“Jim Qwilleran is not exactly overwhelmed by his new assignment for the Daily Fluxion. Interior design has never been one of his specialties and now he’s supposed to turn out an entire magazine on the subject every week! But the first issue of Gracious Abodes is barely off the presses when Qwilleran finds himself back on more familiar territory—the exclusive residence featured on the cover has been burglarized and the lady of the house found dead…now Qwilleran and Koko—the brilliant Siamese—have their respective moustache and whiskers twitching, and when Koko starts pawing clues in the dictionary and sniffing designer furniture, Qwilleran finds himself doing a feature on a very clever murder.” – barnesandnobel.com
Although I don’t usually read mysteries, I think this book may have converted me. The Cat Who… books are technically a series (seeing as they have the same characters in each) but don’t really follow a certain “order”, which is interesting to me.
This particular books happens to be the second, and no I haven’t read the first, but I’ll DEFINITELY read more of these, in the future.
Lets go ahead and get to the good :
- One major thing that I found to be a huge asset to this book actually had nothing to do with the writing, it was the time period in which this was published. This book was written in the late 60’s , and I believe the lack of technology in this really added to the mystery. I urge you to prove me wrong on this, but I believe that a modern day mystery just isn’t able to have the affect a mystery from the days before Google can have. (Seriously please tell me about your favorite modern day mystery)
- The pacing of this book was very good. There was not a moment where I wondered when the book was going to end, even though there was little to no action.
- Every character had a purpose, even the ones with minor parts.
- I enjoyed the main protagonist, Qwilleran. Not only does he have the COOLEST NAME EVER, but he’s a reporter, the best job to investigate a murder (aside from a cop, maybe). On top of that, Qwilleran REALLY feels like a reporter. The way he questions everyone feels authentic and I was honestly in awe of that at certain points in the book.
I really had to nitpick for the “bad” things in this book, but here is what I found :
- These books are advertised to feature a man and his brilliant cat solving mysteries together and don’t get me wrong, I didn’t expect the cat to talk or anything, but I feel the cat should have played a larger role. Sure he might have come across the “final clue”(don’t worry, no spoilers in this review), but I really felt there was a better way to use the cat, and put him in the spotlight more than he was.
- I wish I could have learned more about the love interest. She was quirky and interesting, and I wanted her around more, maybe she will be in more books though, I don’t know.
- Finally, I do think the ending was rather abrupt, but nothing like that of the last book I talked about. (I’m finding that abrupt endings may be a literary pet peeve of mine.)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and will definitely be back for more at some point.