Plot or Premise
What starts as a cat-napping morphs into poison letters, threats and murder.
What I Liked
There are some decent psychological elements, albeit not well-developed, and a wide cast of characters … a grieving husband vs. a trophy wife who doesn’t care about the cat; a poor poet with a rich wife; and a gang of bunko artists ripping people off through astrology. The police partner has a larger role, including saving Archy’s life near the end.
What I Didn’t Like
The trophy wife and rich husband are complete caricatures with virtually no role in the case(s). They spend time talking about a specific model of word processor as the big clue to see who’s involved, and it really doesn’t stand up well 30 years later. Add in a woman “done wrong by a man” whom Archy gets to use as a playmate only to find out she’s turned lesbian overnight and a showdown that reads like a bad action scene from a ’70s TV show, and it isn’t that great a read. However, what bothered me most is that there is a GIANT clue that both McNally and his dad miss, it’s completely obvious to the reader, and it cracks the case wide open. Yet despite being glaringly obvious. Archy has to re-enact it to explain it to his father and the police detective, both of whom are amazed at his deductive skills. Sigh.
The Bottom Line
Love Archy, but not the best outing in the series