In the mood for a heart-pounding, mind-stimulating mystery? What about a creative tale featuring a hyper-sensitive moustache and a cat that can read?
Lillian Jackson Braun’s The Cat Who… series epitomizes the mystery genre. While there is the predictable death and intrigue, the imagination embedded in these books makes them anything but your run-of-the mill mystery.
When reading a mystery, one must consider every little detail as a clue. With these mysteries, every little detail may be a clue, but just as the reader starts connecting dots, the realization dawns that the dots cannot be connected, that the clues they were piecing together were in fact red herrings, events to throw the reader off the track that in reality have absolutely no bearing on the case at hand. So then in the next book, the clever reader ignores seemingly blatant red herrings only to discover that they weren’t red herrings after all.
The point is, these books are unpredictable. Trends from one may or may not apply to the next murder. You are not going to be able to solve it half-way through, so of course you won’t be able to stop reading until you reach the end.
But one thing all the books share is a dynamic duo: James Qwilleran (yes that’s Qw NOT Qu) and his Siamese cat K’ao Ko Kung (aka Koko). While Qwilleran jumps from beat to beat- Art, Interior Design, Food, his own Column, etc, intrigue follows. And where there is intrigue, the curious man with the bushy salt-and-pepper mustache and his cat detective put their heads together to solve it.
Maybe not, but enjoyable they certainly are. It’s not like the cat talks- Siamese are just a special breed of animal with superior minds. And of course nobody notices a cat when they show up to murder someone, so if the cat can somehow communicate what it’s seen, say by showing its owner secret doors hidden behind tapestries for example, or tracing certain letters with its nose… Added to that Qwilleran has a mustache that may not be as sensitive as Koko’s whiskers but certainly has a knack for giving its owner hunches. The combination is enough to make murderers shake in their shoes.
Varying in lengths these books are perfect for anything from a week or a month of puzzling to warming up the mind on a Sunday evening for the week ahead.