Monday, July 5, 2010
Last night I finished How To Wash A Cat by Rebecca M. Hale. I spent the rest of the evening and all morning today re-reading the last 75 or so pages over and over again. And, I'm still confused!
Let's start at the beginning: our heroine does not have a name. Written in the first person, there is no reference to what her name is. Maybe the author's name? We'll call her R.
Here's the premise: When R's Uncle Oscar suddenly dies, she inherits his antiques shop - The Green Vase. But the shop is just the beginning. She also inherits Uncle Oscar's secrets which include trap doors, secret passageways, flower shaped keys, and all of his quirky neighbor-friends.
Set in San Franscisco, the mystery has to do with the California Gold Rush and the demise of William Leidesdorff, a prominent figure back in the day.
From here, it only gets more confusing. Characters come and go. Plot lines get more twisted. And in the end, I didn't feel as if the mystery was completely solved. This one is too hard to wrap up without completely giving it away. I was left scratching my head; hence the need to go back and reread half the book!
The characters had me thoroughly confused. I didn't know who was who. People looked alike, resembling one or more other characters; they also sounded alike. And in the end, it still wasn't clear if they were who they said they were, or if they were impersonating someone else.
The highlight of the story was definitely the two cats, Rupert and Isabella. As any cat person knows, in a good cat mystery, the felines are almost human-like. And this is one area where the author did not disappoint. I loved their antics. They were almost too smart for their own good, and the cats are a big part of what kept me reading.
Bottom line: I really didn't enjoy this one. Between talking bugs and stuffed kangaroos, I didn't know if the main character was hallucinating or if I was! It had me going in circles trying to get a grip on what was really happening here.
The next book in this series, Nine Lives Last Forever is due out tomorrow, July 6th. It is on my TBR, and I will give it a go.... if only to see if the main character develops more, or if (what I felt were) loose threads from the first book get tied up in the end. Sometimes in a series it takes a book or two to really get in the swing of things.
I like the idea behind the series (Cats and Curios Mystery), but for me to continue reading, it needs to take a different direction.
Me no likey. :(