My rating: 3 of 5 stars to Lilian Jackson Braun‘s novel, The Cat Who Smelled a Rat, the 23rd entry in the “Cat Who” mystery series. Koko and Yum Yum are at it again in this cute cozy about arson, explosions and murder.
When this was published in 2001, the writer was almost 90 years old. She’d written a marvelous set of books all about a cozy little town up in the mountains of Moose County, 400 miles north of everywhere… basically on the Canadian border near the Great Likes, but on the US side. And she continued to write another 7 books in the last decade of her life before she passed away just before her 97th birthday. She was a bit of a recluse in the last 15 years, probably a bit sick from time to time. Many suspect a team of writers finished the books for her in the later years, but that’s only what I’ve read on the interwebs. I get all my news from there.
This book is your normal cozy… some good parts, some bad parts… the charm is in the characters and the town, less about the mystery with her books. You really get to know everyone, the history and all the core families, so it’s more like reading about a good friend. You can forgive a less than stellar story when you’re happy to be around people you like.
That said, the mystery has some fun with the “rats” and the “cats” this time. Always good antics…. but the best is the main character, Qwill. I wish I could meet him in real life. But if you must know, it really is the cats that solve the crime. Every time.
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