The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern by Lilian Jackson Braun

Filed under:Mystery,Series — posted by Randolph on April 19, 2021 @ 12:38 pm

This is the second book in The Cat Who… series. At the beginning of the book, Jim Quilleran has a week to vacate his apartment. He goes to work intending to get a better assignment than the art beat, to be surprised by an assignment to do a weekly interior design supplement to the newspaper called Gracious Abodes.

Given a designer contact of David Lyke, he goes in search of something to write about. David refers him to George Tate, David had done his interior design. David also leads him to a friend who wants someone to sit in his apartment while he is in Europe, it is in a posh building near David. Thus Jim is thrust into a good life, and he begins by sharing his fortune Koko, feeding him fine sea foods.

Within 24 hours of the magazine being published, George Tate’s valuable collection of jade is stolen, his wife dies, and his houseboy, Paolo, disappears and becomes a prime suspect. A point that Jim vehemently disagrees with. The consequences have foreboding affects on The Fluxion! Then David Lyke turns up dead and Koko leads Jim to the clues.

The book gets funny as it delves into the world of interior design. This culture refers to colors by food names that get outrageous as the book goes on. Then sprinkle in a lot of odd characters with unusual quirks makes for a fun read.

Jim picks up a romantic interest in Alacoque Wright, aka Cokey. She has several cat-like characteristics such as scratching at a table when the two met. Except for an occasional salad, she always eats foods a cat would eat, mostly seafood. And she knits (plays with yarn) her own sweaters, so she’s covered in fur.

The author sprinkles lots of words describing furniture and upholstery that I had to look up. It added to the color.

In the end, the mystery was good and resolved well. Although the guilty is revealed early, the why and how are held close until late in the book.

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace