<0>### From Publishers Weekly
Lovers of bestseller Braun's irresistible Siamese cats, regal Koko and delicate Yum Yum, and their pet human, Jim Qwilleran, will need no further recommendation than the title for this 25th book in the series. (Remember The Cat Who Went Up the Creek?) The locale is the same, the town of Pickax in Moose County, 400 miles north of everywhere, with its peculiar, lovable citizens. Into this bucolic setting comes Thelma Thackeray, a native of Moose County, who, having achieved fame and fortune in Hollywood, is returning at age 82 to die. But first she intends to have some fun. Everyone is curious about the glamorous retiree, who also has purchased the long-vacant opera house downtown. Local historians recall that Thelma's twin brother, Thurston, had operated an animal hospital in neighboring Lockmaster until his tragic death from an accidental fall a year earlier. Now his son, Richard, has come to live with Thelma. When she decides to turn the opera house into a film club, Dick is offered the position of manager-with startling results. The first public event in the renovated opera house is the Kit Kat Revue, a fund-raiser, whose finale is a procession of prominent citizens with their pets, all cats. Qwill and Koko are at the end of the line, and that's when Koko brings down the house. In her inimitable gentle style, Braun documents the daily activities of the inhabitants of Pickax. Kidnappings, robberies and murders may abound, but nothing is really upsetting or unpleasant. Braun devotees will cheer.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
### From Booklist
This is the twenty-fifth volume of these intensely mild-mannered mysteries: it is hard to conceive of a more dulcet whodunit. Local columnist Qwilleran--Qwill, our hero--is immensely wealthy but funnels it through a foundation; lives in Pickax, Moose County, 400 miles north of anywhere; and dates the town librarian (although she's about to throw that over because libraries aren't about books anymore; Qwill's foundation is going to set her up in a bookstore). Thelma Thackeray, in her 80s, comes back to Pickax after a long Hollywood career in food. She's turning the old opera house into a revival movie theater, sparks a few other local delights, but can't seem to get her ne'er-do-well nephew to do well at all. Qwill plugs away at old lies and a death in Thelma' s family. We learn stuff through his newspaper column and his journal entries, and through the responses of his Siamese cat, Koko. All the murders are offstage: the fun part is in food, clothing, and the quotidian joys of small-town life; there's no sex and barely a whiff of technology. How can one fail to be amused by naming conventions that include local weatherman Wetherby Goode? *GraceAnne DeCandido*
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