A review by sophiarose1816
Nine Lives and Alibis: A Cat Cafe Mystery by Cate Conte

lighthearted mysterious relaxing slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No


I come as a newbie to this series jumping in at the seventh book.  It can be a gamble doing that and I’ll admit that I probably didn’t catch all the nuances as a result.  However, I didn’t get lost as the author gave plenty of backdrop and started with Maddie, her family and the town working on their Halloween festivities.  I loved the small town island setting and my attention was piqued right away when the haunted inn and the forty year old cold murder case that happened there were mentioned in the opening chapter.  Oh yes, a fall festival and historical mysteries at the inn were a delight to my eyes. 


This is a cozy so its pace was slow out of the gate when it comes to the murder- this doesn’t happen for several chapters.  I expected this, no longer being a cozy greenhorn, and got comfy for all the early antics with the cast of characters of Maddie’s family and small town dynamics as they sought to out do Salem as a Halloween destination for the tourists.  Maddie owns a cat café with her granddad and has a rescue cat JJ.  She doesn’t spend much time with the café which I was rather curious about as a cat lover, but JJ gets on the page often enough to justify the series theme. 


The murder victim, the celebrity guest psychic, was actually a guy I liked and was sad to see him bumped off.  He was well-liked so I think that made it harder to plunk to his killer’s motive for me.  Naturally, Cate Conte provided a good pile of characters who were a tad shifty-eyed even if it wasn’t for murder. 


So, a fun autumn mystery read that hit the sweet spot for my seasonal craving.  Cozy mystery fans should pencil this series in for a tryout.