Diving Into A Sea of Books–Cat About Town

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As an avid reader, I get excited about the great number of books out there to read, either for entertainment, education, inspiration, or with some books, all three. The quantity available in print, audio, and e-books reminds me of the vast amount of life in the oceans, so I call these book reviews “Diving Into A Sea of Books”. As with diving into an ocean looking for interesting objects, diving into books means you come across mixed results: over here, a book you don’t bother to finish, over there, a “treasure”–one that you like so much you can’t wait to reread it, and over there, a book you read and think, “Meh”.

Cat About Town by Cate Conte is an entertaining cozy mystery, first in the Cat Café Mystery series.

Main character Maddie James returns to the island town of her childhood for her grandmother’s funeral. Soon she’s “adopted” by a stray orange tabby cat. Maddie intends to go back to California, but after “Orange Guy” finds a dead body, Maddie keeps finding reasons to stay in town–among them an ex-boyfriend and a handsome newcomer.

Maddie finds townspeople she’s known all her life have their secrets. She realizes the town itself is changing, and not everyone is happy about it. These underlying factors heighten the sense of mystery in this story of a small town facing murders possibly committed by residents. As time goes on, Maddie discovers an increasing number of suspects, each with motive, and she puts herself in increasing danger.

Comment: I came across this book on the local library’s “for sale” shelves and couldn’t resist–mostly, I admit, due to the jaunty orange-striped cat on the cover. One day, in need of a mental getaway, I picked up the book and soon was caught up in the story. Maddie and “Orange Guy” are memorable characters and while Maddie is a bit on the impulsive side, “Orange Guy” (who gets a name change later)  acts as you’d expect a cat to. Cate Conte paints a realistic picture of small-town life where everybody knows everybody else, and the town itself almost becomes a character in the story, rather than just the setting. The author keeps the plot moving, with the pacing of a good movie. While a couple threads in the story toward the end were a little hard to follow, overall this was fun to read. I plan to look for the other books in the series.

©P. Booher

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