Sat 24 Sep 2016
KAREN KIJEWSKI – Copy Kat. Kat Colorado #4. Doubleday, hardcover, 1992. Bantam, paperback, 1993.
I think that Karen Kijewski (pronounced, I am told, Kee-you-skee) is rapidly moving into the class of Muller, Grafton, and Paretsky in terms of quality, if not of sales.
In this case, Kat Colorado is hired to investigate the murder of a Grass Valley, California, bartender-owner by the victim’s crusty godfather. Though reluctant to get involved in an open case, Kat agrees to go undercover and work at her old profession, bartending, to try and find what really happened. Though there is no evidence, the police and many town members suspect the dead lady’s husband, who has been left with their small child. He hires Kat as a bartender, and the hunt is joined.
The book is as much about Kat’s own problems with guilt from a killing in a previous case as anything; she is being crippled by recurring nightmares. The opportunity to change identities weighs strongly in her decision to accept the case. Missing from this book are her egregiously imposing “best friend,” and her adopted grandmother, for which I am grateful; earlier books have suffered greatly, to me, from Kat’s allowing herself to be sorely put upon by these two.
Kijewski’s writing is powerful, and Colorado has emerged as an appealing and well realized character. Some of the other cast members were not as believable, or perhaps there were just too many neuroses/psychoses in one plot. All in all, though, this was an excellent and moving story.
The Kat Colorado series —
Kat’s Cradle (1992)
Copy Kat (1992)
Wild Kat (1994)
Alley Kat Blues (1995)
Honky Tonk Kat (1996)
Kat Scratch Fever (1997)
Stray Kat Waltz (1998)