Kat Wolfe Investigates is a book about a pre-teen girl who moves to Bluebell Bay with her veterinary-surgeon mother following an attempted robbery on their London home. Dr Wolfe’s new job on England’s Jurassic Coast comes with one condition: they must live in the same cottage as an unfriendly Savannah cat who belonged to the previous owner of the house. While Dr Wolfe is at work, Kat opens a pet-sitting agency. Her first job goes awry when the owner of an Amazon parrot goes missing. She tries to report it to the authorities but is not believed. Kat takes it upon herself, with her new friend Harper Lamb, to uncover the mystery.
You’d expect with the amount of animal puns that there would be a large focus on human-animal interaction. But the connection between Kat and her cat is almost non-existent. There’s a huge build-up to the reveal of Tiny the Savannah, and once it appears… nothing happens. There aren’t scenes with her trying to build trust with the animal, it just happens all of a sudden. The illustrations by Beidi Guo suggest Tiny will play a huge part in the story, which is misleading for the reader. The third-person narrative seems a missed opportunity because there is a notable distance between Kat and the animals she has unnaturally strong connections with. As for the mystery of the missing parrot owner, I got lost. Elaborate background information on characters we’ve never met left me so worn out I didn’t care if the mystery ever got solved.