DEAD MAN'S CAT by Carol Beach York


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When the recently widowed Mrs. Morley visits a medium in order to contact her late husband, two shabby children become involved in the search for Mr. Morley's $25,000 stamp album. The dead man, to his wife's chagrin, has left the album to ""whoever finds it""; eventually it is 10-year-old Queenie, having adopted the scrawny cat that Mr. Morley loved but his wife rejects, who finds the stamps in the bottom of the box of cat food that came with the pet. She and her brother Michael are chased through alleys and deserted buildings by the dead man's disagreeable brother, who is also after the album, before they finally deliver the prize to Mrs. Morley (they agree that the stamps are ""rightfully hers"" despite the terms of the will). Michael has been hoping all along for a reward, and sure enough Mrs. Morley decides to show her appreciation by buying him a brand new bicycle and his sister a ruffled pink dress and shiny party shoes. It's the kind of light mystery that avid escapists can breeze through in a short sitting, and we might overlook the characterization of a stereotypically brave, resourceful brother and bumbling, frightened sister if it weren't for those rewards.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1972
Publisher: Nelson