Do you love those cloyingly festive, albeit brainless, Hallmark holiday movies but wish they featured more murder and dead bodies, preferably corpses impaled with items like sharpened candy canes or turkey carving knives? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Christmas cozies have all the comforting trappings of a made-for-TV holiday romance with murder and mayhem galore! That said, my editorial assistants–selected the most purrrfect mystery for your holiday reading list!
A Whisker of a Doubt by Cate Conte
My biggest dream in life is to own my very own cat cafe here in Austin. Alas, I have no head for business and get exhausted at the prospect of starting one up in one of the most unaffordable cities in America, but that’s why we have books! Thanks to Cate Caonte’s charming cat cafe mystery series, I can live out our dreams at the mere price of $7.99! Needless to say, I am a fan of these books and always enjoy spending the little East Coast hamlet of Daybreak Island. However, I am not too fond of Maddie James’ high society neighbors who don’t want to play nice with the feral cat colony volunteers. Lo and behold, one of the snooty neighbors gets bludgeoned, and all eyes are on Maddie’s cat-loving, socially inept friend Catrina. She has some explaining to do, but it’s going to take a lot of prodding to let the cat out of the bag. Maddie’s boyfriend Luke also needs to start talking because it is super uncool to ghost your new girlfriend while away on a personal sabbatical. Sadly, readers will have to wait it out to get some answers on that front because Maddie has decided to revert back to “I’M NOT SPEAKING TO YOU!” behavior and stonewalls the poor guy for days on end.
I thoroughly enjoy this series, mainly because I adore cats and love to fantasize about spending my day job slinging coffee surrounded by rescue kitties in a hazy catnip fog. However, this book is not my favorite because Maddie’s behavior is a little…much. If she wasn’t devoted to rescuing cats, I would almost call her a “Karen” because this girl throws fits over things she doesn’t quite understand. Take the legal process, for instance. Why would she get angry at a lawyer for not posting bail for her friend? Ummm…do lawyers typically do that? I’m not a legal eagle, but I’m leaning toward no. Also, this girl name drops her super important retired cop grandfather and hospital head chief father when she doesn’t get her way. The whole “Do you know who I am?!” mentality is a tad cringeworthy.
Aside from those gripes, I plan to continue on with this series and spend my afternoons in a cat cafe fantasy world, which is far more exciting than a nine-to-five desk job. I should also add that Lil Bootz says JJ needed way more parts in this story, so she’s only giving it two paws–or boots, I should say– up.