eBook Review: Molly and the Cat Café

Molly and the Cat Cafe (Cat Cafe, #1)

Molly and the Cat Café by Melissa Daley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The blurb: When two-year-old tabby, Molly, loses her beloved owner, her world falls apart. Re-homed with three cat-hating dogs, she decides to take matters into her own paws and embarks on a gruelling journey to the nearest town. As Molly walks the cobbled streets of Stourton, she begins to lose all hope of finding a home . . .

Until one day she is welcomed into the warmth by caring café owner, Debbie. Like Molly, Debbie is also an outsider and, with a daughter to care for, she is desperate to turn around the struggling café.

But a local battleaxe is on the warpath and she is determined to keep out newcomers, especially four-legged ones. It looks as if Debbie will have to choose between the café and Molly. Yet maybe the solution to their problems may not be as far away as they think.

Will Debbie and Molly be able to turn their fortunes around to launch the Cotswolds’ first Cat Café?

My review: This ebook was offered for free on Amazon and the kitten on the cover made me warm and fuzzy inside, so I took advantage of the free offer. In all honesty, I didn’t expect much from the story. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed reading Molly’s story.

The story is told from the cat’s point of view. The beginning reminded me of Black Beauty in a vague sort of way. My heart went out to little Molly for several reasons. One was that lovely owner developed dementia (and that spoke to me because my mum has Alzheimer’s). Another was that I cannot stand cruelty to animals, of any kind. Whilst Molly wasn’t physically harmed, she was mistreated and neglected. I didn’t like that. Then she found the Cat Cafe and her life turned around. Yet while she was helped, she also reached out and helped her humans, and others too.

The book is written well. It is easy to read and it is easy to become lost in Molly’s world. There are lots of elements to the story that I enjoyed, but I won’t write about them here because I don’t want to spoil it for other readers.

If you want warm and fuzzy then grab a copy of this book. You will not be disappointed. It will make you smile and forget your own problems for a little while. Recommended.

Audio review: Hemlock Mysteries

The Hemlock Avenue Mystery

The Hemlock Avenue Mystery by Lily Augusta Long

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The blurb: A lawyer is accused of killing a rival lawyer, both having battled in court on numerous occasions. A newspaper reporter following the case is bent on determining the facts behind the murder. As it happens, there are two women also suspected of participating in the crime, and a third who was apparently utterly unconscious of what had occurred. It’s up to the reporter turned detective to unravel the clues, few as they are.

My review: This book was written in 1908 under the pseudonym Roman Doubleday. It is in the public domain and can be freely downloaded from many websites. This audio version was read by Roger Melin.

I wanted an audiobook to listen to in the car, to and from work. I also wanted a mystery; not a fantasy, or a romance, or science fiction, but a mystery. And that’s what I got with this book. Yes, it’s a bit stilted in places, but it was written over 100 years ago so what do you expect. The mystery itself was well thought out and although I had a feeling who the guilty party was, I couldn’t work out why. The characters were a bit two dimensional, but I decided to let that slide and just go with the flow.

I enjoyed the story, the characters, and the plot twists. I also think the reader did a good job. It was a good way to travel to and from work. It is always good to read (or listen to) the old stuff too. We can’t allow books to disappear, no matter how old they are.

Recommended.

Audio review: Storm Boy

Storm Boy

Storm Boy by Colin Thiele

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The blurb: Storm Boy is the timeless story of Mike ‘Storm Boy’ Kingley, who rescues three pelican chicks after their mother is shot. One of the birds, Mr Percival, forms a very special bond with the boy which brings into focus the conflict between his lifestyle in the remote Coorong of South Australia and the external pressures of society, including his schooling.

Treasured by generations of children, this is a heartwarming tale about unusual friendship and unconditional love.

My review: My family saw this at the drive-in movies when I was young. All I really remember was that I cried my eyes out. It was so sad. When I saw the audiobook at my local library, I decided to take a visit down memory lane.

The story is set in Australia and has a lot of local colloquialisms or slang. I think it’s brilliant, authentic, and I hope people from other countries learn something about Australia when reading (or listening) to this book.

The characters are rich and the scenes seem real and complete. As I mentioned before, there is a sad element. And if you do read the book, be sure to have tissues close by. It’s a short book, but every word is used for full punch. Loved the book and the movie.

Recommended.

Book review: The Gallows Curse

The Gallows Curse

The Gallows Curse by Karen Maitland

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The blurb: Set in the reign of King John, when the whole of England was under sentence of excommunication (among other issues, King John wouldn’t accept the Pope’s choice of Archbishop). Can you imagine the chaos – all the churches closed, King John in retaliation arresting every priest who hadn’t fled and the people terrified of dying in sin without the last rites? No burials were permitted on consecrated land, no marriages were conducted, no babies baptized. But I don’t want to reveal much more, except to say the plot involves people-trafficking, murder and, oh yes… a very feisty dwarf and a eunuch with a hunger for revenge.

My review: I chose this book because I thought it was a story relating to the black death. The reason I thought this was because the cover had the word “black” on it and my mind jumped to conclusions. Unfortunately, the book had nothing to do with the plague. However, the story is set in 1210, which is a dark time and there are lots of twists and turns to the plot line, so, my mistake was a fortunate one.

The Gallows Curse is about… well, a curse. The twisted plot was impressive. As were the characters. There are a bunch of strong women characters in this book. And there are a number of scenes that will either have you glued to the pages or feeling revolted. It’s a story that starts out slow (and I don’t mean boring slow either) and picks up the pace as the storyline is revealed.

This is the first book I’ve read by Karen Maitland but it will not be the last. I enjoyed this story, even though the plague was nowhere in sight. Highly recommended.