This is the first of the Alice Nestleton Mysteries. Alice is an actress in New York, who makes her living by cat sitting. From Fantastic Fiction:
When Alice Nestleton, actress and sleuth, goes to a friend's Long Island estate to cat-sit, she comes face to bloody face with a corpse. Unwittingly, Alice has stepped into a deadly conspiracy plot of high-stakes horse-racing and seduction. Her curiosity might land her a whisker away from death.
Here are the series books in order (from stopyourekillingme.com):
Alice Nestleton, actress and cat-sitter in New York City, is featured in:
A Cat in the Manger (1990)
A Cat of a Different Color (1991)
A Cat in Wolf's Clothing (1991)
A Cat in the Wings (1992)
A Cat by Any Other Name (1992)
A Cat with a Fiddle (1993)
A Cat in a Glass House (1993)
A Cat with No Regrets (1994)
A Cat on the Cutting Edge (1994)
A Cat on a Winning Streak (1995)
A Cat in Fine Style (1995)
A Cat in a Chorus Line (1996)
A Cat Under the Mistletoe (1996)
A Cat on a Beach Blanket (1997)
A Cat on Jingle Bell Rock (1997)
A Cat on Stage Left (1998)
A Cat of One's Own (1999)
A Cat with the Blues (2000)
A Cat with No Clue (2001)
A Cat Named Brat (2002)
A Cat on the Bus (2002)
This is the first book in the series. Alice goes to catsit at a couple's house that she has known for a long time. When she arrives, she finds Harry murdered and Jo, Harry's wife, in shock with grief. It looks like a random burgarly, but Alice doesn't think so. Jo and Alice decide to try to find out who killed Harry, but are almost run over by an alleged drunk driver in the process. They decide to cool off the investigation for a couple of months. Alice is looking for the groom from Jo's farm that seems to have disappeared when Harry was murdered. Alice goes to the racetrack and has no luck but acquires a lover instead. When she does eventually catch up with Ginger the groom, she finds her murdered. She can't figure out how all of the murders tie together. I really liked this book because I couldn't figure out who the murderer was. There was also another mystery intertwined with the murder case involving calico cats. I thought the whole book was very interesting. It made me want to read the whole series.
I certainly did not guess the ending on this one. It seems to have several mysteries working at once, so all these things were good.
However, I'm not sure I found the plot one I felt like could really happen, so this kept the book from being as enjoyable for me, but I will probably continue the series later to see how the second book strikes me.