THE CAT WHO TAILED A THIEF by Lilian Jackson Braun


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 Yet another chapter in the saccharine saga of Pickax, a far northern town where bad things keep happening to good people (The Cat Who Said Cheese, 1996, etc.). The town's moving spirit is zillionaire Jim Qwilleran, who, accompanied by prescient cats Koko and Yum-Yum, has just moved for the winter months into a condo in Indian Village. Jim's column in the Moose County Something puts him in the center of Pickax's social scene, currently abuzz over Danielle, bride of new banker Willard Carmichael. Danielle's shrill persona and vulgar style mark her as a town misfit. That doesn't apply to her visiting cousin Carter Lee, a low-key, personable architect much interested in Pleasant Street's row of old mansions, which he wants to restore and have placed in the Historic Register. There's also gossip about a recent series of large thefts. All this gives way to shock when banker Carmichael, on a business trip to Detroit, is mugged and fatally shot. Danielle is soon back in circulation and Carter Lee continues to press his preservation scheme, at the same time courting Lynette, the 40ish, never married sister-in-law of Jim Qwilleran's best friend, Polly Duncan. Jim, in full Scots dress, is best man at the wedding. News from New Orleans of Lynette's death (of gastrointestinal complications) starts signals flying from Koko and Yum-Yum, prompting Jim to get to the bottom of it all. Dolls, dirks, dowsers, and kilts, along with folklore and cat lore--all clutter the story, and the murder puzzle, minus suspense or surprise, barely emerges from the flow. Die-hard cat and cozy fans may cheer. For others, a benign waste of time. (Literary Guild alternate; Mystery Guild main selection)

Pub Date: Feb. 10th, 1997
ISBN: 0-399-14210-X
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1996


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