On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
The Tell Tail Heart: A Cat Cafe Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Island off Massachusetts
Minotaur Books (June 25, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback : 336 pages
ISBN-10 : 1250072085
ISBN-13 : 978-1250072085
Kindle ASIN : B07J4SZ293
Welcome back to the charming New England coast, where Maddie James’s cat café is at risk of becoming a crime scene for the purrfect murder. . .
Maddie is hoping to have some downtime during Daybreak Island’s off-season to tackle her to-do list. Her grandfather’s house-turned-cat-café is under construction and she’s also scoping out places to open a juice bar on the island. On top of that, her relationship with adorable dog groomer Lucas has taken a pawsitive turn.
But easy is getting harder every day for Maddie, especially when a big-name writer who’s on the island working on a new project winds up floating in the canal. This, on the exact same day an eccentric woman shows up at the cafe claiming Maddie’s cat, JJ, is hers.
As the investigation into the dead writer picks up, Maddie realizes that even the neighbors she’s known all her life might be keeping secrets that go deep into the heart of this small seaside town. Meanwhile, a killer remains at-large…and on the prowl.
A dead author, a crazy lady, and a big storm really throws Maddie James’s life off kilter. The person who she now knows is a famous author had been coming into the cat café for days working quietly with a cat on his lap. Then a strange woman comes in, has weird eye contact with him, and then proceeds to tell Maddie that her cat JJ, the face of JJ’s House of Purrs, belongs to her. So she has lost one of the few paying customers she has during the off-season, she has to protect JJ from being stolen, she has to run the café while the renovation continues, and the Nor’easter coming could shut down the ferry and wreak havoc on the island. Oh, yes there is also a murderer on the loose.
Maddie’s sister Val is busy too planning a huge Thanksgiving celebration for an island legend who also ropes her in an investigation of their own. They even get Maddie involved. Both investigations may be connected which could make things on Daybreak Island very interesting.
I am so happy to return to this series. It is really character driven with Maddie, her former police chief grandfather, sister Val, and Ethan, Maddie’s business partner, and now Val’s boyfriend. They all usually work together like a well-oiled machine for the most part.
Maddie inherited her grandfather’s zest for investigations but this time he is keeping her out of the loop. This adds a whole different dynamic to the story. I felt for Maddie because of the strain created by her grandfather holding back and keeping secrets. Maddie’s boyfriend Lucas was away for most of this story too which made the strain even harder.
I really enjoy that a character mentioned in previous books took a bigger role in this story. We were able to learn much more about him and his past and how he fits into life on the island.
The mysteries were all tangled together along with just a bit of real-life happenings. The book flowed nicely with several twists and red herrings. I knew early on who I wanted the guilty party to be but it took time for all the clues to fall into place to make my wishes a reality. It was fun to follow along with Maddie but I missed the closeness of working with her grandfather. She has a vivid imagination and theories that don’t pan out but when the clues start to come together and facts are revealed Maddie’s stubborn streak reared its ugly head which sets up a very dramatic ending that could have gone so wrong, but I liked it 🙂 .
You would think Daybreak Harbor would be quiet in the winter with hardly any tourists or businesses open but Cate Conte proved that wrong. She whipped up quite a mystery and through in a Nor’easter to top it off. The Tell Tail Heart was an entertaining read with a very satisfying ending until you reach the final sentence. Yes, a cliffhanger. That just means I need to read A Whisker of a Doubt soon.
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Coming August 22, 2023
Also by Cate Conte
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”