The Cat Who Caught a Killer: 1 (Conrad the Cat Detective, 1)
About this deal
The characters fell kind of flat for me, and the only good thing about this was how easy to read it was - I read it in a day, though it is only a short book. Anthony Horowitz is quoted on the cover as stating this mystery was ‘original’, yet this is an idea I struggle to agree with. But then this is fiction and if I was prepared to accept a talking cat why quibble about people's reaction to him?
Mynott said he was still gutted by the loss of his beloved pet and although the killing was not one of the nine dead cats named in the trial, he is convinced Bowser died at the hands of Bouquet, along with many more for whom there was not enough evidence to prosecute. I felt like the story itself was dragged out, and I became bored in the middle, as it became repetitive.Meanwhile Richard, the man who apparently married a woman several years his junior and is an innocent bystander after all, who just got seduced into their plot was just. Unfortunately for me, when I got the chance to sit down and read it I was, ultimately, disappointed.
I'm also not really sure what the point of the talking cat was - perhaps this was revealed in the last 25% that I couldn't face. There feels like there is a lot of scene setting and building a relationship between Lulu and Conrad. Lulu’s every single wardrobe change, her (long) walking routes, even the way she makes a mug of instant coffee is painstakingly recorded step by step.
But what really needed careful editing were the frequent, and unnecessary, references to politics, leaving me with the impression that I was reading a book by a Thatcher admiring, Brexit loving, Covid denier. I suppose I shouldn't expect any less from an ex-cop, but the fact the book presents this as it being a likeable trait of hers is just.
I'm not quite sure whether people would be as generally welcoming to a cat as they seem to be, although I would like to think they are.Furthermore, I also found the first moment Conrad speaks to Lulu less interesting and vibrant partially because his initial speech to her is a dully phrased explanation of why she shouldn’t give him milk. Lulu Lewis is a retired police detective, spending time on her newly acquired boat, life quietening down after the loss of her husband in a hit and run only a few months ago.