Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Diamond Cat by Marian Babson

It was a dark and stormy night. Honest, it was. Bettina Bilby awakens in the middle of the worst storm in quite sometime by a noise. At first, nothing appears out of order, except her mother and the four cats she's boarding. The next morning, the mother decides it's her or the cats and lets the cats out. They immediately pounce on a dead pigeon. Bettina takes away their treat and discovers a carrying bag full of diamonds. What follows after is a not-so-humorous comedy of errors: several men are trying to find the pigeon, the cat eats one of the diamonds, several strange visitors asking strange questions, one neighbor is acting strange, a man ends up dead on the neighbor's porch, the neighbor ends up attacked, who later dies, Bettina's mother dies as a result of that shock, and the end isn't entirely wrapped up nice and neat, but it is somewhat believable and the reader gets the feeling that things will come out alright in the end.

After reading a couple of Babson's books, I was expecting more humor, but didn't find it. True to her style, the cats provide plenty of entertainment. There's Adolf (cover picture), who lives up to his tyrannical namesake; (Poor) Pasha who misses his Mommy, craves attention, and cod-liver-oil; Bluebell who's affable and just wants to go home; Enza who follows in the footsteps of Bluebell. This is a quick read and would probably work good during a long weekend, preferably one that's stormy.

2 comments:

hamilcar barca said...

did other books by Marian Babson have more humor in them? given the number of people that die here, including the protagonist's mother; i would be amazed, yet impressed, if Babson could inject humor into the story.

Christina said...

The first one, Nine Lives to Murder, had humor in it (cat and human exchanging bodies). The cat trying to adjust to the human body and acting like a human was funny. Only the Cat Knows was a little off-beat. I wouldn't say humorous except the situation was off-the-wall. This one had a higher body count, four total, including the pigeon. However, the pigeon was an accident and Mrs. Bilby (the mother) was an indirect homicide and probably wouldn't be counted in a court of law. I think humor wanted to rear its head, but the storm kept it at bay.