Title: Romeow and Juliet
Series: Whales and Tails
By: Kathi Daley
ISBN: 1503015483 (ISBN13: 9781503015487)
Author’s Website: http://www.kathidaley.com
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
Romeow and Juliet is the first in a cozy mystery series set on Madrona Island, a fictional island within the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington State. As a fourth generation islander Caitlin Hart is struggling to make her way as the economy and culture of the island evolves toward a tourism based industry. Cait lives in a cabin on her aunt’s oceanfront estate where she helps her aunt run Harthaven Cat Sanctuary. When she isn’t working with the cats, she helps best friend Tara, operate the coffee bar/bookstore/cat lounge they own, named Coffee Cat Books.
In the first installment to the series Cait and her dog Max find the body of a member of the island council dead in the back room of the old fish cannery. As Cait delves into the murder she finds herself with an unlikely sleuthing partner that might just lead to a relationship of a more personal kind.
Meanwhile, Romeo, as stray cat that followed Cait home, is causing all sorts of problems for Cait as, in spite of dire warnings from the neighbor next door, he refuses to stay away from her very expensive show cat, Juliet. Could Romeo really be trying to tell Cait something about the neighbor that she initially refuses to see? (Goodreads)
Romeow and Juliet is the first book in a new series written by Kathi Daley and surprisingly only the second book by Ms. Daley that I have read. Well, that will soon be remedied – I now have the first six books in this series. I really liked this story. It had all the makings of a good cozy mystery (mystery, interesting characters, a bit of romance) and most important – cute animals (okay, that is mostly for my interest – not really a prerequisite).
The story is set in the beautiful San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington State (part of the United States), though the actual town and island are fictional. Cait (Caitlin Hart) works with her aunt at the Harthaven Cat Sanctuary. Well, actually – would you consider it work…I know I wouldn’t ☺.
Cait and her friend, Tara, are reviewing a property (the old cannery) to be the site for their new business -> Coffee Cat Books – a coffee bar/bookstore/cat lounge. While wandering around the cannery, Cait’s dog, Max, sniffs out a dead body – that of Keith Weaver, the real estate agent. Given that Cait wanted to purchase the property, she has used some interesting philosophy with respect to wanting to solve the murder:
“Tara turned to look at me. “And why on earth would you think it was up to us to figure out who killed Keith Weaver?”
I turned the key and prayed my old clunker of a car would start.
“We found his body,” I pointed out. “That’s like a sign from the universe that we’re supposed to be involved.
Tara rolled down her window. “I have to say your logic is … well, illogical.”
“No, it’s not. I argued. “It’s like that thing where if you save someone’s life you’re responsible for them. Likewise, if you find a dead body you’re responsible for finding out how the person died.”
“You’re insane. You know that, right?”
So, with this theory, Cait starts to enlist her brother and other islanders into the process of solving Keith’s murder. I must say, Cait’s thought process is unusual to say the least. And where she leaps to is quite entertaining. It seemed that at every turn Cait was wanting to pin this dastardly deed to Camden Bradford (the new district manager at the bank and individual that Cait totally embarrassed herself to – that story is definitely chuckle worth so I shall let you read about it yourself).
As the story progresses, Cait ends up with a couple more mysteries to solve along the way. At times they seemed very much entwined and then the clues negate that theory… until more clues (and Cait’s logic) sway the reader into believing they are tangled up together again.
I must say that there are some interesting sparks between Cait and Camden going on and I can’t wait to see where they might lead in future books in the series. Or are there sparks between Cait and her ex Cody? At least Cait has a couple of romantic possibilities.
I like to keep guessing as to whodunit in my cozy mysteries, at least until the end. I am happy to report that while I had some ideas, nothing really stuck out and gave it away until the very end. The cover art is very cute. I could totally see Romeo beckoning to his Juliet ☺ Okay, off now to carry on with the next book in the Whales and Tails series – The Mad Catter.