Putnam, Jan 2004, 23.95, 240 pp.
There is a lot happening in Pickax City, the town that is four hundred miles north of everywhere. Jim Qwilleran, the columnist for the local paper, is covering the opening night production of The Importance of Being Earnest starring newcomer Alden Wade. The lead actor moved from Lockmaster where his wife was murdered by a sniper. Another Lockmaster resident Ronnie Dickson is also in the cast, commuting every day because he loves acting. Jim gives the play a good review.
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While Qwill plays with his Siamese cats Kate and Yum-Yum, Koko meows, which means someone has died under suspicious circumstances. Ronnie dies in a car accident with pills and alcohol in his system. Rumors circulate that Alden gave the pills to Ronnie saying everyone in the theatre does it. Qwill decide to keep an eye on him since he married wealthy Mrs. Hibbard two decades older than him who dies shortly thereafter. Quill is onto a story about the Hibbards and their valuable home; after listening to Alden's step-son's story, he wonders if the man played a hand in the two deaths.
The title of THE CAT WHO WENT BANANAS refers to the Siamese cats who steal banana peels and leave them lying around so Alden can trip on it as neither cat likes Alden, especially Yum-Yum.