Qwill goes full steam ahead to solve the puzzle before tragedy occurs, but the case is complicated by a train wreck on the main line and a murder in a railroad tavern. Only Qwill and the cats can find the answer to the questions "who" and "why".
©1994 Lilian Jackson Braun; (P)2006 Phoenix Audio
"Best of series, this 17th The Cat Who caper slyly creeps up on the reader." (Publishers Weekly)
From time to time I enjoy taking a literary trip to the world of Jim Quilleran. That world is an unlikely place. It's a small town, several hundred miles from the nearest urban center. The crime rate is low, traffic gridlock doesn't exist, there are good restaurants, an active community theater, a resident millionaire who prefers to share his fortune with the community and two ageless Siamese cats, one of whom may have psychic powers.
Narrator George Guidall does a superb job. I love the tone of his voice, his diction is excellent, and he seems to hit just the right note with character voices.
I listen to these books when I want to relax. I often select them when I want to listen to a book while falling asleep. When I was a child (many years ago), I loved being "read to sleep" and had favorite stories for that purpose. The "Cat Who" books are my adult version of those favorites.
For me this is one of the better books in the series. There are several good mysteries going on, and the introduction of a likeable new character who appears in later books.
The cats play a significant role in the story. If you dislike cats, you may find "Koko" and "Yum Yum" irritating. If you prefer very "realistic" stories, you may find the entire book annoying.
However, if you want to relaxing listen that takes place in an idealistic rural setting, this book is a good choice.
This installment involves murder and a steam locomotive. Braun seemed to research something new for each book and enjoyed sharing with readers what she learned. Here, she tells you about steam trains, steam train hobbyists, and train engineers. The murder mystery is good enough and the cat sleuth is as silly as ever, but that’s behind the point. The point is charm, and “The Cat Who Blew the Whistle” delivers.
Qwill, but Guidall is excellent, especially with female characters, and is brilliant at making each an individual person with their own personality traits. Additionally, his avuncular style is perfect for the series.
I discovered “The Cat Who…” books when I was forced to live in a hotel for three months due to an asbestos problem in my home. Their idealized vision of small town life, with shopping on Main Street, friends on every street corner, people dropping by to have a drink and talk, and no one watching television was exactly what I needed to take my mind away from being trapped in a hotel, and I devoured the books. I’m now “re-reading” the audiobook versions and thoroughly enjoying them. I’m usually reading and listening to half a dozen or more books at a time, and “The Cat Who…” books are often the ones I choose for drifting off to sleep.
I have listened to at least 12 in this series. This is definitely my favorite one to date. There was much more intrigue that kept you hanging on multiple levels in this one.
I was looking for a mystery novel that wouldn't be too heavy and would be clean - this fit the bill! A little slow getting started, but then very engaging the rest of the book. Can't wait to read the rest of the series.
"Koko does it again!"
As a fan of L.J.B. and the gang I enjoy every moment. Koko with help from Qwill solve yet another crime riddled tail, this one concerning the family whose ancestors owned Qwill's apple barn home.
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