Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Charming characters and setting, great mystery
The Bottom Line:
New sleuth and her cat
Charm their way into your heart
Solve great mystery
Cats, Clues, and Killings
The instant I heard about the Cat Café mysteries, I was on board. After all, a mystery set on a summer resort island off the coast of Massachusetts? How could the book go wrong? Cat About Town is that series debut, and it lived up to my high hopes.
Maddie James is back on Daybreak Island for her grandmother’s funeral. Thanks to an understanding business partner and owning her own business, she has taken extended time to be with her family, especially her grandfather, who is understandably taking the loss hard. She’s even staying with him, and she’s picked up a stray cat she found at the cemetery.
However, Maddie’s grandfather is facing more than just his beloved wife’s death. Frank O’Malley wants to buy his house, tear it down, and turn the location into a centralized rental location. Frank happens to be the president of the local chamber of commerce, and is used to being able to throw his weight around to get what he wants. However, the house has been in the family for generations, and Maddie is immediately as upset as her grandfather at the thought of selling.
So, Maddie goes to confront Frank. When he repeats his veiled threats, Maddie begins plotting ways to stop him. However, that becomes unnecessary when Maddie’s new cat leads her to Frank’s body during the start of summer food stroll. With the police considering Maddie and her grandfather as prime suspects, Maddie feels the need to find some new suspects. It seemed that many people didn’t like Frank, so there is no shortage of them. But who killed him?
You might be wondering how the cat café comes into play. Heck, you might even be wondering what it is. That unfolds as the book progresses, so I’m not going to spoil anything for you here. I will say it isn’t what I expected, but I’m okay with that.
The book starts out strongly with Maddie getting hints of the trouble brewing. There are several explosive scenes before Frank is killed, and once Maddie finds the body, we are really off and running. The clues and twists kept me guessing until the very end. I didn’t know who the killer was until Maddie figured it out, but once she did it made perfect sense.
Maddie is a warm and friendly main character, and it’s hard not to fall in love with her right away. Her grandfather is charming, and their relationship is wonderful. There is the beginning of a love triangle here. I have a feeling I know which way things will go, and fairly quickly, too, but I’m anxious to see if I am right.
Then there’s JJ, the cat that Maddie rescues. If he doesn’t completely melt your heart, there is something seriously wrong with you.
I also loved the island setting as much as I thought I would. It’s a wonderful way to enjoy a vacation for free. This is the kind of town you visit and wish you could stay. Thanks to the series, now you can, getting an insider’s eye to what life is really like on an island dependent on tourists.
Cat About Town is a fun book that will leave you anxious to find out what happens next to Maddie and the rest of your new friends. Snuggle in with your favorite cat and get lost in a wonderful debut.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book