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The Cat Who Sang for the Birds (The Cat Who... Mysteries, Book 20)


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When a young artist suddenly disappears, Qwill, Koko and Yum Yum know they have some serious sleuthing to do ...

About the Author

Lilian Jackson Braun composed her first poem at the age of two. She began writing her Cat Who... detective series when one of her own Siamese cats mysteriously fell to its death from her apartment block. Since then over twenty Cat Who... novels have been published, all featuring the very talented Koko and Yum Yum, Siamese cats with a bent for detection. She and her husband, Earl, live in the mountains of North Carolina.


YA-Braun continues the adventures of the odd, but successful, sleuthing team of Jim Quilleran and his cats. When Koko begins knocking books off the library shelf, Jim knows that his feline is once again using his unusual talents to prophesy future events of the murderous kind. Taking hints from the cat, and clues from the murder of his elderly neighbor and the disappearance of a young artist, the man sorts out the motive for and perpetrator behind the mayhem. By providing background on the various characters and their relationships and mentioning previous events, the author makes sure that even first timers to the series can enjoy this title. The strongly defined personalities of the main characters lend interest and the plot has realistic complexities that assure a steady turning of pages. Braun's use of details and discussions about everyday events enhances the feeling of community interconnections and concerns. Koko's quirky predictions and other cat-ly antics add spice to an already enticing mystery. A light, entertaining whodunit that offers the added appeal of cats and their often mysterious ways.-Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA

Koko is once again cat of the hour in this barely puzzling 20th entry in the series featuring former newsman Jim Qwilleran and his sleuthing Siamese cat companions (The Cat Who Tailed a Thief, 1997, was the 19th). Although most residents of Pickax City are enthralled by its new art museum, some movers and shakers are less than happy with the unsightly homestead across the road from it. Qwill interviews the garrulous woman who lives there and is enchanted with her plainspoken manner. But very soon she dies in a fire that destroys her home; at just about the same time, someone breaks into the museum and steals some paintings. Qwill quietly orchestrates a large funeral for the woman. Community happenings and his personal life occupy much of Qwill's time as he coordinates the town spelling bee, which is being promoted as an athletic event, observes the strange behavior of a young woman who paints pictures of butterflies and battles bouts of jealousy as his lady love, librarian Polly, gets her portrait painted by an affable artist. It's up to the prescient Koko and his confrere Yum Yum to nudge Qwill into uncovering the town's more mysterious goings-on. Cat and Qwilleran fans will welcome this benign series addition, which chronicles the ongoing relationships of the series characters with only a whisker's twitch of crime solving. (Feb.)

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