October arrives in Moose County on the heels of a long drought, and the citizens of Pickax worry about wildfires. Their fears are realised in an unexpected manner, with a case of arson - and the shooting of a volunteer fire-watcher as he is reporting the blaze. The crime wave continues as the president of the curling club is pushed to his death ...
October arrives in Moose County on the heels of a long drought, and the citizens of Pickax worry about wildfires. Their fears are realised in an unexpected manner, with a case of arson - and the shooting of a volunteer fire-watcher as he is reporting the blaze. The crime wave continues as the president of the curling club is pushed to his death down a flight of stairs, and it's up to Qwilleran and Co. to sniff out the rat who is responsible for it all.
'The Cat Who Smelled a Rat', more than any of the other "The Cat Who' books, made Moose County, '400 miles north of everywhere' seem real to me. I could imagine myself so worried about accidental or deliberately set fires that I'd want 'before snow flies' to end and long for the big snowstorm to start, even if I were snowbound for a week, as human amateur detective Qwilleran tells a new resident she will be after the 'last drink' parties end. Lilian Jackson Braun was able to intrigue me and baffle me as I wondered what would make a woman board her five beloved cats and leave her home to seem to elope with a man who does not like cats. I have to believe that the author knows big cities and small towns and has experience with promoted ceremonies that don't happen the way they're reported in newspapers, on radio, and on television. I don't believe that a cat really can thrive eating only sardines, but I can almost see Winston so contented when the contents of those cans of his favorite fish. Read this book, and read the earlier books set in the big city, and read the other books set in Moose County. If you're like me, there can't be too much of Qwilleran and his feline companions, Koko who somehow knows who did what and knows how to point to the right clues, and Yum Yum who unties shoe laces.
Publishers Weekly, 2000-11-27 The 23rd entry in Braun's Cat Who... series (The Cat Who Robbed a Bank; The Cat Who Saw Stars; etc.) testifies to the amazing popularity of mysteries featuring cats. Once again philanthropist-journalist Jim Qwilleran, columnist for the Something, the local newspaper of Pickax City in Moose County, turns for crime-solving help to his insightful and sensitive Siamese sleuths, Koko and Yum Yum. It's late October and the residents of Pickax are praying for the Big One, the annual blizzard that ushers in the long winter. This year it is much needed since the extreme drought conditions have made the area a virtual tinderbox. After several fires break out, volunteers form the Citizens' Fire Watch to protect the historic shafthouses, all that remain of the county's once prosperous mines. Anxiety increases as more fires occur and a volunteer is shot dead at one of the shafthouses. When the president of the local curling club dies from a fall, Qwilleran, with a twitch of his moustache and an ear-splitting shriek from Koko, joins his feline assistants to find the rat responsible before snow flies. Regular fans will enjoy being back with old friends and will be intrigued by the eccentric new additions to Pickax. The complexities of small-town life and the feline antics portrayed with Braun's apt wit and humor combine with a puzzling mystery to make for a most welcome addition to the series. (Feb. 5) Forecast: With a solid bestseller track record for this series, this entry is sure to claw its way up the lists. British rights have been sold to Headline. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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