The Cat Who Lived High - Lilian Jackson Braun

I loved "The Cat Who ..." books for ages, so when one I had never read turned up on our office book swap shelf, I was delighted.

This outing sees Jim Qwilleran and his two clever Siamese cats spending part of the winter at the Casablanca apartments "down below." The old Art Deco building is falling apart, and Qwill's foundation is considering paying for renovation as an investment. For Qwill's part, he's interested in the residents and thinking about writing a book.

Then he learns that the previous resident of his apartment, a local artist, was murdered there ... and pretty soon Qwill and his cats are looking for clues.

The characters in this serious are always what make it so delightful for me. The "whodunnit" reveal is sometimes a surprise (as in this case) and sometimes not ... but the people of the Casablanca kept me concerned with their plight. From the elderly lady who lives in the apartment where she was born to the young (and noisy) belly dancer who lives next door to Qwill, each has a story to share about how they wound up in their current circumstances.

Those who enjoy character-driven cozy mysteries will doubtless like this book.