Cats and mysteries go hand-in-hand (or should that be paw-in-paw?) in this collection of fourteen tales. Both the felines and the stories vary widely. Vengeful cats, missing or murdered cats, cats peripheral to the story, even robotic and metaphorical cats and a cat that turns out not to exist. There’s traditional whodunits; horror and science-fiction; stories humorous and serious and seriously eerie. Best of all, there’s a Dorothy L Sayers that I fervently wished I could have thought of myself. If you love cats or mysteries - and especially if you love both - this is an entertaining read.
Anthologies can be dicey, and after finishing this one I realised that it’s actually the only one I own. Of course, a book bought for fifty cents at a Bookfest isn’t much of a risk; but even had the rest been duds it would have been worth reading for the Sayers alone. I went back and read The Cyprian Cat again after finishing the book and enjoyed spotting all the hints that now seemed obvious, but which I had completely overlooked the first time because the twist was so unexpected that I hadn’t thought to notice them. (It holds up well on a re-read; knowing what’s coming, you can sit back and admire the mastery of it.) Okay, enough rhapsodising. What about the rest? There really is something for everyone, whether you like the chills of Stoker and Poe or the cleverness of Ellery Queen. Some stories are better than others, but it’s still a good read with which to make like a cat and curl up in a sunny window.