On the surface, things appear tranquil in Moose County. Jim Qwilleran, newspaper columnist and the county's richest resident, has moved back in to the remodelled apple barn with his two remarkable felines, Koko and Yum Yum. And the newly built gazebo is providing an idyllic opportunity for all three to commune with nature.But then an elderly woman dies in a suspicious fire. Next, the newly opened art centre falls victim to a mysterious break-in. Throw in a scandal involving an unscrupulous local politician and an anti-computer uprising at the town library and life in Pickax is anything but peaceful ...
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Lilian Jackson Braun 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. She and her husband, Earl, live in the mountains of North Carolina.From Kirkus Reviews:
More dire doings in Pickax (``400 miles north of everywhere''), where bachelor zillionaire Jim Qwilleran keeps a paternalistic eye on the town from his opulent barn house and his columnist job on Moose County Something, the local paper. Pickax has been saddened by the death of 93-year-old recluse Maude Coggin in a supposedly accidental fire in her decrepit house soon after she'd sold her hundred-acre farm, at a giveaway price, to buyers called Northern Land Improvement. Qwill's suspicions of this deal, reinforced by prescient cats Koko and Yum Yum, lead to his finding the company nonexistent. Some big-time chicanery is afoot, not to mention other odd happenings: a break-in and theft at the recently opened art center; an old scandal new to Qwill; the misgivings of boutique owner Elizabeth Hart about her boyfriend Derek's being offered a job as manager of Chet's Barbecuea downscale bar owned by town councilman Chet Ramsbottom. And then there's young butterfly-breeder Phoebe Sloan, whose unsavory boyfriend Jake is bartender at Chet's. When the town's major annual event takes placeit's a spelling beePhoebe is missing from her team. With help from Qwill and, of course, Koko and Yum Yum, the discovery of her body in Bloody Creek brings about the downfall of Pickax's corrupting elements. Braun's terminally arch mixture (The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, 1997, etc.) is even more extreme than before as confusion reigns, characters proliferate, and Qwill, with his second-sighted assistants, once more solves Pickax's problems. -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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