Spring has come early to Moose County. The flowers are blooming and the birds are singing, but all is not well four hundred miles north of everywhere.On the surface, things appear tranquil - Jim Qwilleran, newspaper columnist and the county's richest resident, has moved back into the remodeled apple barn with his two remarkable felines, Koko and Yum Yum. And the newly built gazebo is providing an idyllic opportunity for all three to commune with nature.But then an elderly woman dies in a suspicious fire, and the newly opened art center falls victim to a mysterious break-in. Throw in a scandal involving an unscrupulous local politician and an anticomputer uprising at the town library and suddenly life in Pickax is anything but peaceful. In addition, a young artist disappears and Qwill, Koko, and Yum Yum have some serious sleuthing to do.