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The Cat Who Lived High

(Cat Who... #11)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  5,471 ratings  ·  196 reviews
For amateur sleuth Jim Qwilleran and his two Siamese detective companions, Koko and Yum Yum, a trip to the city 'down below' brings not only rosy memories of good times, but also a whole heap of trouble . . .

A plea for help from SOCK, a tenants' organisation determined to save the decaying art deco glory of the Casablanca apartment building from the philistine attentions
Kindle Edition, 240 pages
Published March 28th 2013 by Headline (first published August 20th 1990)
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3.87  · 
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 ·  5,471 ratings  ·  196 reviews

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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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I like when Qwilleran goes away from the home base to have an adventure.
Ange H
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this 11th book in the series, the nomadic Qwill accepts an offer to spend the winter in a fully furnished penthouse apartment Down Below. The penthouse is at the top of the historic Casablanca hotel, now gone to seed, and the purpose of this residency is to determine whether the K fund will underwrite the restoration of the once elegant and famous building.

The mystery involves the previous tenant of the penthouse who was apparently the victim of a murder-suicide. But it isn’t long before Koko
Oct 13, 2016 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
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
FIRST READ: I seemed to have better luck when I am one of the first in line for when the doors open. It’s nice to be able to discuss what kind of books I am looking for with other people standing in line waiting for the doors to open.
On the last day of one particular library sale patrons can pick up a whole grocery shopping bag full of books for a dollar. This year I was able to load up with 6 bags. As I read them I just donate them back for future sales. Everyone wins!!
At previous dollar day ba
One of my favorite Cat Who books.
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book, cats
Possibly one of the best in the series.
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This time Qwill and the cats have been offered a chance to live in the top floor apartment of an old historic building. A chance for them to spend the winter out of the cold and snow of Pickax. Granted they will be living Down Below in Qwill's old haunts, but it will be a bit warmer. So Qwill packs up Koko and Yum Yum's blue cushion and commode and away they go!

They arrive to find the Casablanca apartment building in serious condition, filled with a motley cast of tenants, history and mystery. I
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent book from this wonderful author. While not a fan of cats, I am totally enjoying every one of these books. I'm reading them in succession and find her writing over time improved and the stories more intriguing. She has made her readers love her community of characters in the county "400 miles north of everywhere."
Apr 06, 2017 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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
what a crazy book! But at least Koko saved the day!
These books are quirky and more than a little hilarious. Koko is up to his usual cleverness in this one. It's an interesting installment, and contains colorful characters typical of this series.
Nathalie S
Apr 27, 2014 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 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 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
My least favorite book in this series. Braun doesn't seem to like any of her characters and neither do I. Hard to get invested in the situation. Also, at the end, I feel the story is incomplete. Pretty sure I know who destroyed the building, pretty sure I know who the murderer was, and pretty sure the shooting on the freeway was just some random incident and some thug just stole Q's car and then became a victim himself. But the book does not feel satisfactorily resolved/explained. And I would ha ...more
Apr 26, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let me preface this by saying in gradeschool I read a lot of books from this series and really enjoyed them. Reading this one, I recaptured some of that enjoyment but also saw the books from a new perspective. I really enjoyed that the ending was left very open and not everything was resolved and, in some rather true to life ways, the bad guys even won. In this case the 'bad guys' were real estate developers and city planners trying to tear down a run down historical building, going so far as to ...more
Jan 26, 2009 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 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)
Jeanmarie Jones
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh I liked this adventure!!!! While not in Pickax, it was fun to watch the mystery unfold as Jim Qwilleran and the cats heads back to the city. And wait until you get to chapter 13!!!
Dec 26, 2016 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!
Fun little mystery read for over the holidays. A detective and his cats answer a past friend's plea to help save a historically meaningful building from a developer's wreckingball and gets drawn into murder and sinister misdeeds. The human is mystified, as he charms the ladies, smooths down his copious mustache, learns to play Scrabble, and eats his way through urban renewal. Thank goodness there are two cats on the case! They totally beat him at Scrabble too.

I know this is part of a series, but
Lora Shouse
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is not quite as good a story as some of the installments that happen primarily in Moose County, but it is still a pretty good tale.

The book opens with the news of James Qwilleran’s death.

Lured by the thought of not having to spend the winter snowed-in 400 miles north of everywhere, James Qwilleran returned to Junktown in Chicago, where he lived in an earlier book, The Cat Who
Turned On and Off. He and his two cats, Koko and Yum Yum, moved into the penthouse of an old apartment house with th
Penny Griffin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is yet another cozy mystery in the Cat Who series and they’re sort of growing on me. Jim Qwilleran, retired journalist, heir to a fortune, and proud owner of two Siamese cats, moves to the big bad city (unnamed although it’s a cross between Detroit and Minneapolis) for the winter to live in the Casablanca, an apartment building that has seen better days, but has a storied history. He learns much from the older residents, deals with balky elevators, and the fascination of some that he’s livi ...more
Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read this CAT WHO book out of sequence, I did not enjoy it as much as the first several in the series or later books in the series. The setting is “400 miles south” of Pickax and Qwill’s Friends - both enjoyable to me in each book. Restoring an old building in the big city & writing a book about it was interesting. Add in a murder/suicide, Koko on the case, and a crash that casts doubts on Qwill’s existence, and I thought I’d love the book, but I didn’t. I liked it. It was an enjoyabl ...more
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now I am very glad that I read #12 before #11 in the series as Chapter 1 of #11 riveted my attention for the dearly loved character of Jim Qwilleran. WoW! Well done Lilian Jackson Braun! Well done! The author totally surprised me with this twist of opening chapter and I was spellbound to learn what happened to Qwill as his friends are known to call him.

I'd also call attention to the dedication by the author to her husband for this series as it can be as romantic or as matter-of-fact or as humoro
Lisa Hall
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Qwill and the kitties are back in the city. The Foundation has been tapped to save an historic building and Qwilleran is here to investigate. Is it a coincidence that the very apartment he's given to reside in as he does this was last occupied by a murder victim? One who was also trying to save the Casablanca? Jim doesn't know, but his mustache vibrates as Koko unearths the mystery.

Perfect little murder mystery for a Friday the 13th.
Lesley Looper
May 29, 2017 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.
Tomi Alger
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Qwilleran and Koko and Yum Yum move into a historic apartment building which is in need of repair and renovation. Can they help to get the process started? Maybe, but then a complication. Koko finds blood on the carpet that had been covered by furniture in their fourteenth-floor apartment. As always, an enjoyable read.
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The Women's Myste...: The Cat Who Lived High #12 1 3 Aug 09, 2013 09:58PM  

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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

Other books in the series

Cat Who... (1 - 10 of 29 books)
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  • The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern (Cat Who..., #2)
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  • The Cat Who Saw Red (Cat Who... #4)
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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?” 1 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.” 1 likes
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