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TO CATCH A CAT by Marian Babson

TO CATCH A CAT

By Marian Babson

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-312-20918-5
Publisher: Dunne/Minotaur

All 11-year-old Robin wants to do is sneak into Ingrid Nordling’s house to pinch her cat as part of his entrance requirements into a gang—a gang in the pokey little English town his departed mother’s extended honeymoon has marooned him in. All Nils Nordling wants to do is exercise his God-given right to quarrel with his wife in peace and quiet under their connubial roof. But their paths cross just as the quarrel turns into a fight, and by the time Robin flees the scene, the injured Norwegian Forest cat Leif Eriksson in tow, he’s witnessed a murder. Now all he wants is to be left alone and keep his newfound companion under wraps. But that’s not going to happen. For one thing, not even Robin’s scatty Aunt Mags and her self-absorbed live-in Joshua, a fading radio shock-jock, are going to overlook a cat in the house indefinitely. For another, Nils has become convinced that his best bet with the police is to fake an interrupted burglary and lay Ingrid’s murder on the intruder. And Nils has problems of his own. Somebody, he’s convinced, has been phoning him to demand blackmail, and somebody else—sleazy, persistent Joshua—is squeezing him just as hard for an exclusive radio interview that Joshua proposes to tape in the comfort of the home he’s unwittingly sharing with Leif Eriksson.

Though veteran Babson (The Company of Cats, 1999, etc.) bites off more threatening subplots than she chews, Robin’s sudden, urgent bonding with Leif Eriksson provides a clever, wholly apt vehicle for the usual in-cat-uation.