Years ago Frank Asch wrote a whole series of picture books about Moonbear, which were for young children and were very heartwarming. Mrs. Marlowe's Mice is neither. Written with his son Devin, this book has a much darker quality. Depictions of the street outside Mrs. Marlowe's house remind me of old movies of Nazi Germany. And the serious expressions of the police officers' faces reinforce my opinion. Did I say that the "people" in this book are cats? They are. The widow Mrs. Marlowe is secretly, and illegally, harboring mice in her home. That may explain the furtive way she is looking around as she is unlocking her door in the first picture. Is this the period that the Asches are trying to evoke?
Or do the Asches mean to refer to the United States? We discover that the police who bang on her door to investigate are from Catland Security. You might want to check out the number on the badge that Lieutenant Manx shows Mrs. Marlowe.
Or are the Asches merely writing a companion piece to Mr. Maxwell's Mouse, an earlier collaboration? If so, they have created very detailed illustrations. Careful perusal reveals a neighbor across the way looking toward Mrs. Marlowe's window, and later on we can find the hiding places that some of the mice have taken before the police storm through the place.