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The Cat Who Brought Down the House (The Cat Who... #25)

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,615 Ratings  ·  144 Reviews
Retiring in Pickax, actress Thelma Thackeray has decided to start a film club and organize a fundraiser revue, starring Koko the cat. But Thelma's celebrated arrival takes an unpleasant turn when the strange circumstances of her twin brother's recent death seem suspicious to Jim Qwilleran. Qwill needs a helping paw in this case. But will Koko deign to take time from his st ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published January 1st 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Benjamin Thomas
This is the 25th book in the "Cat Who" series and yes, I've read them all up to this point. Only 4 more to go. I read these as a sort of comfort food; I've grown so used to the characters and town of Pickax ("400 miles north of everywhere") and they are such quick reads. The entire series has ended up on my book shelves thanks to my mother who has read them all. Consequently, I always think of her when reading one and since she celebrated her 80th birthday this week, I thought it appropriate to ...more
Feb 12, 2014 Jessica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, 2011, 2014
Jim Qwilleran and his two awesome Siamese kitties go off to solve another mystery. This one revolves around a rich Mouse County native who comes back from California with wealth, a bunch of fancy hats, and a bunch of birds.

Unfortunately, the series has been slowly declining since about The Cat Who Sang for Birds (give or take a book or two). That doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy this book, however. The Cat Who books are like candy to me, and I swear my kitties have taken some mannerisms from Kok
Storm Chase
Mar 01, 2013 Storm Chase rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I used to love Cat Who books. They were never very good mysteries, but I liked the characters. Sadly, they became worse over time and this book is a pointless shambles. The publishers should be ashamed to put this out. If you want to try a Cat Who, pick one of the first ten she wrote.
May 15, 2016 Catherine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Cat Who books always captures my interest. The antics of the cats are amusing. Also Quill has a way of seeing things that others don't. So with the help of his cat Koko. Crimes are solved.
Linda Fast
I have read better mysteries and found this a little bit boring. The book centers itself in a town called Pickax which is located in Moose County. After 60 years of living in Hollywood Thelma Thackeray comes back to live in Pickax and open a movie house. Quill as he is affectionately known is a newspaper columnist and befriends Thelma. Quill has 2 cats who have an uncanny knack for identifing people who are good or bad and this leads Quill on the lookout for investigating troublesome intents.
I t
Jul 29, 2016 itchy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: w
p54: he would bike, pedaling his vintage british siiverlight
Jun 02, 2009 Beth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been years since I've read (or listened, in this case), to a The Cat Who book. I agree with other commenters that this one wasn't as engaging or as "mystery-like" as I remember the other books being. The mystery was practically solved earlier in the book, which made the end almost feel like a let down (or, rather, anti-climatic). I still enjoyed it, though. One thing about the narrator--every now and then he does a cat yowl, which I thought was a little creepy (it kind of made my hair stand ...more
I have skipped some books due not available. In this book I learned that Polly had inherited one of the huge mansions on Pleasant Street but was convinced-again-by Qwilleran to sell it. In this book ANOTHER native of Moose County-Thelma Thackery- returns after a very long career in movies in Hollywood. She brings with her a huge assortment of parrots, a female personal assistant/maid who appears to be very inconvenienced by her duties, and her nephew who appears to have some very questionable an ...more
Feb 29, 2016 Joowon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was my first book I've read among "The Cat Who...." series. One day I looked around a mystery section in my local library and saw lots of books with titles starting with "the cat who." With no information on the author and previous stories, I picked this book, which was the 25th addition. Before I read it, I was amazed with such a long series (I usually am) and probably had high expectations on this book. I thought that the author could not have been able to write this series up to more tha ...more
Sep 05, 2011 Gerry rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Koko and Yum-Yum are as charming as usual but the plot of this particular Cat Who ... is dire.

Thelma Thackeray (great name) returns to Moose County after her Hollywood career but what she does thereafter remains somewhat unclear as the story rambles on with seeming irrelevancies. I got completely and utterly lost but carried on for the sake of the cats!

