The Bandit Cat Investigation

Rated 4.80/5 based on 5 reviews
Life is suddenly changing for nine-year-old Zoe and Ben. The O’Reilly twins are moving from their house in the country to a city home in a neighborhood they know nothing about. Saying goodbye to friends and leaving familiar surroundings is tough and they don’t want to go. There are no woods near their new house and no kids on the new street either. More

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About Barbara McDonell

About Barbara McDonell

I live on the west coast of Canada on beautiful Vancouver Island which is so large that it takes eight hours to drive the length of it. With lots of forests and parks, wildlife is abundant - sometimes even in the city. Victoria is famous for the time a cougar walked into the Empress Hotel for afternoon tea!

I’m crazy-nuts about animals so it was destiny that my first job would be working in a pet hospital. Despite long hours and minimum pay, I loved it. But the veterinarian told me I got too emotionally attached to my patients. For several decades I was an administrative secretary, which is where I learned the importance of organizing chaos into calm. Later, I used that knowledge to reinvent myself by taking a leap of faith from a secure 9-5 job to operating my own business as a professional organizer.

Because I adore organizing, I cannot stop myself from sorting groceries into categories (fruit, vegetables, tinned goods, coffee, etc.) while waiting in the check-out line. When I visited a toy store with a mess of games hiding the cutest teddy bear in the world, I reorganized the display to focus on the bear…which was immediately nabbed by a young couple walking by. Confession: I once entered a department store to buy a picture for my wall and found the art section so jumbled that I couldn't locate the size frame I wanted. A half-hour later I'd pulled everything off the shelves and reorganized the frames by size.

Because I love variety and have a broad range of interests, I’ve published magazine and newspaper articles on hugely diverse subjects: cats, soppy Dobermans, hiking, hang gliding, travel fun, Victoria’s colorful history, housing issues, the making of artificial eyes (because I have one) and even a short erotic piece for “Playgirl” magazine.

When I began writing novels (on a manual typewriter, if you can believe it), by the time I got to Page 100 I was pooped. I decided it was time to join the modern world. Shaking in my boots, I bought a scary computer that sat on my desk in its unopened box for several weeks before I was brave enough to even unpack it. My two cats liked the machine because they could lie on top of it and stay warm.

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Reviews

Review by: diane howard on June 28, 2017 :
I loved the way Barbara formed her characters in this book that went along with a realistic narrative flow. It felt as if i had moved into this new neighbourhood with Ben and Zoe and their mum,
The excellent storytelling took me back to a quieter time before technology and organized play time became the norm. I would recommend this book, "The Bandit Cat Investigation" for children from the ages of 6 to 10.
Diane Berg.
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)

Review by: Stephanie Deakin on July 23, 2016 :
A delightful book! Although it's aimed at a young audience, I found it quite entertaining for an adult. The mystery keeps pulling you along, needing to know what happens next! And the intertwined story of the twins in their new home is well-told and very real. I loved it! I would absolutely recommend it to parents with children in the target age range, to cat-lovers, and to anyone who enjoys a good, innocent, well-written, interesting story.
(reviewed 33 days after purchase)

Review by: gmaysie on July 14, 2016 :
I forgot to submit a rating with my review - a solid 5 stars!
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)

Review by: gmaysie on July 14, 2016 : (no rating)
Clever writing with many life-lessons and discoveries for children in the 9 to 12 age group. Barbara's use of words is descriptive and delightful. She is obviously a cat lover and understands how a feline can take over a family. Lots of action with the children learning to empathize, and to help their immediate family and others around them. Refreshing, somewhat old-fashioned story free of today’s self-centred tech-talk. Lovely ending with the "block" party and new friends.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)

Review by: Peterfrinton on June 16, 2016 :
I just read The Bandit Cat, and like Lea Tassie, add caveats about being long past reading children's books, and to being a felineophile...

The story line is more than plausible; in fact it has elements in it that touch many families- moving to a new home, single parent, short of money, societal stratification, facing the unknown, sibling dynamics.

The author weaves these into a fast moving narrative that should keep a pre-teen engaged, and soft pedals the preachy stuff that comes with the genre.

This is no high-drama, conflict ridden tale, but rather one which addresses family and neighborhood issues head-on, and resolves to a happy ending.

Not for hyperactive young kids used to space adventures or shoot-em-ups. Or maybe it is, as an antidote. Barbara McDonell has an easy talent with words and takes a very measured approach to some dicey situations. She cleverly paints the rich relationships in which her characters live, and gives them all a chance to grow, while not ignoring their foibles.

It gets a solid four stars.
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)

Review by: Lea Tassie on June 10, 2016 :
I’m several years beyond reading a book for children, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Being a cat lover, Purrsnikitty the burglar cat was a big hit with me. The author obviously knows cats inside out. She also seems to know kids, because the twins, Zoe and Ben, sound like real live kids, both in action and dialogue. There’s plenty of conflict, for the kids are not happy about their move from the country to the city, life is difficult for everybody while their mother desperately searches for a job, and Ben can’t figure out where Purrsnikitty goes every day or who he steals from. But the twins demonstrate just how much fun you can have and how many friends you can make without needing money to do so. The book is a delight and I recommend it without hesitation.
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)

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