A missing housemaid and a shocking murder show Qwilleran the unsavory side of the upper crust. But soon it's Koko's purr-fect propensity for clues amid the caviar and champagne that gives Qwilleran pause to evaluate the most unlikely suspects...before his taste for the good life turns into his last meal.
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January 01, 2003
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Excerpt from The Cat Who Played Post Office by Lilian Jackson Braun
A Caucasian male -- fiftyish, six-feet-two, weight two-thirty, graying hair, bushy moustache -- opened his eyes and found himself in a strange bed in a strange room. He lay still, in a state of peculiar lassitude, and allowed his eyes to rove about the room with mild curiosity. Eyes that might be described as mournful surveyed the steel footboard of the bed, the bare window, the hideous color of the walls, the television on a high shelf. Beyond the window a tree was waving its branches wildly.
He could almost hear his mother's musical voice saying, "The tree is waving to you, Jamesy. Wave your hand like a polite little boy."
Jamesy Is that my name It doesn't sound -- exactly -- right.... Where am I What is my name
The questions drifted across his consciousness without arousing anxiety -- only a vague perplexity.
He had a mental picture of an old man with a Santa Claus beard standing at his bedside and saying, "You haff scarlet fever, Jamesy. Ve take you to the hospital and make you vell."
Hospital Is this a hospital Do I have scarlet fever
Although undisturbed by his predicament, he was beginning to have an uncomfortable feeling that he had neglected something of vital importance; he had failed someone close to him. His mother, perhaps He frowned, and the wrinkling of his brow produced a slight hurt. He raised his left hand and found a bandage on his forehead. Quickly he checked other parts of his anatomy. Nothing was missing and nothing seemed to be broken, but the movement of his right knee and right elbow was restricted by more bandages. There was also something unusual about his left hand. He counted four fingers and a thumb, and yet something was wrong. It was baffling. He sighed deeply and wondered what it would possibly be that he had neglected to do.
A strange woman -- plump, white haired, smiling -- bustled into the room with noiseless steps. "Oh, you're awake! You had a good night's sleep. It's a beautiful day, but windy. How do you feel, Mr. Cue "
Cue Jamesy Cue Is that my name
It sounded unlikely, if not absurd. He passed his hand over his face experimentally, feeling a familiar moustache and a jaw he had shaved ten thousand times. As a voice test he said aloud to himself, "I remember the face but not the name."
"My name Toodle," the woman said pleasantly. "Mrs. Toodle. Is there anything I can do for you, Mr. Cue Dr. Goodwinter will be here in a few minutes. I'll take your jug and bring you some fresh water. Are you ready for brekky " As she left the room with the jug in hand, she called over her shoulder, "You have bathroom privileges."