Everyone who knows me, knows that I love cats (okay, I began my life as a dog person and I still love them as well), but my heart and soul and anything else they can wheedle out of me belongs to my cats. It’s not surprising that I love cat mysteries and am endlessly amazed at the scope and variety of ways a creative author can weave a cat or two into the pages of a murder.
One of my first cat mystery author was Marian Babson, and I find spending time with her books like spending time with old friends. I was first introduced to her with the novel, “Nine Lives to Murder”. In the book, actor Win Fortesque falls from a ladder during rehearsal and crashes into Monty, the theatre cat. Somehow during the encounter the two exchange consciousnesses. Win’s body is hospitalized and makes a slow recovery, while his mind now in Monty’s body prowls the theatre looking for clues on who tried to kill him. Obviously, this is a very light mystery and filled with humour and fantasy but it is well paced and the plot does hold together. For someone who loves cats, is just getting into mysteries, or just for a cozy read on a cold damp day, it’s the perfect choice.
This novel always reminds me of a great 1951 black and white movie about a dog who inherits millions, is murdered and returns to earth to find his killer and protect the young woman who was his owner. The movie, stars Dick Powell and is called “You Never Can Tell”. If you can ever catch it, it’s a clever variation on this theme and well worth watching.
Sadly shortly after I’d written his review, the book literally fell apart, so the library doesn’t have copy right now but it’s available from interlibrary loan, other Marian Babson titles are available though and they are all great fun .