A TWIST IN THE TALE
SERIES: The Oyster Cove Guesthouse, #1
GENRES/ SUBJECTS: Cozy Mystery
Josie Waters has to admit she may have acted a bit hastily when she agreed to purchase the Oyster Cove Guesthouse – a charmingly gabled Victorian mansion on the breathtaking Maine coast – from elderly family friend Millie Sullivan. But Josie was desperate to flee Ohio and in particular her ex-husband, a chef who loved his job so much he left her for it. And anyway, how hard can running a guesthouse be?
The truth is, Oyster Cove Guesthouse is a mouldering money pit with falling-in roof and a cohort of regular guests who are as mischievous as a litter of kittens. And Millie keeps dropping by to dispense unasked-for advice. And Josie might have made a mistake in promising to adopt Oyster Cove’s two resident cats Nero and Marlowe, and treat them in the manner to which they’ve become accustomed. Josie has never had a cat before… let alone two feisty felines who think they own the place.
Ok, it’s not going well. At least it can’t get any worse, Josie thinks. Until her first guest ends up dead.
A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.
This cozy threw me a little at first: I’ve read lots of books where the pets play an important part, but this is my first where cats actually do a lot of the detective work and chat amongst themselves. It also threw me that Millie and Josie’s mom are mentioned to have been involved in investigations before? This is the first in The Oyster Cove Guesthouse series, but perhaps there’s a related series I’m unaware of? I felt like I had missed a few introductory chapters. I know it’s important to get to the action quickly, but the beginning felt a little jumpy to me. Either way, after a little initial confusion, I quickly settled into the Guesthouse.
Nero and Marlowe, the house cats, are the stars of the show. I really enjoyed their detective work alongside the motley crew of intelligent cat sleuths. There are lots of little moments and character traits that I think cat owners are going to relate to and smile at.
Besides the cats, Oyster Cove is a real attraction in itself. We don’t see too much of the town itself, but the crumbling Victorian guesthouse, still mid-renovation, is a vivid and wonderful setting, and the descriptions of the surrounding cliffs are beautiful. I could really clearly see it in my mind.
The mystery aspect isn’t the strongest. A lot of the conclusions Josie comes to seem to be mostly chance and I didn’t feel like there was a lot of process to her investigation.
Still, A Twist in the Tale was a really entertaining read. The writing is simple and fast-paced. The characters and fun and the setting is great, so I can forgive a few weaknesses in a first instalment. I’d like to pick up more of Nero, Marlowe and Josie’s adventure’s in future.