The Cat Who series by Lilian Jackson Braun

The Cat Who Series
The first book in this series was published in 1966, yet I really wasn’t aware of the series until I picked up a cookbook by chance that was based on the books. It piqued my interest, so when I went to my first book discussion at the library, I picked up the first book in the series and started reading while waiting for other people to show up. No one else ever did show, so I made it through the first three chapters and decided to check the book out. I just finished the first book (1/12) and enjoyed it, so I’m hoping the second book will be at the library when I make a trip today.

The Cat Who Could Read Backwards 1/12/09
This book introduces the main character of the series: Qwilleran, a newspaper man,  and Qwilleranmeets the intuitive Siamese cat, Koko. Qwilleran is unemployed and looking for a new beat. He happens upon a gig writing art features for a paper (not his first choice in a job since he previously wrote about crime) and proceeds to unravel an art murder mystery with the help of Koko. A nice, easy read after toiling with the first Wideacre book!

The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern 1/14/09
Qwilleranis assigned to do an interior design magazine supplement for the newspaper, again, not an assignment he is thrilled about, but behold! There just happens to be a theft and death at the first house he writes about. Now Qwilleran and Koko have a caseto solve! Eventually, they will also pick up a new friend in this book: Yum Yum the dainty female Siamese. And why is the book titled the way it is? Let’s just say Koko gets his fill of a green chair modeled in a Danish style…

The Cat Who Turned On and Off 1/15/09
I have now finished the first three books in this series. They all follow a common theme, but their ease in reading, trying to figure out who done it, and seeing how the cats help Qwilleran solve the mystery have all made each one a good read. One thing I do like about falling onto a series some time after it has been published is that I don’t have to wait for the next book! In this one, Qwilleran is again set to a task he is less than thrilled about – writing a Christmas piece about Junktown. Junktown is an area of town devoted to antique shops, but the city has ignored the area and it’s become rundown. Qwilleran needs a place to live, so finds himself not only visiting Junktown, but living there too! He arrives a couple months after the death of one of the dealers; a death the police have ruled accidental. Qwill and the cats have another idea about the death…

The Cat Who Saw Red 4/12/09
Qwill has been assigned to write a gourmet food article for the newspaper, so he takes a dinner invitation at Maus Haus – an old building that has been renovated into studio apartments for foodies and artists (there is an old pottery attached to the building that still functions). Upon arriving at Maus Haus, Qwill is surprised to be reacquainted with his old girlfriend and eventually ends up moving into Maus Haus. But Qwill and the cats are involved in another mystery when Qwill’s past girlfriend disappears.

The Cat Who Played Brahms 4/13/09
Qwill and the cats are on the move again. This time they are heading out of the city and into Mooseville for a relaxing three month vacation in a cabin owned by Qwill’s mother’s best friend, Aunt Fanny. Shortly after arriving, Qwill notices that the cats know something is up in this quiet country retreat – they keep an almost constant eye on the area behind the cabin. The “we don’t use locks” attitude of the country folk makes Qwill nervous, especially when he notices that people are coming in and out of the cabin while he is out. Koko finds a suspicious cassette tape hidden behind a mounted moose head, and then a neighbor is murdered. Sounds like Qwill won’t get the vacation he was hoping for!

The Cat Who Played Post Office 4/14/09
Qwill and the cats stayed in the Mooseville area and have moved into Aunt Fanny’s mansion. Qwill was the sole heir of Fanny’s estate. Koko is on the track of something mysterious having to do with a former housekeeper who worked for Fanny. Qwill need to pay attention and try to determine what Kokois trying to tell him because Qwill’s own life is in danger this time!

The Cat Who Had 14 Tales 6/09/09
Not exactly part of the series per se. Qwill, Koko, and Yum Yum are not mentioned, but there are 14 short stories about cats. Still a good read and I did find out later that some of the stories in this book were eluded to or mentioned in later books that do follow Qwill and his furry friends.

The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare 6/10/09
Qwill is still out in the boondocks of Mooseville, although he is living in an apartment above the garage and his housekeeper is the only one actually living in the big mansion left to Qwill by Aunt Fanny. This time the mystery surrounds the small town’s only newspaper and the murder of it’s longtime publisher. Koko has found a fondness for Shakespeare -will it lead to a clue in the murder?

The Cat Who Sniffed Glue 6/11/09
Koko has decided he is addicted to glue – he licks envelopes, and Qwill thinks it might be the bookbinding glue that is attracting the little guy to books. No doubt Koko’s glue sniffing will help out when two of the townspeople are murdered. I am still really enjoying this series – nice, quick, light reading between everything else I pick up at the library!

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