Title: A Purrfect Alibi (Oyster Cove Guesthouse #3)
Author: Leighann Dobbs
Published on: 18 September 2019
Genre: Cozy Mystery
A Purrfect Alibi is the third book in Leighann Dobbs’ Oyster Cove Guesthouse Cozy Mystery series.
The current guests at Oyster Cove Guesthouse are fortune tellers and mediums. They are here to solve the mystery behind Jedediah Biddeford’s murder as well as find the hidden treasure. Three hundred years ago, Jed returned from his sailing trip with treasure. He buried them in his estate which currently houses the Oyster Cove Guesthouse.
Sadly, Jed was killed soon after his return to Oyster Cove and nothing is known of the treasure he buried in his estate’s grounds. When Josie and her cats Nero and Marlowe uncovered Jed’s remains (book #1), the news of hidden treasure brought many people to Oyster Cove. Everybody wanted to get their hands on the treasure and ended up digging Josie’s lawn (book #2.)
And now, she has mediums and fortune tellers over. While one is a crystal ball gazer the other, a tarot reader. Then we have someone who predicts future by reading tea leaves. Finally, we have our fourth guest who uses chanting and meditations to talk to ghosts and wayward souls.
Josie, her mother Rose and her mother’s friend/ex-owner of Oyster Cove Guesthouse Millie do not believe in ghosts. When Madame Zenda picks a death card for Josie, she does not believe that she will find another dead body. Madame Zenda says Jed’s ghost has told her that he will speak to her that same night.
At around 7 in the evening (the time when Madame Zenda has an ‘appointment’ with Jed’s ghost), Millie, Rose and Josie hear a scream. They rush to the cemetery (from where the scream was first heard) and find Anita, a nosey reporter, standing next to Madame Zenda’s dead body. Anita says she had just arrived when she came across the body.
Millie and Rose are curious to solve the murder case and once again, Josie finds herself in the midst of a murder mystery. Meanwhile, the guesthouse cats Nero and Marlowe encounter someone…um, ghostly. The cats too want to find the mystery behind the murder – after all, they have played a major role in keeping Oyster Cove safe all these years.
A Purrfect Alibi is probably the final book in this series. This series was released in 2019 and there haven’t been any more installments. If I have to make a guess, perhaps it was a three-book-deal with the publisher, something similar to Katie Gayle’s Epiphany Bloom Cozy Mystery series (same publisher.)
I had read the first two books of this series in 2019 itself and boy, I did take years to catch up with the final book, didn’t I? The story is told from two PoVs – Josie’s and cats’ side of investigation. Nero is a tuxedo cat and quite older than orange-black Marlowe. When Josie first bought the guest house from Millie, Nero and Marlowe weren’t happy with her. But soon, they grew to almost like her – quite an achievement if a cat likes you!
In this book, we see Myron, a local bank owner pester Josie. She has taken a loan from him and he wants to make sure his money is put to good use. Rose and Millie think Myron visits the guesthouse often as he has a crush on Josie. After her previous relationship going sideways, Josie is not in the dating zone. Nope!
Soon after Madame Zenda’s death, the cats are visited by… boo! A ghost! They try to make Josie understand that the evidence found near Madame Zenda’s body might be related to a murder that happened three hundred years ago. If only Josie could understand cats… Uff!
As the story ends, Josie solves not one but two murder mysteries – Jed’s and Madame Zenda’s. But that doesn’t happen until she and her sleuthing partners come face-to-face with the killer. Speaking of the killer, I guessed their identity before the cats and Josie could. It was quite easy, you see. All I had to do was eat a bit of cat kibble and put on my thinking cap…
Okay, let’s try that again. We readers were given subtle clues and it wasn’t difficult to guess the killer’s identity. But the reason for killing Madame Zenda – well, that was quite a surprise.
If you are looking for a quirky cozy mystery involving talking cats (yes, you read that right!), you might want to give A Purrfect Alibi by Leighann Dobbs a try. Just saying, Nero and Marlowe are talking cats… it’s just that Josie doesn’t speak cat.