Yawn ...
Jan 30, 2016 Nese rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although this is a typical feel good cozy that takes place in a small town with a lot of quirky and colorful characters, this small town has as much action, changes, and cultural activities as a big city. The relationships are affectionate and loving, yet believable and complex. Unlike most small towns, this town has a lot of well-to-do residents who can contribute to charities as well as cultural causes and events, and nobody seem to have any serious problems, the kind real people have, making ...more
Dec 03, 2012 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I want to like The Cat Who mysteries, but there is just something lacking there. I do admit that this is only the second I've tried and both were audio books. I told someone an old opera house and cats are two of my loves, but I can't say I loved this. It was quick and end was interesting, but the pace of the story in general was slow and folksy.
Sep 05, 2011 Jeff rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
We just listened to this on our Labor Day trip and I have to say this one was not as good as the others in this series that we have read. The mystery was solved very early on and there were no real twists or turns. The ending is very abrupt as well. Oh well. I still recommend reading other books in this series, but this one you can skip.
The Hobbit
This series is big on quirky characters and light on plot. This book has both plot and characters you want to meet. After her brother's death, Thelma Thackerey, aged 82, returns to Pickaxe after 60 years in California. She returns with her 5 parrots to open a film club, showing old Hollywood films. But her homecoming is ruined by the kidnapping of her beloved parrots and the ransom she must pay to get them back. Is it a coincidence that a murder occurs the same night as the ransom drop? The film ...more
A slight departure from previous books, but a delightful read in celebration of this long-running series. A Moose County native, Thelma Thackeray, who has been in Hollywood for forty years, is moving to Pickax with her companion, her Amazon parrots and her outrageous hat collection.
Jan 07, 2014 Betsy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The surprise at the end was the murderer who murdered the murderer, which made me give this book a 3 star, instead of the 2 star rating that the rest of the book deserved. I am a huge fan of this series but except for the last few pages, this one was not very engaging.
Thelma Thackeray, a home town girl who made it big in California with her restaurant that catered to the stars has returned to Pickaxe. At 82 years of age, she has returned with her five Amazon parrots to take up residence on Pleasant Street. Never one to sit on the side lines, she is renovating the dilapidated Opera House in order to open an old film cafe. Unfortunately, her disagreeable nephew has followed her bringing his gambling problems and disreputable friends with him. James Qwilleran an ...more
Aug 02, 2014 Tracey rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
(playaway audio edition) insipid story about a bachelor living (by choice???) with two cats named Koko and Yum-yums(!!!???!?!?!!?!!WTF). I had to throw this away (figuratively speaking, it was a library copy) out of pure distaste when he started writing poems to save the kittens in the shelter from euthanasia. Anyone that's ever had anything to do with shelters will tell you the problem is NOT a lack of people who care about kittens, it's that there are just TOO MANY KITTENS to begin with. Would ...more
Another Cat Who...mystery with a preposterous ending. It was fairly easy from the get go to discern who the bad guy was in the story. Once again Qwill solves the mystery with Koko's help while sweet Yum-Yum sits by looking adorable. Hollywood comes to Pickax along with the usual cast of characters. There is a gentleness to every Cat that is as welcomed as an old friend. I wouldn't want a steady diet of these books anymore than I'd want to spend copious amounts of time with old friends ...more
Apr 30, 2009 Teri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Cat Who Brought Down The House #25 by Lilian Jackson Braun

