By: Rebecca Hale
Publication Date: September 2012
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: October 17, 2012
Clive, an awesome amphibian, was ensconced in some pretty nice digs in the Swamp Exhibit at the Steinhart Aquarium. A hot rock, an admiring public, and three squares a day weren't bad. After all, as an albino alligator, he could have been one square for a predator in the wild so he could thank his lucky stars he was at the Steinhart. Rupert and Isabella, a couple of contented cats, weren't all that bad off in their digs. It was sad that Oscar had died a year ago, but Oscar's niece didn't do a half bad job of delivering James Lick's Homestyle Chicken to their apartment above the Green Vase antique shop. Seriously speaking, their people were darn lucky to have them.
The Previous Mayor of San Francisco didn't give a lick for any eating establishment with a "kitchy one-item focus" and stayed well away from Lick's when he wrote his food column. He did, however, have one-item focus on the mayoral race. Things were heating up at City Hall when the supervisors were going to have to select an interim mayor, but soon all eyes would be on Clive, including Hoxton Fin's. Hox was reluctant to write about Clive, but had to admit they had something in common. They each had an "ampu-toed foot" and a woman behind the story. In the meantime, Rupert and Isabella had work to do of their own. They had to give Oscar's niece a little nudge because there was a treasure to be found at the end of the trail of croc crumbs.
While the Current Mayor, who had a major frog phobia, was overseeing the city, things began to go bump in the night and under the streets. Spider Jones, Mr. Wang, Harold Wombler, James Lick (the latest one), Samuel T. Eckles (The Frog Whisperer), and Montgomery Charmichael were on the move. Oh, and so was Clive, the "alligator ambassador." Hox, after smoothing out his unruly mop, had to report the "brazen abduction of one of the city's most famous residents." San Francisco was in an uproar. Rupert and Isabella's person was a little slow on the uptake and would need a few more clues. "I don't care what you say Harold. I'm not going to throw that hunk of frozen chicken meat into my basement." Mrao. There was more work to be done!
This fabulously inventive, zany, and entertaining series is dropping a trail of cat crumbs that will lure in fans. Of course if you haven't yet read the others in the "Cats and Curios Mystery" series, you may wish to head for the beginning as you may be unable to make head nor cat tails of the plot line. This expertly woven tale was one in which I half expected to see Chief Inspector Clouseau round the corner to assist Rupert and Isabella as they threw out some clues or perhaps even take a certain someone's place as they inserted a three-petaled tulip-key into the lock of the Green Vase. The infectious, inane humor was quite appealing and downright goofy. If you're in the mood for a totally crazy cat cozy, this one is the cat's mrao!
Quill says: If you love cats 'n other very unusual critters, including people, How to Tail a Cat will take you on a purr-fect journey you won't forget for some time!