a search for her missing husband, accompanied only by a stray cat. On reaching her husband’s last known location, she finds the local authorities uninterested in helping to find him. Worse, some of the local citizens suspect Miranda of using magic, a treasonous offense, because of the unusual cat that has followed her on her quest. Although Miranda has always believed that magic is superstitious nonsense, she finds the circumstances of her beloved husband’s disappearance growing more and more mysterious….
Taylor’s modest but engaging tale combines mystery and fantasy elements. In a well-built fantasy world with a distinctly Victorian flavor, a woman’s husband mysteriously disappears. Refusing to pine by the fire, she sets out in search of him, using both magical and mundane methods and having more than her share of adventures along the way. The title also correctly intimates that cats, magical and otherwise, play a large part in the story. The whole book is . . . intelligent, recalling the work of Esther Friesner, in particular, among humorous fantasists. Both lovers of Victoriana and lovers of Felis domestica may find it quite a treat. –Roland Green, Booklist
Cats, magical and otherwise, play a large part in Taylor’s novel, which concerns Miranda’s search for her missing husband in a provincial kingdom where the practice of magic is outlawed. -Sally Estes, Booklist
Miranda Glivven, part of a family that has tended the Gwynnhead lighthouse for years, seeks her missing husband–who disappeared while working secretly for the government–with the help of a strange golden cat and a little magic. –Ingram
When Miranda’s husband, the lightkeeper of the beacon at Gwynnhead, fails to return from a secret mission for the government, she sets out on a seemingly hopeless quest to find him. Taylor sets this low-key fantasy in a world where magic is officially denied despite hints of its continued existence. The presence of a protagonist who possesses no special skills except for her common sense and uncommon determination provides a refreshing departure from standard fantasy heroes. A good choice for most libraries. –Library Journal.
While on a trip completing secret investigative work for the Governor, Miranda’s husband disappears. She decides to find him herself, since the local police force does not seem to care; a stray polydactyl cat accompanies her on her journey. Set in an unnamed civilization with the technological advancements of about the year 1910, the story reveals that the practice of magic has been outlawed but is still practiced by a few. The fast pace, good characterization, and hint of the outcome keep readers rapidly turning the pages. A great choice for a quick read or an introduction to fantasy.
–School Library Journal
A lighthouse keeper’s wife decides to look for her missing husband. Her search takes her to a distant city where she’s seen as a country bumpkin, but her sincere (and somewhat naive) determination carries her though dead ends and suspiciously unhelpful bureaucrats. Her only comfort from home is a stray cat that insists on accompanying her. But the title really refers to a different cat’s paw: Miranda is being used as a pawn in a dangerous game of intrigue, murder, and rumors of magic, which she regards as strictly superstition–at least at first. . . .the blessed ordinariness of Miranda and most of the people she meets is a very welcome antidote to the usual generic fantasy. -Carolyn Cushman, Locus