Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Cat Who Lived High

1990, 1991 Jove Books edition
Lilian Jackson Braun
The Cat Who Lived High
Probably bought newish for $4.99
Very worn paperback with broken spine

Qwill, wanting to avoid another Moose County winter, accepts the invitation of Amberina, one of the "Weird Sisters" of Junktown, back in Turned On and Off.  And, yes, like that '60s title, this one has a drug meaning, although it's mostly to do with living in faded luxury in a penthouse. 

Since this is the November of the same year as Went Underground, it's probably 1986.  Qwill (in the fake-out beginning where he seems to have died) is very specifically 52.  He claims it's been three years since he lived in Junktown, but he's also supposed to have moved to Moose County three years ago.  Here's what we're looking at so far:
1982-- Could Read Backwards (Aug/Sept)
1983-- Ate Danish Modern (Feb/Mar), Turned On and Off (Dec I think)
1984-- Saw Red (I forget, spring?), Played Brahms (June), Played Post Office (July)
1985-- Knew Shakespeare (Nov)
1986-- Sniffed Glue (spring?), Went Underground (June/July), Talked to Ghosts (Oct), Lived High (Nov)

So really, he's only been in Moose County two years, five months, but it has been about three years since Junktown.  He reunites with not only Amberina but Mary Duckworth, Robert Maus, and a couple others from On and Off and/or Saw Red, not surprisingly since the plot is again art-related.  (In fact, the murderer victim and her suspicious ex-husband bought the Lambreth Gallery of the first book, and there's a passing mention of Mountclemens.)

It's fun to be back in the Big City, for the reader I mean, not for Qwill who misses everything and everyone Up North.  He does help Koko save "an estimated two hundred persons."  (Braun has some sort of prejudice against the word "people," and it's a quirk that's particularly prominent in this entry.)  And he meets "The Countess," an eccentric old woman who owns the building the penthouse is in.  She's 75, which actually works out with the 1986 date, since she had her debut just before The Crash of '29.

In both this book and the previous one, I really appreciated Arch's loyal friendship to Qwill.  He's still engaged to "the lovely Amanda," but the bromance is more believable. 

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