Allen J. Hubin


LYDIA ADAMSON – A Cat in the Manger. Signet, paperback original, 1990.

   A Cat in the Manger is the first in a series about sometime NYC actress and moretimes catsitter Alice Nestleton by the pseudonymous Lydia Adamson. This is a fanciful tale requiring hyperextension of disbelief, with a heroine of little appeal and an ending without the impact it could have had.

   Alice goes to Long Island to cat-sit for Harry and Jo Starobin, as she had done frequently before. This time, however, someone has hung Harry on the back of a door. Another corpse quickly turns up, just as motiveless a killing as the first.

   The police think robbery, but the Starobins were penniless — except for the $381,000 discovered in Harry’s safety-deposit box. And where has Ginger Mauch, who worked for the Starobins, gone off to, and why?

— Reprinted from The MYSTERY FANcier,
       Vol. 13, No. 1, Winter 1991.

[UPDATE.]   It is now known that Lydia Adamson is the pen name of mystery writer Frank King, who besides 21 books in his/her Alice Nestleton series (see below), also wrote 12 books in a series starring Dr. Deirdre Quinn Nightingale, veterinarian, and three books about birdwatcher and ex-librarian Lucy Wayles, not to mention five works of crime fiction under his own name.

       The Alice Nestleton series

1. A Cat in the Manger (1990)
2. A Cat of a Different Color (1991)


3. A Cat in Wolf’s Clothing (1991)
4. A Cat in the Wings (1992)
5. A Cat by Any Other Name (1992)
6. A Cat with a Fiddle (1993)


7. A Cat in a Glass House (1993)
8. A Cat with No Regrets (1994)
9. A Cat on the Cutting Edge (1994)
10. A Cat in Fine Style (1995)
11. A Cat on a Winning Streak (1995)
12. A Cat Under the Mistletoe (1996)
13. A Cat in a Chorus Line (1996)


14. A Cat on a Beach Blanket (1997)
15. A Cat on Jingle Bell Rock (1997)
16. A Cat on Stage Left (1998)
17. A Cat of One’s Own (1999)
18. A Cat With the Blues (2000)
19. A Cat With No Clue (2001)
20. A Cat Named Brat (2002)
21. A Cat on the Bus (2002)