Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Nine Lives and Alibis - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads:  Nine Lives and Alibis (A Cat Cafe Mystery #7) by Cate Conte

Rating: Really Liked It (4 Stars)
Source:   Publisher

Description:  It’s October in Daybreak Harbor, which means everything Halloween. The town is going all out for the holiday, hoping to one-up the festivities in neighboring Salem, Massachusetts, and Maddie James is delighted to be part of the planning for the annual happenings.

But trouble brews when Maddie’s youngest sister, Sam, books a famous medium, Balfour Dempsey, to come to town for the celebrations and stay in the local haunted inn―along with his equally famous black cat. The town busybody books a secret reading with Balfour and doesn’t want anyone to know why. Maddie’s best friend Becky is hell-bent on getting Balfour to help her solve two 40-year-old mysteries―a murder and a missing maid. And the psychic has a stalker who’s followed him here to the island, demanding he connect with her dead husband.

When Balfour is pushed off the cliffs behind the inn to his death and his beloved cat goes missing, it throws the whole town into a frenzy. And Maddie and her family find themselves in the middle of a murder mystery straight out of a Halloween movie.

Genre:  Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  I have been wanting to read this series for awhile and I couldn't resist the blurb for this book.

My Impression: This is my first book in an ongoing series so I'm expecting to have some issues with figuring out the who is who and how they're connected.  What I'm really focusing on as I read this was am I enjoying the characters, writing style, and setting enough to merit going back and reading the rest of the series.  In this case the answer is whole-heartedly yes.

There are a number of moving parts in this book with several incidents taking place years in the past.  I really liked that the author used newspaper articles to inform the reader about the past events.  That relayed the information clearly without ever having to sink into over explaining and dialogue heavy passages.  

I had no problem immediately pulled into the story.  I liked Maddie and her sisters and loved the cat cafĂ© setting.  There's a good community feel that I'm sure gets better the more you read in the series.  My only minor gripe is that nothing really starts happening mystery-wise until about a third of the way into the story and I was starting to get a bit impatient with that.  

Overall, I enjoyed this new to me cozy series and am excited to go back and pick up the first book of the series.  If you like a small town cozy with a feline sidekick this a fun read to pick up.  

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Absolutely!  I'm really looking forward to picking up the first book in the series.

Would I Recommend this Book?  I would - especially if you enjoy cozy mysteries with cat sidekicks.

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *


  1. I like those questions you asked yourself as you were beginning to read this. I find they are all important in any book but somehow especially so in a cozy mystery series.

  2. I love this series. I'm a couple of books behind and have to catch up.

  3. I just received a review copy of this book as well. I'm excited to check it out, but I just can't start a series in the middle! I need to check my library for the first book.

  4. Good to know you had no trouble...and yep I often end up want to read them all.

  5. I love that the book uses newspapers to let the reader know about past events. This sounds really good.