This book came into my life serendipitously. I took my first out-of-state vaccinated soiree back home to the sweaty state of Louisiana to see family a few weeks back (Yay!). I’m a big fan of an outdoor walk so I took my mom along for a jaunt and we walked around the neighborhood outside of my aunt’s house and happened upon a little free library. I’m more of the reader and she is more of the shopper, but together that means that neither of us possess the capacity to turn down a free book, so we took a gander and lo and behold this book was in there, the second book in a series I remember with joy.
I have a great fondness for “The Cat Who” series as I remember reading all of the ones I could get my paws (cat pun) on at the local library when I was a youngun. Cozy mysteries provided a neat escape and I enjoyed following journalist Qwilleran on his adventures to solve crimes, aided by his clever cats. Plus, I grew up watching Murder She Wrote reruns with my parents and if you gender-swapped Angela Lansbury and gave her a cat, you’re basically looking at the same premise of murders in small towns with a rich cast of colorful characters. The plot of this book could be described as “madcap,” involving an interior design magazine, an eccentric collector of jade, and of course murder! It was a fun hoot, not predictable in that she leaves out details you would need to solve the mystery, but a textbook cozy mystery. And of course, signs of the times, the quote I used for my post refers to women: eesh. But you know what you’re getting yourself into, and Braun does what she can to write interesting female characters for the time frame.
It was fun to jump in at the beginning and travel in the way back machine to this 1967 book. Fun fact: the first three books came out in 1966, 1967, and 1968 and then there was an 18 year gap (!) and then a new book was published each year until 2007. Allegedly, she stopped writing the mysteries because the genre had begun to include more sex and violence, and she had a full-time job and only resumed writing after she retired in 1984. The 30th book in the series was set to come out in 2008 but it was postponed and remains unpublished. Braun was notoriously private so little is known about her and she died in 2011 at the age of 97.
I’m glad to have come across it because I mentioned Braun’s book in my own book in progress, so it seemed like a nice nod from the universe that I should keep on truckin’.