Cover Image: A Whisker of a Doubt

A Whisker of a Doubt

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Member Reviews

I enjoy the rescue cat theme of this series as well as the supporting characters.  Unfortunately the main character, Maddie, ruins the book for me.  She seems more like a spoiled teenager than a grown woman.  I could have given this book a five if Maddie's grandfather was the main character.  The book has such promise, but Maddie needs to grow up.
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The fourth in the series, A Whisker of a Doubt was as good as the others.  Perhaps the best yet.  I liked the setting in this book, the wealthy neighborhood and all their secrets, very believable.  The main character is smart and very likeable.  She doesn't always get along with her family, which makes for a very believable (and relatable) story.  Some cozy mysteries make it where everyone gets along and never thinks anything bad about their family, which gets tiring.  Looking forward to the next in the series!
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A fun cozy mystery that is Christmas themed. This lively New England set mystery kept my attention with it's attention to bringing awareness to homeless cats and cat colonies and improving their lives with care taker Maddie James. I was so pleased to see cat's getting the help they need. Rescue agencies work so hard trapping and spaying-neutering feral cats,giving them vet care and trying hard to socialize them to make them adoptable.
Small-town mystery has Maddie trying her best to prove her accused friend is innocent of the crime.
I'll admit I enjoyed reading about the cats more than the mystery itself.

Pub Date 01 Dec 2020
I was given a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you.
All opinions expressed are my own.
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This is such a fun series, and I had a great time with this cozy mystery. I loved the plot, the twists and turns, and the characters!
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Cozy mysteries are always fun to read, especially animal themed ones. I love the idea in this one regarding a cat cafe and enjoyed the whodunit aspect as well. A lot of suspects, misunderstandings, and a love for animals of all kinds. It's also a great reminder to not judge a book by its cover, or in this case a person by their outward persona. I can't wait to read more by Cate Conte and find out what's next for Maddie and her crew. Highly recommend!
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Although it did not grab my attention, fans of this series will be happy with this latest offering.
I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.
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This is a wonderful holiday themed cozy. It really got me into the holiday spirit. I like the realistic and sweet characters. I would have to say that the cats are my favorite characters in this series. The story has enough twists and turns to keep you guessing.  I definitely recommend this cozy.
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This book took me a while to get through. I kept putting it down to try again later. Overall, it was a decent cozy mystery, but was not my favorite. 

Pros:
-I was definitely involved in the mystery, once I figured out who everyone was and when things were happening. The mystery kept me guessing and I was surprised by the ending.
-I like how the author wove feral cat colonies into the story. Rescues and shelters are working hard to help them with their spay/neuter and release programs.

Cons:
-I felt like I was missing a lot of information. This is the first book I have read in the series, so I am assuming reading the others would make reading this book earlier. From reading other reviews, I surmise the last book ended with a cliff hanger. I definitely felt lost with what was happening with that. And it took me a while to figure out who all the recurring characters were and what was happening with the cat cafe. I would recommend anyone interested in this series start with book 1 and read sequentially.
-There is a lot of time jumping happening. You definitely need to pay attention to the headers of each chapter. This is mostly at the beginning, but also happened once towards the middle to explain something that had happened in the previous book (or between books, I'm not exactly sure). I can see why the author made the choice, but it was a bit confusing at first because I was not paying close attention to the dates and times.
-The love triangle. This one is just my personal preference. I am not a fan of the love triangle trope in cozy mysteries. While this one does get resolved by the end of the book, I think, it seems to be a theme started and finished in previous books that has been brought to life again in this one.

Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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A Whisker of a Doubt by Cate Conte is a fantastic holiday cozy mystery.
The characters are quirky and fun and the cats are so much fun.
The mystery is well written with some red herrings.
Highly recommend!
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This was a fun, light read, A sweet “cozy” mystery centered around a cat rescue mission. A murder occur, and the plot is easy enough to follow, and romance is a secondary plot, while a Christmas theme prevails.
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The Christmas season is a bit of a mixed bag for Maddie James. Her at cafe is doing great but she hasn’t heard from boyfriend, Lucas, for months. She and her volunteers have been taking care of a colony of feral cats in a wealthy neighbourhood but all the residents of the area are not at all happy about it. One couple, in particular, have been very vocal in their opposition to allowing the colony to continue and when the husband is found dead, hit over the head with a garden gnome, one of the volunteers is arrested. Maddie is sure she is innocent and is determined to prove it but, as the evidence mounts even Maddie begins to have doubts about the woman.

