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The Cat Who Lived High (Cat Who... #11)

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  4,786 Ratings  ·  150 Reviews
The colorful Casablance apartment building is in danger of demolition--but not if Jim Qwilleran can help it. He's determined to restore the building to its original grandeur. So he moves in with Koko and Yum Yum--and discovers that the Casablanca is steeped in history...and mystery. In Qwill's very apartment, a glamorous art dealer met an untimely fate, and the veteran jou ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published May 1st 1991 by Jove Books (first published 1990)
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Book Review
4 of 5 stars to The Cat Who Lived High, the 11th book in the "Cat Who" cozy mystery series written by Lilian Jackson Braun in 1990. For fans of the series, this one's a real treat. Qwill heads back "Down Below" to investigate something back in Junktown, where he formerly resided (sort of) prior to the Pickax Klingenschoen inheritance. It's a good cross between the two places... but Braun takes it a step further, tricking fans into believing she's killed off Qwill in this book. It'
Una Tiers
May 23, 2014 Una Tiers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I like when Qwilleran goes away from the home base to have an adventure.
Apr 06, 2017 Crystal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Definitely one of my favorites. Braun has fun with character work, and she's also quite adept at making a good setting a character as well.
Susan Webb
May 26, 2017 Susan Webb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
what a crazy book! But at least Koko saved the day!
Oct 13, 2016 Athimar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ms. Braun starts off her book with a flourish - Jim Qwilleran (Qwill) is dead. Despite all the warnings, Qwill ventured down below and was involved in a horrific automobile murder/accident, his body incinerated. And with his death, the K-Fund monies will be leaving Pickaxe County for the New Jersey shore. How did this happen? Well...

As hinted at the end of her previous book (though in a manner somewhat contradictory to the beginning of this one), Ms. Braun decides to allow Qwill back "down below
Nathalie S
Apr 27, 2014 Nathalie S rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THE CAT WHO LIVED HIGH along with THE CAT WHO READ BACKWARDS and THE CAT WHO ATE DANISH MODERN are my top three favorites of the Koko and Yumyum mysteries and yes, Jim Qwilleran (with that "ridiculous W") too of course. In this one, Jim, as founder of the uber wealthy K-Fund, is called upon by some of his old friends in Junk Town to rescue the ageing and dilapidated Casablanca, a 1920s apartment building previously known as the go-to address of anyone who was anyone and fabulously rich in that h ...more
Feb 18, 2010 Rage rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't remember reading this before, so a lot of the story came as a surprise to me! Qwilleran heads down south to "Junktown," a crime-infested urban center where he's been asked to preserve a historical building. This leads to a series of conversations where Q is mostly asking people how to spell their names and weather delivered with a summary of the day's grisly slayings. Funny, if you don't take it too seriously. There's also a lot about sensuous mushroom paintings and a bunch of colorful ...more
Feb 17, 2014 Xinh rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Normally, I give the books in this series a middle rating because they're just okay to me. But this one just bothered me.

First, it's like the author had a stick up her ass about how much better it is to live in the country than the city because the city is a dark and dangerous place. Except that in the books that take place in the country, she's killed off characters left and right.

Second, the author wrote the first 3 books in the late 60s and set the books in that time period. Then she took a
Jan 26, 2009 Uglyoldwitch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
They're like candy. I can't help myself. Give me a Lilian Jackson Brown book, two hours, and a bathtub -- and I'll have a cavity. I love her writing, I adore the siamese cats, and Qwill is a great character.

