cover image The Diamond Cat

The Diamond Cat

Marian Babson / Author St. Martin's Press $20.95 (0p) ISBN 978

Poor Bettina Bilby. Ever since her father's death, she's been living with her hectoring mother, without even a cat of her own to cheer her dreary life. And now a freak storm promises to ruin her long bank holiday weekend, trapping her inside, where she's at the mercy of a leaking roof and Mother Bilby's continuous carping-especially about Bettina's lack of sense in agreeing to take in four boarders for the weekend. The boarders are cats, of course-what would a Babson tale be without them?-and a lovely lot they are: irascible Adolf; pampered Bluebell; depressed Pasha; and Enza, so named because her owner opened the window one day and, well, in flew Enza. Then, in the midst of the storm, a carrier pigeon dies in the backyard, leaving Bettina to deal with its cargo of diamonds as well as with a steady stream of shifty strangers who, under transparent pretenses, try to gain access to the Bilby home. In her latest comic tale, Babson (Nine Lives to Murder) mixes high-tech theft, high-flying ransom and a denouement that finds Bettina savoring a sudden but welcome freedom. The Diamond Cat is a jewel. (July)