Monday, June 9, 2008
The Cat Who Could Read Backwards by Lilian Jackson Braun
Jim Qwilleran needs a job. Though his training and preference is the crime beat, he'll take what he can get. That means being the new art writer for the Features section of the Daily Fluxion. Qwilleran knows beans about art, but in talking with local artists, gallery owners and bartenders, he learns one important thing very quickly - no one likes George Bonifield Mountclemens III, the current art critic for the Flux. He's considered arrogant, he gives scathing reviews, and he ruins careers. Except for a select few. When Qwilleran meets Mountclemens, he finds an arrogant, cultured, eccentric, reclusive man and his amazing Siamese cat, Koko, and forms a friendship with both.
Qwilleran settles into town (in an apartment owned by Mountclemens), meets with artists, and does feature stories for the Flux. He also stumbles onto a murder. Then another. And quickly, Qwilleran's instincts and experience have him sleuthing out the story...with the help of a rather amazing cat.
This was a fun read. Though it's a bit dated (written in 1966), the story holds up well even if the technology involved doesn't. There are 28 Cat Who novels so far, and I look forward to reading them all!