Saturday, January 31, 2004

I started out life as a mystery reader. Back in the old days, young adult novels consisted of Sweet Valley High and updated Nancy Drew books. I couldn't tolerate Sweet Valley (I wasn't pretty or popular), so that left me with Nancy - and I was quickly entranced.

Around the time I entered high school I outgrew Nancy and moved on to adult fiction. I discovered new authors by browsing the library bookshelves (which is why I have never believed in separating genres when shelving at work). One such author was Lilian Jackson Braun, who has been publishing her Cat Who series since the late 1960s.

In my estimation the series jumped the shark with The Cat Who Saw Stars - and it was around that time I stopped buying my own copy of each new installment. However, possibly due to my sentimentality, I can't seem to let go of this series - so I continue to check out a copy of each new book from work.

The latest - The Cat Who Talked Turkey - reaches a new low point in a series that is slowly and not-so-gracefully falling apart. The mystery is treated as an afterthought, Koko doesn't provide any "hints" to his owner outside of howling when a death occurs, and James Qwilleran spends the book writing a play instead of snooping for clues.

I won't even go into the deteriotation in writing style.

But that's not the worst of it. Oh no. The reader is given no motive! Oh sure, we learn who did the deed, but we can't possibly be troubled with the why.

I'm not a happy girl. My first F rated read in almost a year.

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