Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Cat Who Wasn't There

The second book that I completed on the trip was The Cat Who Wasn't There by Lilian Jackson Braun. I was due for a straight who-dunnit mystery and I also needed to read a shorter novel after just completing the lengthy The Seventh Scroll. This book is the 15th in the "Cat Who..." series and although I haven't read all of them up to this point I would guess I have completed about 10-11 of them. I confess to not having read them in order, something I normally never do, but that is due to the nature of how I acquire them. You see I received several as gifts, years ago and I knew my mother had read them and liked them so I gave them a try. Since then I occasionally pick one up at a used book store but by no means own all of them nor read them in the correct order. That really doesn't matter though as each is a stand alone story and the parts of the bigger story arc that stretch across books are slow moving and easily picked up by the context of each book.

I do enjoy these novels...the more of them I read the more I enjoy them. They are safe mysteries, meaning I know what I'm getting each time I read one. I envy the main character's position in life: wealthy due to unexpected inheritance, yet living somewhat frugally in a small town filled with quirky characters. He writes a column in the local newspaper on topics he thinks are interesting. Really, it's a stress free life...or should be. The problem is, just like other who- dunnit protagonists, there are a lot of murders that seem to take place in his small town, and with the assistance of his two siamese cats, he usually gets into the middle of it.

This particular entry in the series is among the favorites of the fans. It's easy to see why. Quill (Jim Quilleran, the protagonist), agrees to travel to Scotland with several of the townspeople and see the sites. This gets him out of the normal town routines and gives readers a change of scenery. The actual murder and subsequent mystery and the solving thereof takes many twists and turns as we travel with Quill to Scotland and back home again. His girlfriend is being stalked by an unknown person(s) and Quill himself is being stalked by an old flame intent upon marriage. Could she have her eye on that vast fortune of his? The town's character and it's quirky residents are on full display. All in all a witty story well told. I will keep on reading these books at a rate of 1-2 per year because its always nice to come home to a friendly place.

The trip still wasn't over yet though so one more book to tell you about on the next blog.

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Top 10 Books in no particular order (Well Known Authors)

  • "The Stand" by Stephen King
  • "Kane and Able" by Jeffrey Archer
  • "The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara
  • "The Dark Elf Trilogy" by RA Salvatore
  • "Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss
  • "River God" by Wilbur Smith
  • "Mortalis" by RA Salvatore
  • "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
  • "Centennial" by James A Michener
  • "The Repairman Jack" series by F. Paul Wilson

Top Books/ Series in no particular order (Lesser Known Authors)

  • "The Sculpter" by Gregory Funaro
  • "Power Down" by Ben Coes
  • "Revolution at Sea Saga" by James L. Nelson
  • "Black Rain" by Graham Brown
  • "Top Producer" by Norb Vonnegut
  • "Prairie" by Anna Lee Waldo
  • "The Wild Blue" by W. Boyne & S Thompson
  • "Unsolicited" series by Julie Kaewert
  • "Freedom" by William Safire