Living in the peaceful city of Pickax may be restful, but it certainly isn't dull. At least not for one of the most eligible bachelors in town, veteran newspaperman Jim Qwilleran. Having inherited millions, Qwilleran and his two feline companions, Koko and Yum Yum, are preparing to settle down into a life of purrfect luxury. That is, until the son of a rich banker and his wife are found murdered. To the police, it looks like a robbery gone awry. But then Koko develops an odd appetite for glue. Qwilleran doesn't spot the clue until his beloved Siamese's taste for paste tangles them in a web of love, danger, and their stickiest case yet!
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January 02, 2003
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Excerpt from The Cat Who Sniffed Glue by Lilian Jackson Braun
The telephone rang at an early hour, and Qwilleran reached blindly toward his bedside table. Half awake, he croaked a hoarse hello and heard an authoritative voice saying, "I want to talk to you!"
The voice was familiar, but the tone was alarming. It was Andrew Brodie, the chief of police in Pickax, and he sounded stern and accusing.
Qwilleran was always groggy before his first cup of coffee, and his mind groped for an explanation. Had he put a Canadian nickel in a parking meter Tossed an apple core from his car window Honked the horn within 500 feet of the hospital
"Did you hear me I want to talk to you!" The tone was not so gruff as before.
Qwilleran was getting his bearings, and he recognized the bantering style that passed for sociability among adult males in Moose County. "Okay, Brodie," he said. "Do I go to the station and give myself up Or do you want to send the wagon and handcuffs "
"Stay where you are. I'll be right there," said the chief. "It's about your cat." He hung up abruptly.
Again the possibilities churned in Qwilleran's mind. Had the Siamese been disturbing the peace They were strictly indoor pets, but the male had a high-decibel yowl and the female had a shriek that could be duplicated only by a synthesizer. Either of them could be heard for blocks on a calm day if the windows were open. It was late May, and the windows were open to admit the sweet refreshing breezes for which Moose County was famous -- sweet and refreshing except when they came from the direction of the Kilcally dairy farm.
Hurriedly Qwilleran pulled on some clothes, ran a wet comb through his hair, collected the newspapers cluttering the living room floor, slammed the bedroom door on his unmade bed, and looked out the window in time to see Brodie's police car pulling into the driveway.
Qwilleran lived in an apartment over a four-car garage, formerly the carriage house for the Klingenschoen estate. The carriage house was situated far back on the property; the mansion itself fronted on Main Street facing the park -- a huge, square stone building now being remodeled as a theater for stage productions. Its broad lawns had been brutally torn up to accommodate trucks, piles of lumber, and a temporary construction shed. As the police car maneuvered around these obstacles, carpenters and electricians swarming over the site waved friendly salutes in the chief's direction. Brodie was a popular lawman, an amiable Scot with a towering figure, a beefy chest, and sturdy legs that looked appropriate with the kilt, tam-o'-shanter, and bagpipe that he brought out for parades and weddings.