Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Review/Interview/Giveaway: Cat About Town by Cate Conte

From the publisher: The first novel in a frisky new mystery series set in a small New England town, where an unlikely citizen is called in to solve the purrfect crime. . .

Maddie James has arrived in Daybreak Island, just off the coast of Massachusetts, eager to settle down and start her own business—and maybe even fall in love. When a stray orange tabby pounces into her life, she’s inspired to open a cat café. But little does Maddie know that she’s in for something a lot more catastrophic when her new furry companion finds the dead body of the town bully. Now all eyes are on Maddie: Who is this crazy cat-whisperer lady who’s come to town? If pet-hair-maintenance and crime-fighting weren’t keeping her busy enough, Maddie now has not one but two eligible bachelors who think she’s the cat’s pajamas . . . and will do anything to win her heart. But how can she even think about happily-ever-after while a killer remains on the loose—and on her path?

Liz Mugavero's Pawsitively Organic mystery series is one of my favorite pet-related cozy series so when I heard that she had another planned focusing on a cat cafe I was nearly ecstatic!

Cat About Town pulled me from the very first page as we meet Maddie James, back home in a quaint Massachusetts town for her grandmother's funeral after moving away and opening a juice bar in California. While at the cemetery she's drawn to an orange cat watching her from behind a gravestone. He's spooked but it doesn't take long for her to gain his trust. Planning to spend some extra time with her grandfather during this huge adjustment in his life, Maddie soon learns that he's been keeping secrets from his family, namely that he's being pressured into selling his beloved home to developers by the town bully, and his refusals are falling on deaf ears. When the aforementioned bully is found with an ice pick in his back there's no shortage of suspects, with Maddie herself and her beloved grandfather near the top of the list!

Maddie and precious little JJ are just about the sweetest pair I've ever seen in a cat cozy. Their instantaneous bond was very realistic and gives proof to the theory that our pets find us, not the other way around. Daybreak Island is the ideal New England location for a cozy mystery, and it's residents, from Maddie's best friend (& local newspaper editor) to a pair of potential love interests (her ex who is now a cop and a dog groomer), are all instantly likable. The identity of the killer kept me in suspense until the very end and it was quite a shocker!

While I spent a good part of the book wondering, "Where does the cat cafe come in?", the answer ends up being pure purr-fection and it's going to have me stalking Amazon for the next book in the series on a weekly basis.


Mudpie is purring with excitement over the opportunity to ask Junkyard Johnny - the real life star of Cat About Town and the inspiration behind the character of JJ - a few questions. She hopes you enjoy the interview!

Welcome, Johnny! Thank you so much for chatting with me today. Could you start by telling us a little about yourself and how you came to live with your forever human?

Thanks for having me, Melissa and Mudpie! While I live the good life now, I didn’t start out with a very charmed life. I was hanging out in a junkyard up in New Hampshire with a bunch of feral cats at a pretty young age. I had really bad ear mites, but I was surviving well enough. Then this man who used to come and feed the ferals realized I was friendly and took me home, but he had a ton of other cats and couldn’t keep me. So he talked to his friend, who worked at a no-kill shelter, and she brought me there. My future mom volunteered there at the time, and she took one look at my adorable face and couldn’t resist me.

You went from living in a junkyard to starring in your very own mystery series! Tell us about the Cat Cafe Mysteries.

I know, isn’t it great? The Cat Cafe Mysteries feature me and Maddie James, a young entrepreneur who finds herself back in her childhood home of Daybreak Island, Massachusetts. After a strange series of events, she finds herself the proud owner and operator of a cat cafe—and a murder investigator.

She finds her JJ in a graveyard at her grandmother’s funeral, but still wanted to call him Junkyard Johnny, after me, of course!

How are you alike and different from the fictional JJ? 

Well, I’ve never found a dead body, for one! We’re pretty similar in all other respects, actually. JJ in the book likes to walk on a harness around town with Maddie. I like walking on harnesses too - I’m really good at it. We both have a folded over ear from various ailments. We both like to nap and sleep… 

What's a typical day like for you now? Do you help your wonderful mom write her books?

I oversee the proceedings, but mostly I nap in the sun and eat all day.

Do you have any favorite toys, foods, nap spots?

I really like catnip dynamite toys. I’m really good at claiming the sun spots, either from my cat tree or on the couch. And I’ll eat just about anything!

What's a surprising fact about you that you think your adoring public would like to know?

I know no one will believe it because I have such a sweet face, but I’m on Prozac! I have a bit of a mean streak that served me well in the junkyard, but I take it out on my brother sometimes so I need to manage my anger…

But really, I’m charming. I swear :)

About the author: Cate Conte is the alter ego of Liz Mugavero. Liz is the author of the Pawsitively Organic Mystery series from Kensington Books, the first of which was an Agatha nominee for Best First Novel. As you can imagine, her canine and feline rescues demand the best organic food and treats around. She is a member of Sisters in Crime National, Sisters in Crime New England, Mystery Writers of America, and the Cat Writers’ Association. She currently lives in Connecticut.

Author Links:

Webpage – http://www.lizmugavero.com;
Twitter – https://twitter.com/lizmugavero;
GoodReads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6475412.Liz_Mugavero;
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Liz-Mugavero/329291780446231;

Amazon Purchase Link

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Summer at sparklecat.com said...

Funny enough, my human was thinking, "What a fun idea for a book!" and then she realized who the author was - one of the writers for the first volume of Rescued! Tuffy's story (she was the human behind Tuffy) was one of my human's favorites.

The Menagerie Mom said...

Oh, this review and interview are purrfection! I cannot wait to read this book. Junkyard Johnny, you just gained some new fans today!

Autumn Trapani said...

I really enjoyed the interview with Junkyard Johnny and this book is on my TBR list! Thanks for the new series, and for rescuing animals!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Melissa and Mudpie! That JJ sure is cute, Mudpie. ;)

Anonymous said...

Great review gawjus. Big hugs

Luv ya'

Dezi and Raena

Three Chatty Cats said...

Sounds like a very fun book!

diannekc said...

Loved the interview with JJ. This soinds like a great start to a new series. Can't wait to read.

diannekc said...

Loved the interview with JJ. This soinds like a great start to a new series. Can't wait to read.

Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat said...

Can't go wrong with a ginger kitty ... just like torties ;) We always enjoy your reviews - 99% of the time (including this one), you wrangle us in to add the book to our "to read" list even though I haven't characteristically enjoyed reading mysteries. Then again, before we found you, Mudpie, I never read a mystery with a cat - so maybe that's the compelling change?

da tabbies o trout towne said...

dood....wavez two ewe frum de land oh trout....itz veree nice ta meet ewe N we N joyed yur interveew two day....whoa...way glad that man took ewe in N ya ended up findin yur foreverz with yur mom !! we R big inta napz and food two & may bee knot all wayz in that order :) we will head over two amazon N givez yur book a look see; it soundz AWESUM ! ~~~~ ♥♥ ☺☺

Mama Cat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mama Cat said...

Thank you, Mudpie, for your review! This is this perfect read for this crazy cat lady!

Lola The Rescued Cat said...

Another book for Mommy to add to her list! That list is pretty long now!

Eastside Cats said...

JJ is a true manly mancat! And this book is on my 'to read' list!

Cats Herd You said...

JJ is a lucky kitty, starring in a series like that!

Annie Bear said...

I just recently added this book to my TBR list. I enjoyed reading your review, and what a fun bonus to meet Junkyard Johnny!

pilch92 said...

Great interview. This sounds like a good book.

Unknown said...

Great review and interview! This one is already in my to-read pile, and now I can't wait to get to it. :)