I enjoyed A Whisker of a Doubt by Cate Conte quite a bit. Maddie and her family, including the cats, were extremely likeable and the mystery kept me guessing right up to the big reveal. I did find Maddie’s romantic problems occasionally interfered with the flow of the tale but, overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys  Christmas cozies with characters easy to root for.

<i>Thanks to Netgalley & the publishers for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review</i>
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Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie

What a great time of year to be on Daybreak Island off the New England coast! The setting and snow sound gorgeous, I was happy to be back with Maddie, her family and friends, and the mystery kept me guessing. It was definitely one of the very last bad guys I would have guessed.

Maddie has been back on Daybreak Island for less than a year and is in her happy place when it comes to spending Christmas there. After ten years in California, the only sadness for Maddie is that her grandma isn’t there anymore and the guy she started dating went off island for a few days last month and never returned. Her cat café and shelter, JJ’s House of Purrs, is successful enough that they are remodeling Grandpa Leo’s home to further accommodate its growth.

JJ is a handsome orange cat who adopted Maddie on the day of her grandma’s funeral. He followed her home and has been the inspiration for the shelter and café. Active in the pet rescue community, Maddie is, on paper, in charge of a feral cat colonies where they make sure food and water are available and cats are trapped for neutering and vaccines, then returned. A few evenings before Christmas, Maddie went to the exclusive neighborhood behind which the cats live.

When Maddie drove in, she saw her friend Katrina’s car careening out of the neighborhood. Katrina, an animal control officer and pet rescuer, was not supposed to be there by order of the police chief, as she had threatened animal cruelty charges to someone living there due to threats about the feral colony. As Maddie went back through the yard of a resident who allowed access, she noted that the next-door neighbors’ extensive Christmas lights were out, then saw something lying in the snow of the back yard. She went to see if it was one of the feral cats. Worse than a cat, it was the body of Virgil, one of the homeowners of that property, whose wife was very vocal about her dislike of cats. It looked as if he had been bashed on the back of the head.

On Christmas Eve, Katrina was arrested for Virgil’s murder, as someone saw that her car at the couple’s home that night. Grandpa Leo, who always saw Katrina as family as well as co-worker when he was police chief, hired one of the best attorneys available. Bail was posted a few days later by another old friend.

Maddie has helped solve a couple murders since moving back to the island and was not going to let one of her oldest, closest friends go on trial for murder. She and Grandpa Leo began to learn what they could about the neighborhood. Virgil and his wife June had made a few enemies in their little community, and Maddie ferreted out information from people she knew. Her mom was also ready to help in whatever way she could, and they even attended Virgil’s private funeral. What she began to learn about Virgil and some of the other residents of the neighborhood were stranger than fiction.

Each of the characters is defined so well! They are engaging, and there is just enough backstory on Maddie and her family to provide an excellent picture of them even as we continue to learn more about them. I enjoyed some of the focus on the quirkiest island character, Leopard Man, a delightful character and one of the best friends one could have. The victim was a man of many secrets, but in a good way that most didn’t know.

I like how pet rescue and feral cat colonies are a central theme of the series, as well as shelters and cat cafes for cats to find fur-ever homes. These situations are a great source of gently showing the reader about the needs of cats while providing backdrops for great mysteries. This one was a true challenge; the killer was someone I did not expect. There are several suspects who became red herrings, and my favorite one clearly wasn’t it. I was a bit uncomfortable with how the day of the murder was split into several chapters, interspersed with events taking place for the days prior to it. At times it became a little hard for me to follow. Overall, the mystery and setting are excellent, and I highly recommend it!
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Maddie’s back in the fourth Cat Café mystery, “A Whisker of a Doubt.” Katrina, Maddie’s friend and the local animal control officer, has been accused of murdering one of the residents of a community where Maddie and other volunteers have been caring for a feral cat colony.

I want to like this series more than I do. The writing style is good, and I love most of the characters. Rescues are one of my causes, as well. But Maddie is just exhausting. She namedrops her retired police officer grandfather and hospital executive father in attempts to get her own way. She thinks a lawyer has control over a client’s bail, and should chip in to pay said bail. She whines about how things aren’t fair and demands that people do things that clearly won’t work. When her friends try to give her a reality check, she lashes out, even admitting she’s a jerk, but she does it anyway.

Other characters attribute qualities to her that she clearly does not possess. Her grandfather says that she would have made a good police officer, but Maddie is far too immature and her kneejerk reactions are all emotional. Her friend Cass says that Maddie can tell when people are lying, but Maddie mentions several times how she’s been lied to in relationships. 

Then there are the plot issues. There are several implausible scenes, and one that is only there to provide drama. No details, because of spoilers, but a local small-town cop is not going to have access to do a large-scale search in the records of jurisdictions in other states to find dirt on someone. Also, even assuming that you get only one phone call in jail, wouldn’t you have the sense to call someone who can handle things for you? It just felt contrived. 

