Friday, March 22, 2013

The Cat Who Played Brahms

1987, Jove Books edition from later that year
Lilian Jackson Braun
The Cat Who Played Brahms
Original price $3.50, purchase price $1.95
Very worn paperback

Here it is, the game-changer, the book that moved the series to Moose County, although at first it just seems like Qwill is taking a vacation in the cabin that belongs to his "Aunt Fanny" (his late mother's old friend).  Back in the city, Qwill is starting to be bothered by changes, both at work and at the press club, apparently due to technology and women entering the work force.  Aunt Fanny herself is a go-getter, running the county because of her wealth and blackmail.  She dies-- murder of course-- and leaves everything to Qwill, although the inheritance isn't revealed until the end.  She's 89 and Qwill is about 40 years past 7.  It's June and he's been living at Maus Haus awhile.

Braun does a nice job creating the atmosphere, including hints towards future mysteries.  Koko plays audio cassettes, which has to be the most dated aspect of the book, even at the time.  (Tapes still existed but were rapidly being replaced by CDs.)  Love interest Rosemary is eased out of the series without being maligned, it's just clear that she doesn't have the sense of humor that Qwill needs.  Dr. Melinda Goodwinter is first referred to as plain, but then Qwill notices her stunning eyes and lashes, as well as her flirty charm, so she'll clearly be the replacement love interest, at least for awhile.  And there are lots of other new characters of course, yet it's no more obvious that we're going to be with them for awhile than that the Junk Street gang wouldn't become regulars.  We will, however, hear of an important sale on Junk Street in the next book....

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