Reviewer: spratt

James Qwilleran stayed the compulsory five years in Pickax to completethe requirements placed on his inheritance. He is now officially abillionaire. Now it is time to decide what to do with the rest of hislife. He intends to go somewhere–a quiet island with a beach or amountain hideaway–someplace where he can have seclusion and quiet tosort out his options and make plans.

Qwill (as his friends call him) decides on a whim to spend three monthsin Spudsboro, a small town in the Potato Mountains. It was recommendedhighly by some friends who camped there recently. Finding a house torent is always difficult with two Siamese cats as roommates. The onlything he can find is a huge house on the very top of Big PotatoMountain. It was originally built as an exclusive lodge for well-to-dotourists. More recently it was the home of the area’s most influentialbusinessman–owner of the local newspaper. It didn’t take long for Qwillto discover the house he rented had been the scene of a ghastly murder ayear earlier.

I do admire Jim Qwilleran’s ability to converse with everyone he meets.He is well practiced, of course, since he made his living for years asan investigative reporter for various newspapers. He knows just how tosteer the conversation and just the right questions to ask. He makespeople so comfortable that they usually tell him anything he wants toknow. Of course, he has an uncanny ability to read people and know whenhe is being lied to. Within two days of arriving in town, he is surethat the wrong man is in prison for the murder.

The author does an amazing job of making us empathize with Qwill’sfrustration with the situation he has gotten himself into. He came tothe mountains for solitude and a time of reflection. He had no desire toget mixed up in the politics of the region–environmentalists vs.developers. He really had no desire to get mixed up in the mysterysurrounding the murder. But…being a reporter for so many years (andtruly caring about the innocent man in prison), he just could not resistfinding the truth. It doesn’t take long. Qwill has learned to trust hisinstincts–and the instincts of his cat Koko. Together they follow theclues and confront the real murderer.

I highly recommend that you get acquainted with Jim Qwilleran throughthe Cat Who… mystery series. You will like him.