When the Cat's Away

Kinky Friedman, Author
Kinky Friedman, Author Beech Tree Paperback Book $16.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-688-07555-2
Reviewed on: 08/05/1988
Release date: 08/01/1988
Nonstop one-liners, cartoon characters, pointless freneticism and a ridiculous denouement do not a mystery novel make. Country singer Kinky Friedman ( A Case of Lone Star , Greenwich Killing Time ) is back again as his own hero-narrator amateur sleuth. He sallies forth to help a friend whose tabby has vanished from a cat show at Madison Square Garden. A wildcat chase to the Roosevelt Hotel turns up only a note saying, ``What's the mattercat got your tongue?'' Then the body of a literary agent is discovered in the exhibition hallminus a tongueand the next victim after that is a cat-hating editor. Kinky is shot with a lion-tranquilizer dart by someone wearing a cat mask and wakes up to find a sexy woman sitting on his bed. She is Leila, a beautiful Palestinian-Colombian whose brother is a drug big shot. Kinky eventually finds himself between two warring gangs of lethal Colombians, and there's a bloody shoot-out before the unmasking of the killer. Fans of earlier Friedman mysteries may enjoy the mix of real and fictional characters, Kinky's bohemian lifestyle and some of the one-liners, but the murder solution is so sappy that it wrecks the book. Even cat-lovers will find this hard going. (August)
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