It funny, but every time I read this book I combine the end with what happens in The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare. This is one of my favs as it is told a little differently than the other books and brings back characters we adored from the previous books.
So The Cat Who Played Post Office takes place a couple months after The Cat Who Played Brahms. Qwill has decided to accept the inheritance and stay in Pickax City. However, what makes this book so different from the rest is that it is told in a series of flashbacks. Very much in the style of Grounded for Life or How I Met Your Mother.
So The Cat Who Played Post Office begins with Qwill in the hospitle, sick with amnesia. He fell of his bicycle and can’t remember simple words, who he is, who Dr. Melinda Goodwinter is, etc. When his old friend Arch Riker comes to visit him, his memory starts to return. He dreams of what happens and recalls that his bike being pushed off the rode was no accident. Someone was trying to kill him
In chapter two, we start over at the begining. So Qwill accepts the money and has to stay in Pickax City for five years. He goes back Down Below (as the Mooseville people call it) to put his affairs in order and then heads back to Pickax to move into the Klingenschoen (now forever to be referred as K) mansion and his new girlfriend, Dr. Melinda Goodwinter.
Qwill meets with the lawyers, the pompous Alexander Goodwinter and his beautiful sister Penelope. Qwill decides that he doesn’t need so much money to live off of and wants to establish a foundation where the surplus money would be distributed among the county. Of course, one would have to apply for the grants and loans. This goes over well with Penelope, but even though she is excited she turns down a lunch date with Qwill.
What breaks up their little meeting is the opening cords to “Daisy Bell (Bicycle Bulit for Two)“. Apparently Koko is adding piano playing to his many talents. Qwill immediately decides to have locks put on all the doors to keep the cats from running all over and keep anyone unwanted out.
Qwill goes to inspect the rest of the house, checking the garage and the servants quarters. The first apartment was very shabbily done, but the in the second the walls were covered in daises painted with every color. Among the flowers were hearts with initials and LUV. How odd that Koko played Daisy and here were a bunch of daises. Concidence?
With such a large house, a housekeeper is definitely needed. However, Qwill can’t find anyone. Either they are too young and inexperienced, like Tiffany Trotter, or old and disagreeable. He finds a good cleaning lady, Mrs. Fulgrove, but no housekeeper.
Also to the cats enjoyment is mail time. The mailman drops the mail off in the slit on the door and the cats jump on the pile and play with the letters. Koko has begun picking out ones he feels are the most important and brings them to Qwill. The first letter is from Lori Bamba who is pregnant and quitting her job as postmistress as she needs to be off her feet. She is writing to ask if he needs a secretary to answer letters for him and assist in his writing. Just what he needs.
Koko brings another letter to Qwill, this time from Iris Cobb. Mrs. Cobb was his old landlady from The Cat Who Turned On and Off. She sold her junk buisness to Rosie Riker, Arch’s wife, and was wondering if Qwill needed a housekeeper. Qwill remembers how good her food was and immediately calls her up.
That day Qwill meets up with the decorator, Amanda Goodwinter. Amanda is a crotchety, cranky, scowling women. She is always grumpy and screeching but an extremely lovable character. Qwill shows her the servant apartments as Qwill is going to live there. She has a complete freakout over the Daisy covered room. Qwill’s mustache tingles and he tells her not to worry about that room yet. Qwill can sense that there is something deeper than a silly girl painting her room. Something sinister must have happened.
The next day Mrs. Cobb arrives with some startling news. Rosie Riker is going into the junque buisness without Arch. Anything more Mrs. Cobb won’t reveal. Mrs. Cobb takes one glance of the house and decides to take the job. She also saves a Hunzinger, a Shaker rocker, and a Pennsylvania German schrank from being carted away by Amanda Goodwinter.
Mrs. Cobb meets the lawyers, who are made aware of her apprasal skills. When Penelope hears that Mrs. Cobb will be living in the mansion she almost has a heart attack at the lack of propriety.
The next day, Qwill and Melinda go out to dinner. During the course of the dinner, Qwill learns all about the Goodwinter clan. Their great-grandfather was an engineer and surveyor, and his four sons made fortunes in the mines. The Goodwinters stayed in Pickax for next generations. After dinner Qwill takes her to the K Mansion and shows her not only the house but the daisy covered servants room. Melinda is surprised that Daisy Mull could paint such a fantastic thing, she always seemed so dumb. As Qwill shows Melinda the rest of the house they discover that Koko is missing. They search all over and can’t find him, until Melinda discovers a stairway to the attic. There Koko is chilling on a large carton with a tag that says Daisy Mull on it. In the box are ratty winter clothes and an Ivory elephant with an Amanda Goodwinter’s Design Studio label on it. Everyone comes downstairs and as Qwill and Melinda are getting comfortable, Koko throws Melinda out.
Qwill finds it odd that the girl’s name was Daisy, just like the song Koko keeps plaaying. How odd and supernatural.
The next day Qwill recieves a letter from Hixie Rice who was wondering if he needs a good chef for a resturant as she is dating one and eager to travel. Yay! Hixie will be back!
Qwill tries to get more info on Daisy Mull from Roger, but Daisy wasn’t in his classes that was before his time. Mildred used to teach her though. Qwill also gets info on G&G. Alex is always gone to Washington for “buisness” but everyone knows he has a woman down there. Penelope never dates, she is only about her career.
