After reading Jennifer J. Chow’s new Sassy Cat mystery, Mimi Lee Cracks the Code, I saw that my Kindle Notes had over thirty questions. I will try not to ask her all of them, but the action alternates between LA and Catalina Island, so there’s a lot of territory to cover and a lot of clues for Mimi to investigate. All the while Mimi’s mother plays matchmaker to Mimi’s younger sister, Alice, and Mimi and Josh experience their first relationship crisis.
Due to Jennifer’s new responsibilities at Sisters in Crime, she will no longer blog with WWK. But we hope she comes back to visit often. E. B. Davis
You mentioned that Hollywoof has a Bark of Fame, which holds the image of Lassie’s paw prints. What other canine stars are on the walkway? Toto is definitely on the walkway. As for other canines, I’m definitely open to suggestions!
What is a dabbing dog?
The dabbing dog refers to an image of a dog doing a dance called
the dab. It’s where you drop your head in the crook of one arm and raise the
other arm at an upward angle.
Pixie is known for her homemade unusual drinks. What types of drinks does she make? I’ve never seen a mother-of-pearl table top let alone an entire bar. Are they really a thing?
In the previous books, Pixie has made a blue tea with butterfly pea flower, a frothy green lime drink, and a refreshing iced tea with hand-picked garden herbs. I found mother-of-pearl tables online, and I wanted to extend that luxury to Pixie’s bar.
What is piping hot roti? Is that rotini?
Roti is short for roti canai. It’s a type of flatbread found in Southeast Asia. A side of curry for dipping usually accompanies the bread.
Does shiok mean good?
Shiok means good
or enjoyable or delicious (when applied to food).
Alice, on summer break from teaching, is binging on Korean dramas. Are they readily available on TV? Or is there a subscriber channel? I’ve never heard of Korean dramas.
Korean dramas (or K-dramas) can be found on certain TV channels or
How is Catalina pronounced?
Catalina is pronounced kat-uh-lee-nuh (although Marshmallow likes to emphasize the cat sound in the word).
What does pakat mean?
Pakat means to
agree on doing something together in advance.
In high school, the parents wanted to protect their teenagers. Now that Mimi and Alice both in their 20s and inching toward 30, it’s a different story—especially for their mother.
Is sending a vCard like sending someone a contact? What is it?
Yes, a vCard is a virtual contact file. It’s like an electronic business card that you can send as a file.
Don’t the police have to reveal why they have jurisdiction?
Police usually have jurisdiction over crimes that happen in their geographic territory. For example, Catalina Island has its own department that is contracted with the Sheriff’s Department of Los Angeles County. A long time ago, though, I believe they had their own private police patrol.
Mimi discovers that a scarf once owned by Marilyn Monroe was stolen from Pixie’s rental house. It, along with other retro items, was used to decorate the house. I hadn’t known that Marilyn Monroe lived on Catalina Island when she was younger. What were the circumstances?
Yes, Marilyn Monroe (or rather, Norma Jeane) moved to Catalina Island with her first husband, Jim Dougherty. A merchant marine, he was stationed there for a year.
Josh agrees to accompany Mimi to Catalina and stay with her at Pixie’s rental house. But after a comment about their being “lovebirds,” Josh shies away from Mimi and buries himself in work. What were Mimi’s expectations? Are they moving too fast?
I think Mimi wanted a nice romantic getaway, to spend time with each other. She wasn’t expecting to compete with his job during their couple’s outing.
Why are fireworks illegal on Catalina Island?
Catalina has its own official fireworks show. Other fireworks are illegal on the island due to fire risk.
During Mimi’s investigation, she must enter a park that doesn’t allow cats so she can’t take Marshmallow with her. How does anyone keep cats from entering a park?
I think it’s more that Mimi doesn’t want to keep an eye on Marshmallow while investigating. There are, though, a lot of migratory birds who go to that specific local park.
Carl Rogers was a humanistic psychologist who emphasized
acceptance and empathy. His active listening method involved focusing on the
other person and included paraphrasing and reflecting back feelings. Yes, Mimi
was an undergrad psychology major at UCLA.
When Mimi finds out that Josh’s paralegal named Gertrude is a young blonde, she also realizes that Gertrude is after Josh. What is Mimi’s reaction?
Mimi was shocked. She didn’t think of Gertrude as a threat to her relationship with Josh, but soon afterward, Marshmallow dubs Gertrude the “para-lethal.”
Although Detective Brown does give Mimi a few hints about the case, the real information comes from his cat. How does Mimi get the information?
It’s very helpful that Mimi has Marshmallow who can talk to his
fellow cats. Cat-to-cat communication gives them a lot of helpful tips for this
Is ninety percent of communication nonverbal?
I don’t know if it’s actually true, but some studies have
indicated that ninety percent of communication is nonverbal.
How does eight-eight-eight sound like “fortune” times three?
In Chinese, the word for “eight” sounds a lot like the word for
“fortune.” Thus, eight times three is triple the fortune!
When their mother gets into an online chat room for those of Chinese Malaysian heritage, she arranges for Alice to meet a possible match, but his mother wants to meet Alice first. Mimi goes with her. The women find the mother is prejudiced, calling them “jook sing” or hollow bamboo. What does that mean?
Jook sing is a phrase that I’ve heard used in a derogatory way. It refers to Chinese Americans who are so Westernized that even though they have a bamboo exterior, there’s a hollowness on the inside.
Do those who are half of one race and half of another always feel inadequate? The mother’s judgment really affects Mimi by giving her a negative perspective on herself.
I think people have different experiences of being biracial. Some friends I know, though, do find it difficult to really claim an identity or fit in at times.
Do scented shampoos bother dogs? They have such a strong sense of smell.
Good question. I think it depends on the dog. There are definitely different scented puppy shampoos on the market: lavender, coconut, baby powder, apple, berry, and so on.
What are snow bowls? Why does Mimi choose medicinal dark grass jelly as one of her toppings? I can kind of understand condensed milk, mango chunks, and sweet potato balls since they are all sweet, but grass jelly?
Snow bowls are a type of dessert that’s made with a mound of finely shaved ice. Toppings are added to create a customized flavor. Grass jelly is an acquired taste since it has an herbal, slightly bitter flavor. Some people like how it counterbalances the sweetness (like in desserts and with bubble tea). It also has cooling properties and antioxidants.
Mimi bounces legal questions off Josh, who informs her that there is no such thing as having to wait forty-eight hours before reporting someone as missing. Is that true?
When I researched this, interestingly, there isn’t a wait period, particularly for law enforcement agencies in California. Forty-eight hours, though, is crucial for figuring out what happened to the missing person.
When Mimi and Alice go to a Korean tofu stew place, Mimi asks for a raw egg to be dropped in hers. Does the egg cook?
Usually, the tofu stew is so hot and bubbly that the egg will cook in the broth. (Some restaurants may also offer pasteurized eggs for customers.)
What’s next for Mimi and Marshmallow?
Depending on what happens on sales with Book 3, Mimi and Marshmallow will either go forth on another adventure or get a break from their sleuthing activities.