Foss, my Siamese, in his endless quest for entertainment, has invented a new ploy. When I go upstairs he rushes past and lies across the stair in front of me. This means that I either have to step over him (difficult because they are steep cottage stairs) or pay him the attention he requires by stroking him. This continues all the way up the stairs (mercifully he doesn't do it for the downward journey). [p.14]Sheila Malory, the main character and amateur sleuth featured in the books, lives in a small English village, writes scholarly articles, teaches part-time, and solves murder mysteries as a sideline. She also has pets - several dogs, and her Siamese cat Foss. The books are full of village life and lots of dotty characters. The author, Hazel Holt, was a close friend and literary executor of novelist Barbara Pym, and her books are very Pym-ish in feeling, and Holt's sense of humor is similar to Pym's. I like to think if BP had written mysteries, they'd be much like the Mrs. Malory series; so it's almost (but not quite) as good as still having Dear Barbara around.
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