Don’t Mess With a Menopausal PI – Review of “Five-Alarm Fire” by D.B. Borton

Wanna’be Private Investigator Cat Caliban may be a hormonal mess what with menopausal night sweats and hot flashes but when it comes to sussing out the bad guys, she has good instincts. You might think her successes are more the result of pure dumb luck than actual expertise but then you’d be wrong. As a distraction to the ravages of middle age, Cat and her friends take a pottery class but the night she has kiln duty, the Cincinnati Arts Center turns into a major crime scene. Cat discovers human bone fragments among the ashes in an already cold kiln and then she gets conked on the head and a major fire breaks out. What ensues is a tangled web of murder, history, genealogy and Rookwood pottery.

In “Five-Alarm Fire” D.B. Borton gets Cat deeply embroiled in early nineteenth century Cincinnati history, centered around what at that time was its red light district. Not exactly a topic for polite society but whoever said Cat Caliban was polite? Au contraire. Cat is the antithesis of polite, especially when she goes on a tear and starts swearing like a sailor on shore leave. She’s a delightfully offbeat character that sometimes gets in over her head yet she somehow manages to succeed in spite of herself. I can relate to that. Four stars.

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