Monday, June 13, 2011

The Cat Who Saw Red

The Cat Who Saw Red. Lilian Jackson Braun. 1986. Penguin. 250 pages.

Jim Qwilleran slumped in a chair in the Press Club dining room, his six-feet-two telescoped into a picture of dejection and his morose expression intensified by the droop of his oversized mustache.

Jim Qwilleran has just been designated the paper's food critic. Unfortunately, Jim has just been placed on a diet by his doctor. When he gets the news that the paper is going to be paying him to eat at all the local restaurants, he's reading over his diet sheet.
No potatoes
No bread
No cream soups
No fried foods
No gravy
No sour cream
No desserts
No wonder Jim is feeling down! His first assignment takes him to Maus Haus where he crosses paths with an old girlfriend--now married, now a potter. He also learns that there's an apartment to rent. True, Maus Haus houses some very eccentric people, but there's also a great cook and housekeeper. (I'm not quite sure how to feel about Jim moving in every book!) His two Siamese cats, Koko and Yum Yum seem to like this move. And his two cats especially love all the food he's bringing home--since Qwill is on a diet, since he's restricting himself to three bites per dish.

But it isn't long before Jim and Koko are back at work solving another mystery. His ex, Joy Graham, has gone missing, and though her husband claims she's run off--again--this time to Florida--a state Jim knows she hates--it may take him a while to really discover the truth.

I enjoyed this one. I did. I am just loving the Cat Who mysteries. I love Koko and Jim. (I still don't feel like I "know" Yum Yum.) These books are just very satisfying, very cozy.

Qwilleran tried to entertain the group with tales about Koko and Yum Yum. "They can smell through the refrigerator door," he said. "If there's lobster in there, they won't eat chicken, and if there's chicken, they won't eat beef. Salmon has to be a nationally advertised brand; don't ask me how they know. In the morning Koko rings for his breakfast; he steps on the tabulator key of the typewriter, which jerks the carriage and rings the bell. One of these days I think he'll learn to type." (40-41)

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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