The Cat Who Went into the Closet
by Lilian Jackson Braun
My rating: 5 / 5
Genre: Cozy mystery
Former crime reporter Jim Qwilleran plans to spend the winter in the northern climate of Pickaxe City in an old mansion, rather than in his converted apple barn, where snow drifts make it difficult to come and go. He must battle the elements as he stages a one-man show throughout the area, while the mansion’s former owner’s purported suicide and a seemingly unrelated disappearance provide a mysterious diversion.
Braun had a thing for starting her books with some kind of shocking scene. While some of them don’t work so well (like trying to make us think that Qwilleran—the main character of the series, mind you—was killed in a car accident), this one really got me. And it sets the tone for the rest of the book, which contained quite a bit of action compared to the rest of the series. Those action scenes are a good balance against the scenes in the old, dark mansion, where Koko’s antics-of-the-moment provide Qwilleran with a plethora of clues. All of the elements in this story, from the main mystery to the side plots, came together to be one of the better installments in the series for me.
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