Jerry's Reviews > The Cat Who Could Read Backwards

The Cat Who Could Read Backwards by Lilian Jackson Braun
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Jul 20, 10

Read in January, 2004

Fine 1st entree in long running series for cat/mystery fans...

With nearly two dozen novels in "The Cat Who..." series, Braun has obviously struck a chord with mystery and cat lovers. Almost a classic yarn in the ilk of Elliot Queen, there's no sex and no profanity in this nice clean straightforward story of three murders -- a puzzling whodunit. Jim Qwilleran is introduced as the leading man; an accomplished journalist, he takes an "Art Beat" job with a small paper for which he's hardly qualified but makes the best of it. He hears so much about the paper's hated official art critic, one G.B. Mountclemens, that he can't wait to meet him. Ironically, he likes the guy and decides to rent out his lower apartment. His low rent paves the way for quite a bit of cat sitting, and so we meet the brainy Siamese "Koko", who in addition to normal feline fickleness, independence, and fastidiousness, is a bit of a sleuth himself (in addition to reading newspaper headlines!). When the owner fails to return from a trip and winds up murdered, our hero starts sifting for clues along with his reporting chores. Between his twitchy mustache and hints from the cat, the case is solved quite neatly in just a couple of hundred easy to read pages.

Braun has cats of her own, undoubtedly the inspiration for her series, and cat lovers will be amused at the Koko's antics and the spoiled treatment he is accorded. He eats much better than most humans! But the story doesn't just rest on the cat -- Qwillerman is a likable guy who pursues his puzzles doggedly, while he and we learn a little about art and art galleries along the way. His interviewing skills and easygoing manner with people make him a natural at sniffing out the truth. For a few hours of fun relaxation and entertainment, try this tale!

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Colleen I enjoy this and the other Cat Who mysteries because I can see the places where he works and lives and yes it is a relaxing read!


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