The Cat Who Robbed a Bank

Lillian Jackson Braun’s The Cat Who Robbed a Bank is nominally a mystery story, but flouts most of the conventions of the genre. There’s never any firsthand narrative with either the killer or the investigators, but instead we follow the murder from a distance through the eyes of a local newspaperman. We’re not given any clues as to the what actually happens at the crime scenes, but are limited to the oblique hints provided by a couple prescient felines. The narrative seems at least as much concerned with antiques and trinkets as with the events. And to top it all off, there wasn’t ever any intimation of a bank robbery, as the title would suggest. But in spite of all that, it’s a relatively interesting read, mainly because of its interesting characters. It just doesn’t sit particularly comfortably on the mystery shelf.