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The Cat Who... (Awesome book series!!!)

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hi all!!

I just wanted to take a minute to recommend a FANTASTIC series my mom and I have been reading. They are, "The Cat Who..." mysteries, by Lillian Jackson Braun.

I posted the titles in order below. The stories feature the lives and adventures of the smart cat Koko and the sweet little Yum Yum, two siamese, and their personal valet , Jim Qwilleran. There is something compelling about these books. It's not just the mystery part, which will keep you guessing and often has twists at the end, but the books follow the everyday life of the characters, and are "Can't put it down!" facinating!

When you read these books, you know that the author is not only a cat lover, but someone who has a cat. Because only a cat owner and lover could thrill as we all do at the antics and hijinks of our fur-babies.

Post and let me know when you've read the stories, what you think of them, what your favorite parts are, etc...


The Cat Who Could Read Backwards
The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern
The Cat Who Turned On and Off
The Cat Who Saw Red
The Cat Who Played Brahms
The Cat Who Played Post Office
The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare
The Cat Who Sniffed Glue
The Cat Who Went Underground
The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts
The Cat Who Lived High
The Cat Who Knew a Cardinal
The Cat Who Moved a Mountain
The Cat Who Wasn't There
The Cat Who Went into the Closet
The Cat Who Came to Breakfast
The Cat Who Blew the Whistle
The Cat Who Said Cheese
The Cat Who Tailed a Thief
The Cat Who Sang for the Birds
The Cat Who Saw Stars
The Cat Who Robbed a Bank
The Cat Who Smelled a Rat
The Cat Who Had 14 Tales
The Cat Who Went Up the Creek
The Cat Who Brought Down The House
The Cat Who Talked Turkey
The Cat Who Went Bananas
The Cat Who Dropped A Bombshell
post #2 of 23
Thread Starter 
I will warn you all about three things in this series. Not to put a damper on you enjoying them but just so you know about them and are ready for them. If you don't want to know, skip to #3.


1. The first of the books was done in the late 1960's. So there are cultural and technological references that date some of the early ones. As her books became more popular, the author started being a bit more ambiguous in those references so they would be a little harder to pin down. Qwilleran and the cats are ageless. Qwill is always 50-ish and the cats' ages aren't mentioned so the stories can go on and on. Yay!!


2. This is personal one. I have found a few mistakes in her work, mostly in areas, which I, (an artist by trade) have worked in, and it's obvious that she has not. They are little mistakes that won't unhinge the story, but I noticed them as they were artistic in reference and I am an artist.

Once, someone attacked Qwilleran with a palette knife and she said that they tried to slash him with it. I paint and my palette knife is not a knife. It's more like a cross between a spatula and a butter knife. It's not a real knife! You want to do some damage, start waving my palette scraper around! The thing has a razor blade on it to scrape old paint off the palette. The other time was when Qwilleran was watching an artist unload a kiln that had supposedly just finished firing. The guy took pieces out bare handed and handed them to people. I've worked in clay and I know for a fact that the glaze firing has to cool down for a few days before the door can be opened. If you open it too soon the cold air would rush into the kiln and thermal shock everything in there and stuff would start exploding (no, not kidding). Even when it does cool down enough to open the door, you still have to use gloves because they are too hot to touch. How do I know this? Because I was there once after a glaze firing had been cooling for a few days and they were unloading and I was so anxious to get my hands on my piece that I picked it up. Ouch! Only did that once!!


3. Thing number three that I will warn you about this series: YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO PUT THEM DOWN!! So don't read them before bed cause you won't go to sleep!


Enjoy!!!
post #3 of 23
I've heard so many positive recommendations from fellow kitty loving friends about this series of books. Thank you for the reminder, I really must check into this for a bit of fun Summer reading!
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
Ok, last thing, I swear, then I'm going to bed! Really!!


Disclaimer: An excerpt from, "The Cat Who Smelled a Rat," by Lillian Jackson Braun. All copyright, trademark, and props go to her. I'm not trying to infringe, I just want to show a bit to show how good her books are.


If you like this little section, you will love the rest of the books. Night all!!



