Miss Cuddlywumps reviews Tailing a Tabby by Laurie Cass
I think I would like to be Eddie the cat for a day. Because Eddie, the titular tabby of Laurie Cass’s new book, is not your average sleep-in-a-sun-puddle type of cat. Eddie is a bookmobile cat, although technically he isn’t supposed to be.
Eddie lives with one Minnie Hamilton, a.k.a. “the Bookmobile Lady.” As you may have guessed, Minnie is a librarian who drives her library’s bookmobile. Also she lives on a houseboat for part of the year, which is yet another reason I would like to be Eddie for a day. Eddie rides along on the bookmobile route and is a big hit with the patrons. Unfortunately, Minnie’s boss is a stick-in-the-mud type who would suffer some sort of personal explosion if he found out there was a cat in the bookmobile.
Now, you wouldn’t think that driving a bookmobile would be full of risk and intrigue, but that is exactly the turn things take for Minnie and Eddie one day when a frantic woman runs in front of their vehicle, waving her arms and shouting. Her husband is having a stroke, she says. Can Minnie help?
Yes Minnie can help, and she does so by putting the stricken man into the bookmobile and driving him at crazy speeds to the hospital. (Surely the stick-in-the-mud boss wouldn’t be happy to know that.) This act earns her the friendship of the patient, who turns out to be famous artist Russell McCade (“Cade”). And when Cade is accused of murder, it is Minnie he and his wife Barb call on for help. The fact that Cade was discovered standing over the body of the murdered woman surely does not look good for him, and the further fact of his recent stroke may not be enough to clear his name. Minnie helps again, unofficially, and soon she has a handful of suspects—a handful that unfortunately still includes Cade.
Aside from the mystery in Tailing a Tabby (which is a good one!), we enjoyed the quality of the writing. Cass’s work is a joy to read, and she always manages to give just enough background detail to put flesh on the story without losing the plot or bogging the reader down. We also enjoyed her use of language, as when Eddie “oozed off the dashboard” (so thoroughly catlike). And, Minnie makes two important observations about life with cats: “(1) A Cat’s Purr Makes Everything Okay and (2) The Cat Always Wins.” This information should be emblazoned on a monument to cats. Also it should be on a t-shirt.
And if that’s not enough, Cass puts her main characters in a bookmobile and a houseboat. Who could resist reading a book about that?
I give Tailing a Tabby an excited