Candy. M&M's in book-form.
Mar 29, 2016 itchy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: w
this book is full of fungi

of course qwill would make a killing (view spoiler)
Dec 26, 2016 Bonnie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thought I had read all of this series!! Was a pleasure to find one I hadn't! Prefer the Up North books, but as usual a fun read!
Lesley Looper
May 29, 2017 Lesley Looper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I usually gives these books a decent 2- or 3-star rating, but I enjoyed this one a bit more than usual. I've read most of the books in this series, and enjoyed the different location of this one! While I missed the usual cast of characters, I enjoyed meeting new characters. Also, this installment didn't wrap up as neatly as others in The Cat Who... series, which was a nice change of pace.
Jun 07, 2017 B.E. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite of the books in this series, but still pretty enjoyable.
May 09, 2017 Sue rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would give this book a 3.5 if I could.
Jun 20, 2017 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a good book.
Heather Culwell
Mar 19, 2017 Heather Culwell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very cute, simple read. This is my first "The Cat Who..." novel and I really enjoyed it.
Sarah Baker
I really liked that Qwill *didn't* save the day. He tried, and he used his connections to solve the mystery, but it was for naught. I guess I like it because that feels closer to life - things don't always wrap up neatly, and sometimes you fail no matter what because it's a situation that you'll never gain the upper hand with.
Feb 21, 2008 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Cat fans, "Cat Who" fans, mystery fans, and anyone who lenjoys a good read!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 18, 2016 Gloria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone over 18; detective; mystery stories; who done it?; cats
Qwilleran receives a phone call inviting him down to the city he was in before. This was referenced in the previous book. While he was down here, Chief Brodie received a phone call that said Qwill died in a car accident. The reader is then taken to connect pieces.

Qwilleran was living in the drab, run-down Casablanca, and he runs into several characters the readers were introduced to in prior books. A group wants him/his fund to restore the building as it was in the 1920's, so that's what the ph
James Qwilleran decides to go back to the big city Down Below where he lived before Pickax. He has been given a business proposition i.e. buying and renovating a historical high rise dwelling that the current city power holders want to tear down. Despite everyones misgivings about him going to an environment that is full of crime that could potentially cause him harm, if not worse, Qwilleran packs up a few belongings and his two Siamese cats, Koko nd Yum Yum, and drives on down in his slightly u ...more
Sep 23, 2014 Gemma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Also posted on my blog at The Humble Book Nerd

Another fun entry in what has got to be the most charming series I’ve ever read!

Journalist Jim Qwilleran packs up and takes his pet Siamese, superintelligetn Koko and glamorous Yum Yum, to a penthouse apartment in the big city for the winter, and it’s definitely an adventure. I missed the happenings in Moose County, not to mention all of Qwill’s quirky neighbors, but there were certainly some characters at the
May 10, 2012 Bailey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read and re-read and re-re-read these books dozens of times. This one falls somewhere in the middle of the series - Jim Qwilleran is newly(ish) established in Pickax, but he's not as settled in as he is towards the end of the series. (Really, the last 10 or so books were Same Shit, Different Day - glorious apple barn! Outsider who doesn't belong gets what's coming to them! Condo in Indian Village! Andy Brody has swagger! Amanda Goodwinter crabs about everything! He feels genial towards old ...more
M. J.
Aug 19, 2014 M. J. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 28, 2012 Sue rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, usa
The book opens with the residents of Pickax being notified of Qwill's death in a fiery car crash. Knowing that there are many more books in the series, my thought was "OK, how is THIS one going to be played out?" Essentially the entire book is the background to get you to that piece of information. Qwill had received an invitation from people he knew during his Junktown days Down Below to come south and look into the possibility of restoring the old Casablanca apartment building. Wanting to esc ...more
Jan 22, 2014 Sharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I loved "The Cat Who ..." books for ages, so when one I had never read turned up on our office book swap shelf, I was delighted.

This outing sees Jim Qwilleran and his two clever Siamese cats spending part of the winter at the Casablanca apartments "down below." The old Art Deco building is falling apart, and Qwill's foundation is considering paying for renovation as an investment. For Qwill's part, he's interested in the residents and thinking about writing a book.