"\tAs he drove to Indian Village, the sky became leaden, and dusk was falling early. He was not surprised to see the interior of Unit Four in a state of confusion. Everything not nailed down had been knocked to the floor – almost everything. Strangely, the martini pitcher, bowl of wooden apples and glove box were untouched. But Qwilleran's desktop was swept clean, two lamps were toppled, and the Danish rug was crumpled like an unmade bed. This was a cat fit at its worst – or best, depending on one's point of view.

\tKoko was obviously pleased with his performance. He lounged full-length on the mantel and surveyed the clutter with satisfaction. And where was Yum Yum? Huddled in the spectator gallery on the stairs, guarding a treasure that the police had left behind: a stick of chewing gum, probably the first she had ever seen.

\tQwilleran had survived enough cat fits to know what to do: Stay calm; don't scold; clean up.

\tAs he worked, he considered the status quo. The cat fit marked the advent of the Big One – but also the closure of the Three Bad Apples case. He knew by experience that Koko would now loose interest in apples, robins, carved boxes, and letters to the editor. It proved one of two theories: Either Koko was consciously exposing evil… or he was just a cat, briefly interested in this or that. There were no absolute answers.



\tFor the cats' dinner, Qwilleran diced turkey from Toodle's deli; for himself he opened a can of soup. Then he read aloud, with Yum Yum curled on his lap and Koko sitting tall on the arm of the chair. At one point, both small bodies tensed , and heads turned toward the front windows. Then both cats raced to the kitchen window. All was silent outdoors, and the night was dark, but the light from the kitchen revealed the first few snowflakes fluttering lazily to the parched earth.

\tA deep gurgling sound came from Koko, and a faint mewing from Yum Yum. It was the prelude to the Big One!

\tQwilleran grabbed his jacket and wool hat and went out the front door. The flakes meandered earthward like a gentle blessing. No neighbor was around to share the magical moment. Two delicate snowflakes came to rest on his moustache. And then – why not? He stuck out his tongue."
post #5 of 23
Oh, I have been reading "The Cat Who..." series since high school, my mom got me hooked. I have read them all and love them. I have also noticed a few mistakes, mostly with continuity, probably because she spits them out so fast!
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnasMom
Oh, I have been reading "The Cat Who..." series since high school, my mom got me hooked. I have read them all and love them. I have also noticed a few mistakes, mostly with continuity, probably because she spits them out so fast!

Hi!

Aren't they addictive?! I haven't read her latest. TCW Dropped a Bombshell. And despite tiny (and I mean tiny!) mistakes, I can't stop reading them! She averages a book a year, which is pretty amazing!
post #7 of 23
I have read every one of those books at least 3 times. I love them.
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Have you seen, "The Cat Who Cookbook"? It has all the recipies from all the books. Including the recipie for the pasty.
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumpleteazer
Have you seen, "The Cat Who Cookbook"? It has all the recipies from all the books. Including the recipie for the pasty.
You mean the Nasty Pasty?!
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnasMom
You mean the Nasty Pasty?!
There's a couple of recipies for pasties including one from The Nasty Pasty.
post #11 of 23
I love those books! I have the series and I get them out and read them all at least once a year. Glad to hear other people like them too.
post #12 of 23
Yes, I love that as well.
YUM! Yum!
post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
Yay! I'm glad others like them too! I was in a used book store today and they had Biblio-cats! And they liked me! My mom and I cleaned out all but two or three copies of their Cat Who books. Comstocks is just like Eddingtons. But with two calicos instead of Winston. Is there anything better than books and cats?!
post #14 of 23
I've read them all over the years, I love them all. I also highly recommend the Rita Mae Brown "Mrs. Murphy" series, Ive read them all twice .
post #15 of 23
I love this series too! I can't wait to read each new book as it comes out and regularly visit my old favourites!
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
You know, I had just been reading about Koko putting teeth marks in a bunch of letters, and then I was looking through the books I bought at the used book store, and I turned one book over to look at the back, and it has obviously been chewed on by a cat.


BTW, if you haven't read TCW Dropped a Bombshell, don't read this last part cause I'm gonna ask people what they thought of it and it might spoil stuff for you!

