In this warm and witty series debut from New York Times bestseller Wendy Corsi Staub, a widowed young mom plans a fresh start in Chicago–but instead finds her way to a quirky lakeside village that just happens to be populated by mediums.
When reluctant road trippers Bella Jordan and her son Max detour to Lily Dale, New York, they’re planning to deliver a lost cat to its home and then move on, searching for one of their own. But the footloose feline’s owner Leona Gatto has unexpectedly passed away, leaving behind a pregnant pet without a mistress, a busy inn without a keeper–and a lovable circle of neighbors who chat with dead people.
After agreeing to help out temporarily, sensible Bella doesn’t need psychic gifts to figure out that a houseful of tourists and a litter of kittens lie in her immediate future–or that Leona was murdered. It’s up to her to solve the case so that she and Max can leave town, but their new home–like Leona’s killer–might just lurk where she least expects it.
KEEP READING TO READ LORNA’S REVIEW
AND LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BOOK!
by Wendy Corsi Staub
Lily Dale Series
NOTE: According to the book’s blurb, this is the first installment in the series. However, Goodreads has it listed as Lily Dale #6. We are not sure which is correct.
Crooked Lane Books
October 27, 2015
I am pretty sure I have read other books by this author, but have no real idea-I just read too much and too many books. I loved the cover of this book and the synopsis so I ordered it from Net Galley in exchange for a fair and honest review. It wasn’t until the day after I finished it that I realized it was for young adults. That didn’t matter a bit to me!
If you like cozy mysteries with a side of supernatural, that happen in small towns, this could be your next good read. Lily Dale is a town that is made up of mediums, and I am not talking about sizes. They do psychic readings and have a season where outsiders spend periods of time getting all kinds of spiritual things done. What made this book extra fun for me is that I once spent a three day weekend in a town exactly like this and had a fantastic time getting read, having handwriting analysis(that fit me to a tee) and even hearing from a boy that died back in high school-and the psychic even said his real name to me! I was freaking let me tell you! So with that experience in hand, I jumped into this book and enjoyed every minute-well except for a couple things.
Bela Jordan has had more than her share of bad luck. Her beloved husband died leaving her and her young son destitute due to medical bills. So she packs up her child to move to Chicago from upstate New York to live with her pretty horrible mother in law-the one that never approved of her. Since she has no family left, this is her only option. Right before they have to leave, a pregnant cat shows up on their doorstep and wont leave. Her son, Max, wants to keep her, but since her mother in law would not approve, it’s not going to happen. Relunctantly, they leave the town that Bela spent her married life and the only home that Max has ever known. During a horrible storm while trying find a campground, Bela and Max have to stop for a cat in the road-one that wont move. Funny thing? It looks just like the cat they left 400 hundred miles away-right down to the pregnancy and the same collar. So after a trip to a local vet and the micro chip in the cat’s ear giving them an address, they make the trip to Lily Dale, only to find that the cat’s owner has passed away. It’s a guest house, the season for the people to all show up starts the next day, and long story short, Bela agrees to stay and help.
I am not going to go into the mystery or even all the spooky things that happen. But I will say that there are supernatural things afoot in this town as well as an evil human. This is not a romance, although I kept waiting for one to happen, but since it all takes place in just a few days time there really isn’t time. However, two men are introduced into the story that could very well be romance material for Bela, who by the way, is still grieving for her husband-so in that respect it was very realistic. Through the whole thing, the cat named, Chance the Cat, becomes a main character. And Max starts exhibiting a bit of psychic behavor himself when it comes to the cat.
I enjoyed all the characters of this small town, and of course all the guests that come only add to the quirkiness. Bela, at times, made me want to shake her when she would not tell something important to the mystery or when she has a too stupid to live moment towards the end of the book. And when Bela comes under suspicion for something that she could have never done because hello-she lived 400 miles away when it happened-that kind of irked me.Just was pretty unnecessary and not something that would have happened in real life. Other than that, I really enjoyed the mystery, the town, the cat and her babies, and the possibility of a romance for Bela in a future book.
I recommend this read to ages 14+ and anyone that enjoys a good cozy mystery.
About Wendy Corsi Staub
New York Times bestseller Wendy Corsi Staub is the award-winning author of more than eighty novels, best known for the single title psychological suspense novels she writes under her own name. Those novels and the women’s fiction she writes under the pseudonym Wendy Markham also frequently appear on the USA Today, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Bookscan bestseller lists.
In 2015, Wendy will publish three new novels: THE BLACK WIDOW (on sale in February), which concludes her cyber predator suspense trilogy for HarperCollins; BLOOD RED (on sale in September), which launches Mundy’s Landing, a new psychological suspense trilogy for HarperCollins; and NINE LIVES (on sale in October), which launches Lily Dale, a new cozy mystery series for Crooked Lane.
A two-time finalist for the prestigious Simon and Schuster Mary Higgins Clark Award, she’s won the 2008 RT Award for Career Achievement in Suspense, the 2007 RWA-NYC Golden Apple Award for Lifetime Achievement, an RWA Rita award, and five WLA Washington Irving Prizes for Fiction.
She previously published a dozen adult suspense novels with Kensington Books as well as the acclaimed young adult series Lily Dale with Walker/Bloomsbury. Earlier in her career, she published in a broad range of genres under her own name and various pseudonyms, and has co-authored and ghostwritten for a number of celebrities.
Wendy grew up in a small town near Buffalo and graduated from SUNY Fredonia. She moved to Manhattan and became an editor before selling her first novel in 1992.
She now lives in the New York City suburbs with her husband and sons. A vocal and active supporter of Relay for Life, Support Connection, and the American Cancer Society, she was a 2012 Ovarian Cancer Awareness month national spokesperson for the Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation. As an animal rights advocate, she fosters for various rescue organizations.