The next day Koko takes off into the attic again. This time he discovers a boxful of Daisy Mull’s summer clothes. Now if she was taking off without her winter clothes, that would be understandable, but summer as well? Too odd. Qwill also discovers a 14-karet gold bracelet, cosmetics, and baby clothes. Why would she leave all this behind?
Mrs. Cobb discovers some personal K corresspondence in her room and leaves it for Qwill to check out. One thing that catches his eye is a post card from Daisy Mull with a Maryland postmark. Aparrently, Daisy left for Florida. However the handwriting doesn’t match the tags done on the boxes of her clothers. Qwill asks Mrs. Fulgrove as she used to woerk for Aunt Fanny, and discovers that she wrote the tags on the boxes, not Daisy. So that is one area of the mystery solved.
When he is done speaking to Mrs. Fulgrove, Koko apppears with a note from Mildred asking Qwill to come and have pie with her. That night Qwill asks Mildred about Daisy and finds out that she was very talented. Mildred had high hopes for her but she dropped out of school and left town. Qwill shows Mildred the post card and discovers that it is not Daisy’s hadwriting. Qwill hopes to get more info from Mrs. Mull, Daisy’s mom and asks Mildred to set up a meeting time as he has valuable objects to give her.
When he gets home, Qwill discovers that lazy Birch Tree has finlly decided to show up for work and put locks on the doors.
The next day Mildred comes to see the Daisy’s art and discuss what Mrs. Mull said. Apparently she had no word of Daisy’s leaving. She later recieved a post card thaty she was going to Florida. Mrs. Mull knew that Daisy as pregnant and was helping her make baby clothes. But before Qwill can talk to her, she ends up dead from ODing on pills and alcohol.
Amanda Goodwinter pays Qwill a visit and warns him about talking about private things around town. One never knows who is listening.
Qwill is also visited by Tiffany Trotter, Daisy’s old friend. She heard that Qwill was looking for information on Daisy and wanted to help out. Tiffany said that Daisy wanted to keep the baby and get married. Unfortunately the guy didn’t.
Dr. Melinda comes back from a conference in France and decides to help throw a dinner party for Qwill’s friend Arch Riker. When Arch comes Qwill gets the whole lowdown on what happened between Rosie & Arch. Rosie left him for another man and decided she didn’t want to be a wife & mom but a businessman.
Qwill tries to tell Arch about what he suspects, but Arch won’t listen. That night Qwill hears that Tiffany was killed in a tractor rollover.
Qwill checks out Daisy’s stuff agauin and discovers $1000. Now Qwill knows that there is no way Daisy would leave behind that much money. Something sinister must have happened to her.
Qwills dinner party is full of great food and the crazy characters from these past two books: Junior Goodwinter, Roger, Sharon, Mildred, Arch, Amanda, Penelope, and Alexander. During the course of the night they discuss the different mines in the area that Pickax is famous for. One of them, Three Pines, had a huge cave-in a couple years ago.
Koko wants to look through Daisy’s stuff in the attic and discovers Daisy’s diary.
Qwill takes it to Mildred who is able to decipher it. A rich guy called Sandy was the one who got her pregnant and did not want to keep the baby. Mrs. Mull convinced Daisy to not get an abortion like Sandy wanted, but to have it and make him pay.
That day Qwill goes biking and ends up having the accident.
Later Qwill gets a call from Penelope asking to visit and planning on bringing a bottle. Penelope shows up at Qwill’s totally and completely drunk. She is upset about a new lawyer Alexander is marrying and bringing her back to be part of the practice.
Koko starts freaking out around 2 o’clock, but Qwill can’t figure out why. Four hours later he fimds out. At 6, he is called with the news that Penelope took her life around 2 that day.. She went into the garage started a car and asphyxiated.
That day Qwill gets a letter from Penelope. In it she reveals that she and Alex had a very interesting relationship. She was always very jealous of those who took her twin’s attention. She went to all the same schools with him to be with him, even going into law to help him. Alex was picked on as a kid and Penelope paid Birch Tree to be Alex’s bodyguard. Alex got involved with one of the maids, Daisy Mull, and Penelope becaome very jealous as someone had stolen Alex’s affections. She enlisted Birch to take convince Daisy to get an abortion, but it doesn’t work. Birch ends up killing Daisy and burying her in the Three Pines Mine and destroying it to cover up what was going on. When Qwill started investigating they had ro get rid of those that might lead him in the right direction, Mrs. Mull and Tiffany. Penelope become infuriated when she found out that Alex was getting married, they got in a fight and Penelope wrote this letter because she feared for her life. If anything happened to her, this letter was instructed to be mailed.
Now I was always creeped out by the Penelope/Alex relationship. They really seem to hint at an incestous relationship, the way Penelope was crazed over him.
That night Qwill wakes up to the sound of thudding. Koko has been throwing himself at Qwill’s door trying to wake him up. Qwill follows Koko and discovers that someone has broken into the house. Qwill takes him out using a majolica vase.
Now the cover goes perfectly with the story as the cover has a majolica on it. I don’t like the new cover as much as it just has a mailbox and a posted letter.
When they killed Daisy, Penelope wrote the postcards and mailed them. Everything was fine until Qwill came along. Birch spied on Qwill for them and took are of anyone who might assist Qwill. Alex met a new girl and decided that Penelope needed to go as she knew too much.
Qwill is sad that innocents died but at the same time pleased that the murderers were finally brought to justice. He only has one question; was Penelope’s murder made to look like a suicide or did Penelope make her suicide look like a murder to send those guys to jail.