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Featured Artwork: Calico Cat Mystery Book Seven “Leave it to Olivia”

cozy cat mystery book cover

Cats and flowers are a popular theme for me, and for Patricia Fry’s book covers. In Leave it to Olivia someone is leaving crude and threatening notes and Olivia finds one and wants to bring attention to it.

I’m thinking about her being indoors in any setting you like—bedroom with a bouquet of flowers maybe or on a coffee table–she’s pawing at or looking at or sitting on a scattering of envelopes. She has discovered notes or it could be a single note with a sinister/threatening word showing… she’s sitting on a paper that has the word “Die” or “Dead” printed on it—of course, in red.

We exchanged a few photos of Olivia with vases of flowers, and I put together a few possibilities. The book cover is taller than wide so we need to keep that in mind, but focusing on the cat while keeping the rest of it relatively simple is what we always end up with.

In this case I used just Olivia’s face with her sly expression from another cover and added a little scrap of paper under her paws. Rather than bringing attention to the vase of flowers and still with the need to have something else in the background I decided to use a vase of tulips I’d used for a commissioned painting years ago. It filled space nicely with color, then Olivia’s black and orange face below stood out well.

cozy cat mystery book cover illustration
Illustration for this book cover.

Looks like another pretty piece of artwork, aside from the word “DIE” on that piece of paper! But we may not have seen the last of this painting.

Calico Cat Mystery Book Six: Leave it to Olivia

Olivia stays on top of the clues in this twisted mystery.

Parker’s spunky Aunt Sharlene needs help. She’s being threatened and is rapidly succumbing to the fear. Olivia finds the clues that might help Sharlene wake up from her nightmare, but not before the woman is arrested for murder. Meanwhile, Olivia has her own challenges. She’s almost pirated away from Parker by unscrupulous scammers, she’s stalked by an aging coyote and ultimately helps him to find peace and safety, and she paws a criminal who tried to rob a young boy of his birthday wish. This is a lively story with a lot of cat action and a surprise ending.

You can find Calico Cat Mystery: Leave it to Olivia on Patricia’s website and on

About the illustration materials

I use a self-prepared two-ply illustration board with a very fine surface texture to hold the pastel, and also be able to use other media. It’s not entirely opaque so I can put it on my light table and trace the details in place. I start out with a sketch in watercolor and even marker to block in the colors and especially the dark areas. Then I put it on my drafting table and finish it with my pastels, first the soft pastels for coverage, then pastel pencils for details.

Depending on the detail in the illustration, I work them about twice the final size of the cover. Getting all the details just right on an illustration like these book covers can be tricky when they are small. The books are 5″ x 8″, but these illustrations are usually about 10″ x 16″, which helps me to paint in all the details.

About these book covers

I’ve also illustrated covers for Patricia’s original cozy cat mystery series. You can see them in any post for the Klepto Cat Mystery series.

Klepto Cat  and Calico Cat Book Covers

CWA Muse Medallion AND Certificate of Excellence for “Illustration: Series”

Illustration: Series, Calico Cat Mysteries Cover Illustrations books 1, 2 and 3
2021 Certificate of Excellence and MUSE™ Medallion

Illustration: Series, Klepto Cat Covers 27 through 32
2018 MUSE™ Medallion and Certificate of Excellence
2015, 2016, 2017, 2019 Certificates of Excellence

Visit Cat Writers’ Association Membership and Awards for links to more information.

Bookmarks for Patricia L. Fry's books.
Bookmarks for Patricia L. Fry’s books.

All books are available in electronic format and most for print on as well as find the print versions on Patricia’s website. Reviews have been good, and a few reviewers have even mentioned the covers! I hope you enjoy these books, and Patricia and I are currently working on the next cover. That woman can write!

When we finished book 12 we also updated the two-sided bookmark that includes all twelve books so far which Patricia can hand out at book signings and book shows.

We’ve also printed several runs of note cards from multiple covers, including a Christmas series.

. . . . . . .

Read more about book covers I’ve designed. Also, click here to read more about the Purrs of Wisdom cover and bookmarks, and also about books I’ve designed on my blog, What’s New?

Are you interested in illustrations or a book cover, or book design? Please contact me, I’ll be happy to discuss your project.

Featured Artwork

Each week on Wednesday I feature a piece of artwork, sometimes a current or historic portrait, sometimes an illustration or an art project from years ago, usually cat-themed, but sometimes wildlife or even non-animal subjects, and even projects from my commercial art life. Read other Featured Artwork posts.

Custom Commissioned Artwork and Illustrations from Portraits of Animals


From Animal Portraits to Book Covers to Advertisements

In addition to creating commissioned portraits beloved animal companions for the past 25 years, I’ve also been a commercial artist since the 1980s both full-time and freelance and created many illustrations, book covers, advertisements, display signs and more. Visit my Commissioned Artwork pages to read more. They are not quite complete at the moment but there is still quite a bit to look at.


All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.

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© 2022 | | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Weekly schedule of features:

Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life

Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters

Tuesday: Rescue Stories

Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork

Thursday: New Merchandise

Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy

Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats

And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!





From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

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