Not Me! Speluncaphobia, Secrets and Hidden Treasure: A Macavity and Me Mystery
Taylor and Seale Publishing (2022)
Reviewed by Kathy Stickles for Reader Views (10/2022)
There is nothing this reader loves more than a cup of coffee, a comfortable chair, and a good cozy mystery to read. In the case of Charlotte Stuart’s new book, “Not Me! Speluncaphobia, Secrets and Hidden Treasure,” I had that and more. This is the third book in her series about Bryn Baczek and her wonderful cat Macavity and it does not disappoint. On a side note, I think that Macavity is just a fabulous character. Even though he has no actual voice, so to speak, the reader always knows what he is thinking and that adds a wonderful bit of humor to the story.
In this novel, Bryn hooks up with her favorite cousin to try to honor their uncle’s memory after he passes away. Uncle Wade is gone and the two ladies need to figure out how to find the buried treasure he was searching for when he died; whether his death was murder or an accident; and just who in this large dysfunctional family is one of the good guys or one of the bad guys. Along the way Bryn and her cousin Ellie have to deal with an uncle who planted various strange, but very real clues for them to follow, some family members and new acquaintances that are full of greed and all of whom raise suspicions, a sailing trip to find clues that may be more of a danger than a fun treasure hunt for the women and the friend who agrees to go with them, and a smart, stowaway cat who can really hold a grudge. All of this adds up to a huge adventure to honor a man that they both loved dearly and, along the way, a lot of secrets and betrayals as well as just the right amount of danger to keep the reader engaged.
Ms. Stuart is an excellent writer who has a knack for giving the reader very well-written and interesting characters, whether they are good, mysterious, evil, or, in this case, feline. In addition, the many clues given to the reader as the story progresses are intriguing and a bit sly, which makes it a fun mystery to try to solve as you are reading. The protagonist is a witty and smart lady who adds just enough bravery and humor to make her someone you can actually care about.
A wonderful heroine, interesting supporting characters, and a lot of adventure and fun make this a great book that is well worth reading and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good mystery with a lot of humor. I am going to go now and find the previous two stories about Bryn and Macavity, which I have not read yet, and get started on them. 5 stars for sure!