The premise is good and, if Maddie would just grow up, the series would be enjoyable.

I was given a free copy by NetGalley and St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review.
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I have voluntarily read and reviewed a copy of this title given to me through NetGalley. This book was just absolutely wonderful. It was just so easy to get lost in and I just couldn’t put it down. I just lost myself within this amazing story. I most definitely will read more by this author.
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"A Whisker of a Doubt" was a delightful book to read on a cold winter day!  I personally don't have a kitty, but JJ won me over!  

Maddie James appears to be a force to be reckoned with!  She is a fighter for a local feral cat community and goes to bat for their existence -- even with a murder nearby!  I will be looking back to get some background from Ms. Conte's first three books.  But if they're like this book, I'll enjoy the ride.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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Maddie James is finding it difficult to have much Christmas spirit after a breakup with her boyfriend, but at least business at the Cat Cafe is still pretty good, even if it is the holiday season on Daybreak Island.
Due to her love of animals, Maddie is involved with a group of people who take care of a feral cat colony located in a wealthy neighborhood. Most of the residents are happy to allow them access to the woods via their property, but there are a couple who want to make trouble.
When the tensions between the animal lovers and homeowners boils over, someone turns up dead. Maddie’s outspoken friend is accused of the crime, so Maddie will go to the mat to try and prove her innocence.
You can’t go wrong with a good mystery featuring cats!
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A Whisker of a Doubt is the 4th in the Cat Cafe Mystery Series by Cate Conte.  Maddie James is so busy starting up and running her cat cafe that she is almost too busy to worry about what led to the implosion of her most recent relationship - almost.   Then she is working with a group of volunteers to care for a feral cat colony in a neighborhood strongly divided on the matter when one of the neighbors is murdered and a friend stands accused.  What can she do but try to prove her friend’s innocence.

This is the perfect read for any reader who loves cats and mysteries. I enjoyed the fact that Maddie was a strong protagonist dedicated to her causes and her friends.The characters and relationships were complex, and the mystery well-paced. This was my first mystery by Cate Conte but it won’t be my last. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy and all opinions are my own.
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A Whisker of a Doubt of Cate Conte is the 4th book in Cat Cafe Mystery series, and another fun addition.  Maddie James, co-owner to the Daybreak Island Cat Cafe,  the cafe lets you visit cats that you might want to adopt, or just play with, while enjoying some coffee and a scone. Maddie is also helping with feeding the feral cat population, in the wealthiest part of town. When a resident turns up dead, the volunteers become the prime suspects. Maddie is determined to find the real killer.  I enjoy this book and am looking forward to the next book in the series.  I recommend this book/series for all cozy mystery and cat lovers. 
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Princess Fuzzypants here:  Maddie is not feeling the holiday spirit.  Lucas has disappeared with nary a word or trace.  At the same time she is dealing with a wounded heart, she must deal with the rich neighbours where she looks after a feral cat colony.  The cats divide the neighbours.  Some support the kitties while others want to poison them.  Amidst the rancour, Maddie and her helpers try to provide food, water and shelter for the colony.  While she knows it is an explosive situation, she did not expect to find a body in the snow as she goes to refill the dishes one night.

Initially Maddie thought Virgil was a rabid anti-catter but she does not believe her friend and fellow rescuer, Katrina, is the killer.  Sadly, the police do believe it when they have a witness who puts her at the scene.  She has been ordered to stay away so not only does she get arrested but she loses her job as well.  She is lucky to have Maddie and her grandpa, the former chief of police, on her side.  They continue to look into the contentious relationships among the neighbours.

As she learns more and more both about the victim and the possible suspects, she discovers many are not whom they seem.  In fact, Virgil turns out to be an entirely different guy.  Too bad she didn’t bring JJ out to investigate with her.  No doubt his superior feline skills would have sussed out the villain quickly.  As it was, I was back and forth and when I thought I had it pegged, it turned out I was right and wrong.

While she investigates, she also is running a fantastic cat cafe with JJ and navigating the stony path of love.  It was an enjoyable read with an interesting mystery.

Four purrs and two paws on up.
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A Whisker of a Doubt by Cate Conte is book four in the A Cat Cafe Mystery. This is a great series especially for cat lovers.  It can be read as a stand alone. 
This easy to read Cozy is a great to read at Christmas time. Conte has given plenty of suspects and plot twists to have you guessing to the end, likeable characters, romance, humor and lovable cats. I couldn't put it down.
I was given an ARC by St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an honest review.
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