From School Library Journal
YA-Braun continues the adventures of the odd, but successful, sleuthing team of Jim Quilleran and his cats. When Koko begins knocking books off the library shelf, Jim knows that his feline is once again using his unusual talents to prophesy future events of the murderous kind. Taking hints from the cat, and clues from the murder of his elderly neighbor and the disappearance of a young artist, the man sorts out the motive for and perpetrator behind the mayhem. By providing background on the various characters and their relationships and mentioning previous events, the author makes sure that even first timers to the series can enjoy this title. The strongly defined personalities of the main characters lend interest and the plot has realistic complexities that assure a steady turning of pages. Braun's use of details and discussions about everyday events enhances the feeling of community interconnections and concerns. Koko's quirky predictions and other cat-ly antics add spice to an already enticing mystery. A light, entertaining whodunit that offers the added appeal of cats and their often mysterious ways.Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
More dire doings in Pickax (``400 miles north of everywhere''), where bachelor zillionaire Jim Qwilleran keeps a paternalistic eye on the town from his opulent barn house and his columnist job on Moose County Something, the local paper. Pickax has been saddened by the death of 93-year-old recluse Maude Coggin in a supposedly accidental fire in her decrepit house soon after she'd sold her hundred-acre farm, at a giveaway price, to buyers called Northern Land Improvement. Qwill's suspicions of this deal, reinforced by prescient cats Koko and Yum Yum, lead to his finding the company nonexistent. Some big-time chicanery is afoot, not to mention other odd happenings: a break-in and theft at the recently opened art center; an old scandal new to Qwill; the misgivings of boutique owner Elizabeth Hart about her boyfriend Derek's being offered a job as manager of Chet's Barbecuea downscale bar owned by town councilman Chet Ramsbottom. And then there's young butterfly-breeder Phoebe Sloan, whose unsavory boyfriend Jake is bartender at Chet's. When the town's major annual event takes placeit's a spelling beePhoebe is missing from her team. With help from Qwill and, of course, Koko and Yum Yum, the discovery of her body in Bloody Creek brings about the downfall of Pickax's corrupting elements. Braun's terminally arch mixture (The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, 1997, etc.) is even more extreme than before as confusion reigns, characters proliferate, and Qwill, with his second-sighted assistants, once more solves Pickax's problems. -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.