Hey, anyone who has read TCW Dropped a Bombshell, what did you think of it? I was very disapointed! How many people did we fall in love with in other books who DIED?! And seemed to get no real recognicion! Like Mr. Q didn't even care! Homer Tibbit?! She remarked in a lot of books how Homer and Rhoda were like Qwill's adopted grandparents and he doesn't even call her and there's not elaborate funeral as there are in other books. I don't know, but part of the reason I love these books is the lazy, sedate life of Moose County. I thought Qwill kinda sailed through this one with the barest of formalities. In other books (SPOILER!!), there would have been a whole thing about a huge protest when Liz Hart dies in the car accident, but she isn't even discussed in the coffee shop and Qwill never contacts Derek to see how he's doing! I did like the parts about Koko dropping like a bombshell from the ceiling! That's a cat! Oh, and I loved the part about cats being "centerists," meaning they love to find the very center of things and sit there. My cat proved last night that she is an avid follower of this art form, by insisting on sleeping in the very middle of my bed, whether I was there or not! Anway, it was a good book, but I wonder if she's having trying to produce them too fast. What does everyone else think?

~~Rumple-T
post #17 of 23
Ooh, I am so glad you brought this up. TCW Dropped a Bombshell was nowhere near the caliber of the other books. They never really mentioned how Derek Cuttlebrink handled Liz's death and, yea, Homer's death was largely ignored.

This made me wonder...Did you know the Nancy Drew series was written by a committe and Carolyn Keene was simply a member of that committee? I wonder if LJB has passed on the writing of TCW series to a committee. The whole booked seemed stylistically wrong!

Amy
post #18 of 23
Hmmm. I have heard other people say that the caliber of the later book are not the same as the earlier ones. There is other speculation that she is not actually writing the books but that they are being ghost written. What I do know is that if she is writting the book she is doing pretty good for a 94 year old. (She was born in 1912.) I like her books but when Qwill got all that money he stopped chasing younger women and settled down into a little to genial of a life for me. Don't get me wrong I still love them but not as much as the first ones.

Tricia
post #19 of 23
Hi - I'm a huge fan of the books. And you can re-read them again and again. I wanna live in Moose County!! Sometimes I say to my siamese Tiki "Why can't you be more like Koko", and then I try and count her whiskers to see how many she's got to see if she has the potential to be as smart as he is - but she runs away. I think I own about five of the books, although I've read about 8. I intend to collect them, however the bookstores in my area have a limited number of the titles. Oh well - Ebay perhaps?!
I had a quick scan of the other posts here, but I've had to stop cos I might find out too much....gotta keep some mystery.
post #20 of 23
Read all of them except TCW Dropped a Bombshell which I haven't bought yet. Loved them all.

Have any of you read the Shirley Rousseay Murphy books about Joe Grey and Dulcie - the cats who solved mysteries and can TALK HUMAN to their humans. This is all I have at the moment -
Cat on the Edge
Cat Under FIre
Cat raise the Dead
Cat in the Dark
Cat to the Dogs
Cat Spitting Mad
Cat Laughing Last
Cat Cross Their Graves
Cat Fear No Evil

They are also a great read and verrrry hard to put down. The moment I buy a new one I do almost nothing until I've finished it.
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by felineorc View Post
Read all of them except TCW Dropped a Bombshell which I haven't bought yet. Loved them all.

Have any of you read the Shirley Rousseay Murphy books about Joe Grey and Dulcie - the cats who solved mysteries and can TALK HUMAN to their humans. This is all I have at the moment -
Cat on the Edge
Cat Under FIre
Cat raise the Dead
Cat in the Dark
Cat to the Dogs
Cat Spitting Mad
Cat Laughing Last
Cat Cross Their Graves
Cat Fear No Evil

They are also a great read and verrrry hard to put down. The moment I buy a new one I do almost nothing until I've finished it.
Wow! I thought that there were only two or three published. Now I know! I've read two of them. I hated the first one for some reason (even though I HAD to finish it), but really liked the second one I read, and was a bit disappointed to think that I'd come to the end of the series. Hmmmm - I think they've grown on me. Thanks for the info Felineorc!
post #22 of 23
Yes, I remember that nasty pasty. I can read these books over and over. I love them all.
post #23 of 23
I read all of these series and anxiously await each new release. I, too was a bit disappointed with the loose ends in The Cat Who Dropped A Bombshell.
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