Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Complex plot, great characters, atmosphere
Cons: None for me
The Bottom Line:
Murder, coming storm
And someone claiming her cat
Complex and fun book
Off Season Murder and an Approaching Storm
All of us have vacation destinations we love, and we dream about living there full time. One reason I love cozy series is because we get to do just that – at least in fictional locations. But what is a location like when the tourists aren’t as prevalent? We get a peek at that in The Tell Tail Heart, the third Cat Café Mystery from Cate Conte.
Things on Daybreak Island have gotten quieter now that it has entered November and the season is officially over. Maddie James is using the time to work on renovations to her cat café to make it even better for guests when the tourists return in the spring. There are still a few locals who drop in, but she’s really surprised about the man who came in, paid for a week in advance, and spends most of his time working on his laptop despite the noise of the renovations.
However, things get interesting when a woman shows up and announces that she believes JJ, Maddie’s cat, is really her cat. Naturally, the encounter upsets Maddie, but it is soon pushed to the back of her mind when a body is found floating in the water next to the yacht club. With a Nor’easter approaching the island, will that interfere with the investigation into the death?
Actually, I loved that storm. It helped give the book some wonderful atmosphere. Even though I started the book over the 4th of July, I still felt the cold rain and wind as I was reading. It also made the island feel even more isolated, kind of like a classic Agatha Christie setting. I also got a kick out of Maddie’s thoughts about not being used to cold weather after living for several years in California since I often talk about the exact same thing.
My teaser just scratches the surface of what is happening in this book, and I love how the events conspired to keep Maddie and ourselves guessing about killer and motive until the end. By the time we reach the end, it all makes sense, and we get a great climax.
Author Cate Conte used this book to dig deeper into one of the island characters introduced in the first couple of books. I don’t think this character has had more than a handful of scenes in the earlier books, and I just thought he was just there to provide a little color. I enjoyed getting to learn more about him as the events of the story unfolded. There are plenty of new characters introduced to be suspects as well, and I found them interesting.
Naturally, we see the core cast as this book unfolds, although a few of the recurring characters don’t get much page time here. I love this cast, so it was fun to spend more time with them. And I’m quite anxious to visit them again after the ending of this book.
The Tell Tail Heart is another great addition to this already fun series. Pick it up today and be prepared to be charmed.