It had been a few years since reading a Cat Who mystery and it felt like I'd never left Moose County, 400 miles from everywhere. James Mackontosh Qwilleran, a former crime reporter from Down Below, with his huge mustache, now does the weekly Qwill Pen column for the Moose County newspaper. Qwill and Koko, his very intelligent Siamese cat, solve the mystery surrounding Thelma Thackerey's brothers untimely death. Does the Kit Kat Revue
Peggy Huey
Nov 27, 2015 Peggy Huey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thelma Thackeray returns to Pickax from Hollywood, making the citizens giddy with her tales of experiences with stars while turning the old opera house into a film club, and setting the town on edge as mysterious things begin to happen. Jim Quilleran is ably assisted by his psychic feline Koko to figure out what is happening and why in order to restore peace to the normally quiet town.
Jun 14, 2016 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I love the Braun books about Q and his cats.
As it turned out I had already heard this one before, but enjoyed a second listen.
Returning to the town 400 miles north of everywhere was a former local returned after her life in Hollywood. Hoping to help her only living relative, her nephew, she comes to town and opens Thelma's Movie Club.
Is this nephew worth the effort? I won't tell.....
Jun 26, 2012 Holly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2012, the-cat-who
I have read many of Lilian Jackson Braun's Cat Who...series. They are enjoyable light reading. The whole series revolves around a journalist named Jim Qwilleran and his Siamese cat Koko. They live in Moose County, 400 miles north of everywhere. Koko is an intuitive cat that nudges Jim in the right direction when a mystery needs solving. And no Koko is not a talking cat! In this story an elderly lady returns to Moose County after a 60 years in Hollywood. She is flamboyant with her fantastic hat c ...more
A friend of mine who loves mystery novels gave this to me. I guess I am not a fan of the "cosy" mystery genre. There was very little mystery and even less cats in this particular entry in the series. I had hoped for more cat interaction in the case, a la Carole Nelson Douglass' "Midnight Louie" series. Unfortunately, the Siamese cat of the title has little to do but yowl and spit at the culprit. It did not work for me.
Helen Talaniec
May 25, 2015 Helen Talaniec rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love these books! Very light reading, nothing scandalous, characters who are really characters (in a quirky, particular way), simple mysteries solved neatly and cats! I have a soft spot for animal stories but this is the only series with cats that I find myself returning to when I can't quite find anything of interest.
Jun 29, 2015 Ellen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a while to understand the strangeness of the style of writing but once I got past that it was a good story that I enjoyed. I'm really not sure what the cat had to do with anything, but the main character obviously adores his cats, and if he wants to think that they're special, then more power to him.
Lisa Kucharski
In terms of mystery, it was okay. You pretty much could figure it all out fairly easily, but proving it was a different thing. Again the characters are what you read the stories for and come back to learn how they are doing especially as the series gets toward the end.

Thinking that the author is approaching 80 at this point.
Aug 24, 2014 Diane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this out of curiosity. Cute premise and story - but I get tired of the fashion and architectural descriptions and constant reminders of who is who - although with its cast of characters I guess that is necessary. Will I read more in this series? Probably not. And that's just me.
Knit Spirit
Jun 03, 2016 Knit Spirit rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lorsqu'une enfant du pays revient à Pickaks après avoir réussi en Californie, cela intrigue tout le monde, en particulier notre très cher Qwill !
Comme à chaque fois, c'est un plaisir de retrouver tous les personnages du Comté de Moose. J'ai passé un très agréable moment à lire ce livre. Comme très souvent, l'histoire est bien menée et le suspens savamment dosé.
En bref : à lire !
This one wasn't a standard solve-the-murder mystery. There is a person who is already dead - dead a couple years - whose death leaves lots of questions. But Qwill doesn't actually solve it, at least not in a traditional sense.

The resolution had a bit of noir to it, particularly since one of the characters introduced for this plot came back to Pick Ax after living for several decades in Los Angeles. But since it was a bit noir, it would have been better if she'd embraced that more fully. Though
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The Women's Myste...: The Cat Who Brought Down The House #26 1 2 Aug 09, 2013 10:13PM  
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Lilian Jackson Braun was an American writer. She is well-known for her light-hearted series of The Cat Who... mystery novels. The Cat Who books center around the life of former newspaper reporter James Qwilleran, and his two Siamese cats, KoKo and Yum Yum in the fictitious small town of Pickax located in Moose County, "400 miles north of everywhere." Although never formally stated in the books, th ...more
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