Punctuation czar Truss (The Girl’s Like Spaghetti: Why, You Can’t Manage Without Apostrophes!, 2007, etc.) turns her very special talents to a cat mystery with a twist: The cats are culprits rather than sleuths or mascots.
Everyone knows that most cats haven’t had the powers of Nietzschean Überkatzen—nine full lives, the ability to speak, the whole megillah—for hundreds of years. In every generation, however, a few Überkatzen arise, like Roger, who’s already used up eight of his lives, and the Captain, the East London mentor who put Roger repeatedly to death to test his mettle. When Roger takes up with Coventry watercolorist Joanna Caton-Jones and her actor brother, Will, aka Wiggy, things are bound to get out of hand, and boy, do they ever. By the time newly widowed periodicals librarian Alec “Bear” Charlesworth stumbles onto the scene, Jo and her border terrier, Jeremy, are dead, Wiggy is wiggy, and the police suspect Wiggy of everything from murder to raving lunacy. Why does every human whose path crosses Roger’s lose the will to live? It’s up to Alec and his faithful dog, Watson, back home in Cambridge and armed with a stolen copy of Nine Lives: The Gift of Satan, to join Wiggy in unraveling a conspiracy that places this latest round of skullduggery in an ancient succession of Überkatzen and their nefarious Cat Masters.
A Chinese box of anti-narrative that reads like M.R. James on bad acid with a laugh track, complete with demonic cats, murderous librarians and badly overmatched amateur sleuths.