The Cat Who Sang for the Birds
Lillian Jackson Braun
Berkley 272 pages

If you want a nice, cozy read with a bit of  thrown in, pick up The Cat Who Sang for the Birds by Lilian Jackson Braun.  It is set in Pickax City, a deceivingly quiet community of 3,000 in Moose County, somewhere near the 49th parallel, where everybody knows everybody, and secrets are hard to keep.

Calm and relaxing, almost a throwback from another era, Pickax holds its share of interesting, quirky characters, including artists, bootlegger ancestors, an elderly woman who has never lived on the grid, and residents who are protesting the presence of computers in the library.  Of course, there are cat lovers, most notably James Mackintosh Qwilleran, a kind, inquisitive newspaper columnist who covers the local flavour.  He lovingly dotes on his two Siamese; one who happens to have an uncanny ability to “assist” in investigations.

Throw in murder, a fire, and a town scandal, and you’ve got yourself a story!

The Cat Who Sang for the Birds by Lillian Jackson Braun is a moment-by-moment experience, similar to nonchalantly meandering along a lovely old country road with it’s gentle turns.  The residents of Moose County are the scenery you take in en route, and you never know what you’ll discover next.

You know from the beginning that it’s not going to be earthquakes and lightning.  Little happens quickly, and the plot winds in and out, so relax and enjoy the ride.  A good part of the enjoyment is the people within the pages.

You may get a kick out of Lillian Jackson Braun’s subtle and amusing sense of humour, of course in the cat escapades, as well as the interesting names she has chosen for her characters.

If you want a fast, light easy read, with a touch of innocence and just enough sinister undertones to make it a mystery, give The Cat Who Sang for the Birds a try.