Book Review: The Cat Who Knew a Cardinal

The Cat Who Knew a Cardinal
Book #12
by Lilian Jackson Braun

My rating: 4.5 / 5
Genre: Cozy mystery

When an unpleasant man is murdered in former crime reporter Jim Qwilleran’s own backyard, he is determined to let the police handle it. But between Koko’s antics and his own inquisitive nature, it isn’t long before he’s unable to stop the theories from forming.

Ahh, the apple barn at last! The thing I remember most from when I read some of this series around 20ish years ago is the converted apple barn with ramps and balconies that Qwilleran, Koko, and Yum Yum live in. I didn’t quite realize how long it took them to get there, but it isn’t surprising that it was this far in, given the progression of Qwilleran’s life up to this point. It’s only a shame that their housewarming is punctuated by murder, not to mention the further tragedy that is more of a spoiler to mention here. The mystery in this book is another good one, though I was struck by similarities in the main players of the drama to those in a previous book, The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts. I loved Koko’s “friendship” with the cardinal and found myself reacting with high sentiments at the developments related to it.

One thing I didn’t care for in this book is the hit that the relationship between Qwilleran and Polly takes. The way they seem to regard each other makes me feel sad and wonder how long they can possibly last. They both seem ready to toss each other over at the first chance. Maybe this is supposed to be due to the fact that neither of them wants a marriage, but they still get quickly jealous over the other paying a little extra attention to someone of the opposite gender. I used to think of their relationship as sweet and comfortable, but I’m definitely starting to see it differently now. We’ll see how that progresses, though, since I’m only a little more than 1/3 of the way through the series, which I do recommend for fans of cozy mysteries.

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