Jillian has now been married to Tom, the acting police chief, for six months in The Cat, the Collector, and the Killer by Leann Sweeney. She gets a call from Sean, who runs the local cat shelter, asking for help. The neighbors of a woman who collects cats, named Minnie, have noticed that she seems to have disappeared. Her cats, which have always been house cats, are roaming around the neighborhood. But Sean can’t go by himself because this is technically an issue for animal control, and Chester, the rather incompetent animal control officer, has a restraining order against Sean. But when they get to Minnie’s house, they find more than her seven cats, more like two dozen cats, and all are outside, begging to come in. Then, as Sean goes into the house, he is alarmed to find a body, that of Chester. With the arrival of Tom and other police, they notice lots of boxes filled with electronic goods filling up the house, something that doesn’t make sense to anyone. Then Tom gets a call that Minnie has been found walking down the street in her nightgown, clutching a kitten and acting mentally disturbed. The people at the hospital where Minnie has been taken are having trouble with Minnie and ask Jillian for help. Minnie won’t let go of her cat. So Jillian gets involved in the case from Minnie’s side.
With Minnie clearly not coherent, the hospital calls in a psychiatrist, Dr. Brenda, who figures out that Minnie’s erratic behavior is the result of a brain tumor. Her poor mental condition seems to have led to Chester’s taking advantage of Minnie by dropping off numerous cats with her and leaving the many boxes with Minnie. Then, as Brenda goes out to buy a journal in the hopes that Minnie will respond to it, someone rams her off the road, almost killing her. Jillian stays involved in the case and tries to help all those involved, no matter how they connect to the case.
This book continues with all the strength of previous books in this series. I loved the intricate details of the book and how things worked together like a complicated puzzle that gradually come to fit. I appreciated getting to spend lots of time with Tom, Kara, Candace, and other returning friends and also with new friends we meet in this book. And just as Jillian gets involved in her cases because of her love of cats, as well as people, the cats help Jillian out several times.
Vanessa Johansson continues as a terrific narrator, using the first-person role of Jillian. She has such a caring voice that she really makes me think of her as Jillian. I really appreciate her performances.
I loved The Cat, the Collector, and the Killer as much as I love all the other Cats in Trouble books. They have so much depth to them that listening to any of these books is a real pleasure. I give this book five stars.
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