Back home in sleepy Pickax, Jim Qwilleran and his Siamese companions, Koko and Yum Yum, are looking forward to country peace and quiet. But their newly converted apple barn home turns out to be not quite the refuge they were hoping for when a corpse turns up in the orchard outside . . .
No one in Pickax is sorry to learn that the local headmaster is dead. Though reputedly brilliant, Hilary Van Brook was also arrogant and manipulative, an outsider who managed to offend teachers, pupils and parents alike - just about everybody in town has a motive for murder. Only when a good friend becomes a chief suspect does Qwilleran's instinct for mystery overtake his desire for privacy - and Koko's obsession with a set of antique printing blocks is the first clue to a mystery which takes Qwill and his Siamese sleuths on a day out to the races . . .
Yet another in the author's series of stories (The Cat Who Went Underground, etc.) about millionaire (inherited) journalist Jim Qwilleran and his Siamese cats Koko and Yum Yum - the latter two, along with Jim's moustache, supposedly gifted with a talent for detection. Here, they're all enjoying life in remote Pickax, in Jim's spectacularly renovated barn, when he discovers school principal Hilary Van Brook shot to death in the apple orchard. Arrogant Hilary - thoroughly detested by all despite his genius for school administration - seems to have had a secret past, but Police Chief Brodie and most of the townspeople are content to blame the killing on builder Dennis Hough after he commits suicide. Jim doesn't buy that theory and - after he's approached about buying the Amberton horse farm in neighboring Lockmaster and has had a chance to explore Hilary's luxurious living quarters - it doesn't take long for him to uncover the true murderer. A rambling, shapeless story helped a bit by its agreeable small-town characters but without tension or impact. Readers immune to the charm of cats - beware! They're omnipresent as well as omniscient here. (Kirkus Reviews)
Series: The Cat Who... Mysteries
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 6th February 1992
Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 17.8 x 11.0
Weight (kg): 0.13
Edition Number: 1