Midlife is the Cat’s Meow by Miranda Macleod and T.B. MarkinsonMidlife is the Cat’s Meow by Miranda Macleod and T.B. Markinson is a paranormal cozy mystery set on an island off the east coast that is the ancestral home to families of witches.

The FBI came for her philandering husband and her car is making a bad noise as she drives her girls to the childhood island home she’s been warned to stay away from forever. What more could go wrong?

Tallie Shipton worries about these things and more as she comes home to her mother, who had always disapproved of her non-magical husband. Turns out she was right, and now Tallie has to start over in middle age with two girls on the verge of those precarious teen years, and on the cusp of becoming witches themselves. She really should tell the girls about that before it happens.

On top of all that her mother’s B&B, where Tallie inhabits her old room in the attic, has been totally booked by the world’s most obnoxious and super famous author. As if all that isn’t enough, there are these strangely romantic feelings she’s getting for the town doctor, cousin of a hated bully from her high school years. Welcome home!


The large amount of backstory Tallie and her family and her witch community gets a great jump from the first chapter. A breezy and humorous account of Tallie arriving home covers a surprisingly large number of bases, so when the mystery begins to appear the reader is ready.

Accompanying the mystery is a lingering threat from a secret organization that might do…something, if she does…something. This creates a lingering worry for Tallie and informs a lot of her actions, or inactions, and understanding of situations. Tallie has a lot of forces at work around her, which heightens the mystery.

The writing style sweeps a reader along, without dragging anywhere. The creepy parts are creepy without gore or violence, and the relationships between characters are nuanced and always somehow humorous.

Pros And My Favourite Parts

This book is based on a series the authors produced under a pen name some years back, and it shows in the depth of world building already in place. I was immediately drawn into Tallie’s story because of the fast moving and involved opening chapter that has a lot of weight from the earlier works. There is a lot at play, not just her personal problems, and I really enjoyed the quick deep dive into a place that has the potential for a lot of fun paranormal play in future books. That this is the beginning of a series makes me very happy.

Best of all, the humor is excellent. There were several times I laughed out loud and was often grinning at a clever thought or aside. Everything is gently done in this story. The sweet romance has a light touch, the spooks are seemingly harmless to life or limb and yet might give a reader a bit of a shiver. I enjoyed all of the characters, even the obnoxious ones, and was rooting for Tallie from the jump.

Heads Up

Loss of a sibling that kicks off events in the past.

The Conclusion

Tallia Shipton returns under a cloud to her childhood home on an island off the Maine coast. Her daughters don’t yet know they’re witches, but they’ll find out soon enough in the tourist town of Goode Harbor, ancestral home to families of witches. She moves back into her childhood home, her mom’s B&B. It’s been fully rented by a super obnoxious and super famous author so he can work in peace. Spooky paranormal activities and a mystery disturb that peace, making Tallie’s life even more challenging.

Goode Harbor is a setting used in a series from a few years back, and it’s a great place for a mystery, a sweet romance and a lot of humor. The witchcraft used is familiar and benign, as gentle as everything else in the book. This is the first book in a new series and I’m very much looking forward to new adventures.

Excerpt from Midlife is the Cat’s Meow by Miranda Macleod and T.B. Markinson

There wasn’t any admonishment in Dana’s expression, but guilt spooled inside me anyway. In the painful aftermath of Maya’s death, with the Shadow Council breathing down my neck and making life a living hell for everyone around me, cutting off communication with all my friends and loved ones had seemed like the best, or maybe the only, way to keep them out of the fray.

Not that I’d ever explained this to anyone. No doubt they all thought I was a heartless jerk who didn’t care about them.

“Are those your girls?” Dana asked as she looked toward the stacks where my daughters were choosing books.

“They are,” I confirmed, my heart bursting with pride despite the hellish bike ride they’d just put me through. “The older one is Tabitha, and the younger is Sabrina. I’d introduce you, but for the first time in weeks they’re actually not complaining. The silence is golden.”

Dana laughed. “It’s difficult being that age. Feeling awkward about everything and not understanding half of what’s going on, all the while convinced you know everything.”

“I remember.”

Standing there in front of this friend I’d abandoned so long ago and uncertain how to make it right, I was acutely aware I might never have left my awkward stage behind me. I still didn’t understand things, people most of all. How hadn’t I realized wat Phil was doing sooner? But I’d wasted too much of my life on such a loser already.

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Series: My So-Called Hexed Midlife

Midlife is the Cat’s Meow by Miranda Macleod and T.B. Markinson


Bits and Bobs

ISBN number: 9798390252086

Publisher: Indie Author

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