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The Cat Next Door

3.1  ·  Rating Details ·  104 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Margot returns to her well-to-do family in England on the eve of her Aunt Chloe's murder trial-she is accused of fatally stabbing her twin sister with a kitchen knife in the garden. Nothing has been the same since Claudia's body was found: her 14 year old daughter Lynette refuses to leave her bedroom, the paparazzi are relentless, and Tikki, the family's beloved Abyssinian ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published March 14th 2003 by Minotaur Books (first published March 28th 2002)
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Emily Crow
The plot of this one was sedate to the point of soporific--literally. I found myself dozing off within a couple dozen pages every time I tried to read it. The characters were so bland I couldn't keep them straight, nothing happened but talk for the first 130 pages (of a 190 page book), and the ending--when I finally stayed awake long enough to get there--was rather silly. Recommended for people who like their mysteries slow paced and squeaky-clean.

Although there were a few points that stood out:
Jul 22, 2011 Amanda rated it it was ok
I really wasn't thrilled with this book. I bought it because I read another one of Babson's books, "In the Company of Cats," and I loved it. This one, however, was very much lackluster in comparison. It just seemed to drag on forever, especially with needless details. Do you really need to know what the coffee tastes like, down to the very last milliliter? Or what color every flower in the garden is? Are these clues supposed to help the reader solve the crime? It just felt like the story was tru ...more
Apr 05, 2009 Lynn rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, donated
Marian Babson is one of those authors that I tend to forget how much I enjoy her books until I read them. They are not usually very long, but there is a great deal of plot in the slim volumes.

This one was no different. The Cat Next Door was a really minor, but important character, and I think it would have been better had the title not been changed for the US market. The original title was Deadly Deceit, which was a more descriptive title. I think the US market needs a catch to hang the "series"
Dec 04, 2011 Knight rated it liked it
Fun book, quick read. The lead character Margot is by far the most interesting character. The description of the book says "...Margot decides it's up to her to investigate." But this overstates the situation. Really the characters are mostly drifting.

Very hard to keep up with all the aunts and uncles and cousins. Watching the reactions of various family members to the events is very interesting and a little sad. Because Margot's illness was never explaine
Theresa Leone Davidson
Nov 23, 2015 Theresa Leone Davidson rated it really liked it
This is probably closer to a three star but I am feeling generous so what the hell. Apparently the author has done a whole series of 'feline mysteries,' a new one for me, and the reason I picked it up off the library shelf is because it has a cat on the cover. At first I did not like the story, too many characters and an ill defined mystery, and I thought the author was trying too hard to channel her inner Agatha Christie. However, by the second or third chapter I was engrossed, and it was, even ...more
Johanna Merager
Nov 12, 2012 Johanna Merager rated it did not like it
I'm currently in the middle of the book and seriously, it's gotten nowhere. The only reason I'm finishing it is because I need something to read right now. Other than that, the book is a complete disappointment, as is every other book by this author. She gives too much detail in the pointless beginnings and not enough detail in the conclusions. Plus her characters are obnoxious and annoying. She almost makes Stephanie Meyer look like a real author. Almost.
Katherine Rowland
Lackluster. This was my first Babson book, and it may be my last. The narrative focused mostly on the emotional effects of tragedy on the family, which is a point well taken; but it isn't until the last chapter or two that it becomes at all a mystery. Even when a confession of sorts comes, there address plenty of questions left unanswered. Babson tries to portray a once-happy family brought down by unspeakable events, but none of it is particularly believable. Pass.
Diane Heath
Feb 17, 2014 Diane Heath rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
This is one of the cat mysteries by Ms Babson that does not involve Trixie and Evangeline. Margot has returned to England because one cousin is on trial for the murder of her twin sister. The entire book takes place at the family home with a few courtroom scenes. The daughter of the victim is an "invalid" due to the trauma and stays in her bed with a bell to ring constantly. Milly who is the mother of the twins has disappeared into romance novels. The cat has moved next door.
Aug 29, 2008 Teresa rated it did not like it
Most of the characters in this book are certifiable: a depressive, a sociopath, and assorted narcissists. The protagonist suffers from some debilitating health problem that is never accurately disclosed. No wonder the cat left. I'm surprised I stuck with it to the end.
Jul 04, 2015 Carissa rated it it was ok
Predictable and exasperating. The author holds secrets from us when there's really no reason or influence on the story. The characters were unrelatable, and I feel like she used Margot's ME as an excuse to not write dialogue. It was clunky, and needed more cats.
Roberta Marro
Jun 17, 2012 Roberta Marro rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This must be close to the dumbest book I've read. I'm still trying to figure out why I bothered to finish it. The plot could have been completely covered in three pages. Too many characters, too much whining, too repetitious. I could go on, but why?
Jan 18, 2017 Loren rated it really liked it
interesting story.... a bit jumbled around in bouncing between conversations and past-present happenings.
Apr 28, 2010 Kimberly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mysterys
It was OK. I found it kind of draggy, and the plot wasn't clear until half way through the book. Plus, the author gave the heroine a mysterious illness, but never explained it. Irritating.
Jun 06, 2012 Michele rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Quick read, engaging characters.
Jul 19, 2010 Alycia rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery, cozy
This is obviously not the first of the series; perhaps I would have given it a higher rating if I already knew the characters. But as it was, I found the plot thin and disjointed.
Sep 26, 2016 Nicolette rated it liked it
Fluffy and enjoyable.
Mar 31, 2011 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
pretty good, cats incidental
Sep 17, 2011 RollingT rated it liked it
An easy quick read but not that much about cats. Too bad Lilian Jackson Brauns's latest "Cat Who .." have not been up to par.
Sarahandus rated it really liked it
Nov 07, 2011
Daniel rated it it was ok
May 08, 2011
Louise rated it liked it
Aug 04, 2012
Sep 11, 2012 Alisonpaddock rated it liked it
Amusing, light entertainment. Nothing to keep you reading late into the night but a bit of fun.
Lora Rayner
Lora Rayner rated it it was ok
Jan 27, 2013
Joyce Wessel
Joyce Wessel rated it liked it
Jun 13, 2015
Brooke rated it liked it
Nov 18, 2015
Nancy rated it it was ok
Apr 11, 2013
Kathryn rated it it was ok
May 04, 2009
Marj rated it liked it
Nov 02, 2015
Sylvia rated it it was ok
Dec 15, 2013
Michelle rated it liked it
Jul 04, 2008
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Marian Babson, a pseudonym for Ruth Stenstreem, was born in Salem, Massachusetts, but has lived in London for the greater part of her life.

She has worked as a librarian; managed a campaign headquarters; been a receptionist, secretary, and den mother to a firm of commercial artists; and was co-editor of a machine knitting magazine, despite the fact that she can’t knit, even with two needles.

A lon
More about Marian Babson...

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“Their world has changed overnight ...Even after the trial, after the verdict -- whatever it might be -- life would never be the same again.

That was the truth of murder.”
More quotes…