It does't sound good that my favourite character in this series is Fred the Funky Chicken, but it's true. The other characters are all likeable in the best cozy-mystery way, but my heart goes out to Fred the Funky Chicken every time.**
I'm not going to pretend that this book isn't everything a modern cozy is; the magical cats pretty much give the game away. But Kelly does't over-play that magical hand and doesn't try to hide the deux ex machina-like effect this has on her ability to plot her mysteries. She also creates likeable, believable, characters that enjoy a reasonable amount of realistic conflict; some of which is resolved and some of it isn't.
The murder plot was decent-ish. I was side-eyeing the murderer for awhile but there weren't any puzzle pieces to play with, just one big whopper of a clue that solved the whole thing for everybody at once. Or at least, for the reader and the MC; everyone else would need more proof, of course, thus allowing our MC to stumble into mortal peril. A reader comes to understand this is the nature of cozies though, and at least this peril was believable. Sort of. (How did the murder find them??)
So Paws and Effect is everything you'd expect a contemporary cozy to be anymore, but better than most of the rest; a bit more solid and well written. A fun, fluffy bit of fiction for lazy afternoons.
Page count: 315