Who doesn’t enjoy an easy read when nothing other than pure escapism is required? This cozy series has everything you seek: an eclectic cast of characters, a mystery or two, and diligent detectives on duty. Oh. Did I forget to mention the detectives are feline and canine? The series, Tiger Lily’s Café, is set in a Midwestern town nestled into the coast of a Great Lake. The setting itself acts as a character, bringing the reader into the sights, sounds and smells of the small resort community of Chelsea. Read the series in order, or read any book alone. Each volume stands alone with a clear beginning and a clear end. Volume Five of the series, A Rock And A Hard Place, continues the story of Annie, a woman whose ownership of a prime piece of real estate and several businesses was, well, almost a mistake. But own it, she does, and she makes the best of an idyllic situation. With her family of rescue cats and a diverse collection of business managers, staff and friends, Annie embraces her home on The Avenue, a picturesque slice of life that embodies the best – and sometimes the worst – that humanity has to offer. Everyone in Chelsea is between the proverbial rock and a hard place. The town plays host to the First Annual Chelsea Rock And Gem Show. Some of the exhibitors turn out to be scoundrels, cheats and scam artists. It’s hard to tell the good guys from the bad. Annie is beset by a group of people who want to take over her operations and seem to stoop to a new definition of low to succeed. Of course, this group includes her not-so-very-good-friend Geraldine. Ray’s first cruise for the season is scheduled and The Escape may not be able to leave the harbor. He manages to get it out, but in an unusually rugged state. Will it return intact? A mysterious man comes to town in the midst of a rash of high-end burglaries. Pete, beset by the burglaries, then an arson with injury, then a murder, has only a day or two to solve the cases before everyone is scheduled to leave town. A tragedy occurs at one of Annie’s businesses, and while dealing with this, Annie finds out she’s not who she thinks she is. And through it all, the moon waxes gibbous and comes full. Is it the moon, or is The Avenue falling apart for real?