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Best Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham (Illustrator)
Checking Out Crime by Laurie Cass
Chickens on the Loose by Jane Kurtz and John Joseph (Illustrations)
Copycat Killing by Sofie Kelly
Elegant Yokai Apartment Life, Volume 2 by Hinowa Kouzuki
Friendship Cake by Lynne Hinton
The Ghost and the Femme Fatale by Alice Kimberly
Going, Going, Ganache by Jenn McKinlay
Jackpot by Nic Stone
The Little Ghost Who Was a Quilt by Riel Nason and Byron Eggenschwiler (Illustrator)
Mango, Mambo, and Murder by Raquel V. Reyes and Frankie Corzo (narrator)
Murder in a Teacup by Vicki Delany
Samantha Spinner and the Perplexing Pants by Russell Ginns
Shadowhouse Fall by Daniel José Older
Sisters of the Neversea by Cynthia Leitich Smith
A Stitch in Time by Kelley Armstrong
Sugar and Iced by Jenn McKinlay
The Tell Tail Heart by Cate Conte
Yule Be Dead by Lorraine Bartlett, Gayle Leeson and Jorjeana Marie (narrator)

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5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
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The Tell Tail Heart: 11/10/21

The Tell Tail Heart

The Tell Tail Heart by Cate Conte is the third of the Cat Café mystery series. The summer season is over and Daybreak Island is winding down for the year. Maddie hopes this means she can cross a bunch of things off her to-do list while the café is running limited hours.

Everything is going to plan until a woman accuses her of stealing her cat. J.J., the inspiration for the cat café and her constant companion followed her home from the cemetery. There's no way he could be her cat. Her outrage also scares off Maddie's one full time customer, a mystery writer who is paying her $100 a week to sit in the café while he works on his latest book.

To make matters worse, the writer ends up dead. His death — which might be murder — leads Maddie into another investigation. It's one where those closest to her clearly know more that she does and they don't want to share. People she has felt she can trust are now making her question that feeling.

The modern day mystery after lots and lots of starts and stops ends up dredging up a much older mystery. This cold case brings to mind all the Dick Francis mysteries my mother used to read. The investigation into the cold case also answers the question to the identity of the Cat Café's benefactor.

Throughout the book I found Maddie unnecessarily clueless. She seems to spend a lot of time demanding people explain things to her — things I swear she knew in previous volumes. It seems that she had to act as the clueless companion to a host of other sleuths.

The fourth book is A Whisker of a Doubt (2020), which I am currently reading.

Four stars

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