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August 26, 2023

Nine Lives and Alibis by Cate Conte ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

Maddie (and many of her family members) are deep in the planning for the biggest off-season event on the island. She is worried something will go wrong, but I'm sure the headline attraction being murdered wasn't even something she considered. Even if he was staying on the haunted floor of the local hotel.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.
book cover of cozy mystery Nine Lives and Alibis by Cate Conte
August 2023; Minotaur Books; 978-1250883933
ebook, print (336 pages); cozy mystery

Nine Lives and Alibis
 is the seventh book in the Cate Conte's Cat Cafe Mystery series. It is the first book in the series that I have read and I had no trouble jumping right in.

Halloween candy is already on the shelves at the store so why not get started on your Halloween reading? If you have followed Girl Who Reads for a while, you know that I don't like scary stories and often turn to fun cozy mysteries for my Halloween reading. Usually, that means reading a paranormal cozy, but if you don't care for witches, vampires, etc. in your cozy mysteries, then this book will be a great one to put on your list.

Like many island communities, Daybreak Island has a slump after the busy tourist season has ended. Members of the community have decided to put on an extravagant Halloween event - one to rival nearby Salem, MA. In fact, they have snagged their headline attraction from the Salem event. It helps that Balfour, a medium, has ties to the island and his mother still lives there.

I really enjoyed the characters. There's not one but three mysteries. There is the current murder, but there are two unsolved cold cases from 40 years ago - a murdered man and a missing maid.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book, but I have a couple of nit-picking things that I didn't like. One, we don't get to see the cat cafe much. It's understandable since the mysteries are centered around the hotel and a few events take place at other venues. For the second item, I thought it was possibly a plot point. There are white lilies in Balfour's room. Lilies are highly toxic to cats (the cat doesn't even need to eat the plant as just the pollen can make them sick) and Balfour has a cat named Balfoud, Jr. It didn't seem true to character for both Balfour and Maddie, who owns the cat cafe, not to know that. They made no mention of the lilies outside of Maddie being worried about the glass when the vase is broken.

It was cute without being cheesy. I will definitely be on the lookout for other books in this series.

Buy Nine Lives and Alibis at Amazon

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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