Then he learns that the previou
Roger Verstraete
Jim Qwilleran: A 52 year old retired journalist. He now writes a column for the local newspaper. He has a luxuriant mustache, drooping eyelids and graying temples. Since becoming the richest bachelor in three counties he is a unbridled philanthropist.
Mary Duckworth/Duxbury: a.k.a, The dragon. owns the Blue Dragon antique store in Junktown. She is an officer in SOCK
Mrs. Tuttle: Manager of CB
Rupert: Custodian at CB
Roberto Maus: Has given up his law practice to open a restaurant, officer
Lisa Kucharski
While the story was amusing, it didn't have the drive that other stories have even though it had all the elements ready. Qwill heads back to his old city to find it greatly changed, both people and place. He goes with the hope of saving an old historic building only to find that a main proponent has been murdered, the owner lost in past and hermetically sealed away, and a hungry firm ready to grab the land and put a new building up to make millions.

While it is interesting to see how old charact
Mar 08, 2014 Sunsettowers rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, cozy

The Cat Who... books are the comfort food of books for me. One of my best friends and I used to read these all the time, and trade them back and forth with each other. Every once in a while, I revisit one of them I happen to still have on my shelf. This was a particularly good one. Qwilleran, the former big-city reporter with the epic mustache who now loves his life in the country, returns to the big city to investigate the Casablanca, a historical building (now full of apartments full of very u
The Hobbit
The 11th book in the series. Jim Qwillerin and his 2 feline companions travel to the big city 400 miles south of Pickax. Qwill's friends have enlisted his help in saving the once posh Casablanca Apartment building from the wrecking ball and city developers. Even though it is home to 200 tenants, many elderly, the building is falling apart. When Qwill and his Siamese move into penthouse apartment, Koko begins uncovering clues - a murder/suicide had been committed in the apartment only two months ...more
Oct 24, 2011 Roni rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I became addicted to read "The Cat Who.." series after discovering it by accidentally reading it registered under With this particular book, it is good to get a new perspective by moving it out of the Moose County for a while which allowing me to recapture some of reading enjoyment. The ending was quite interesting as it was left open and left the case not completely resolved. In some senses, that gave us, the readers, a glimpse to true to life ways of how some of the cases are ...more
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The Women's Myste...: The Cat Who Lived High #12 1 2 Aug 09, 2013 09:58PM  
  • The Cat Who... Cookbook: Delicious Meals and Menus Inspired By Lilian Jackson Braun
  • Murder on the Prowl (Mrs. Murphy, #6)
  • Unleashed (Melanie Travis, #7)
  • The Cat, the Professor and the Poison (A Cats in Trouble Mystery, #2)
  • A Cat in the Manger (Alice Nestleton Mystery #1)
  • Cat Spitting Mad (Joe Grey, #6)
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
More about Lilian Jackson Braun...

Other Books in the Series

Cat Who... (1 - 10 of 29 books)
  • The Cat Who Could Read Backwards (Cat Who..., #1)
  • The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern (Cat Who..., #2)
  • The Cat Who Turned On and Off (Cat Who..., #3)
  • The Cat Who Saw Red (Cat Who... #4)
  • The Cat Who Played Brahms (Cat Who... #5)
  • The Cat Who Played Post Office (Cat Who..., #6)
  • The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare (Cat Who..., #7)
  • The Cat Who Sniffed Glue (Cat Who... #8)
  • The Cat Who Went Underground (Cat Who... #9)
  • The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts (Cat Who... #10)

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“Enchanté!” said Qwilleran, bending low over her hand in a courtly gesture. Then he drew from his pocket a perfect Bosc pear with bronze skin and long, curved stem, offering it in the palm of his hand like a jewel-encrusted Fabergé bauble. “The perfect complement for your beautiful apartment, Mademoiselle.” The Countess was a trifle slow in responding. “How charming . . . Please be seated . . . Ferdinand, you may bring the tea tray.” She seated herself gracefully on an overstuffed sofa in front of the tortoiseshell tea table. “I trust you are well, Mary?” 0 likes
“He also entered a bookstore called “Books ‘n’ Stuff,” that stocked more videos and greeting cards than books. Furthermore, its supermarket lighting and background music discouraged browsing. Qwilleran had his own ideas about the correct ambiance for a bookstore: dim, quiet, and slightly dusty.” 0 likes
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