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The Cat Who Blew the Whistle

(Cat Who... #17)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  5,719 ratings  ·  219 reviews
Jim Qwilleran and his Siamese sleuths, Koko and Yum Yum, investigate the disappearance of a wealthy railroad buff--and alleged multimillion-dollar embezzler--a case that becomes complicated by red herrings, a tragic train wreck, and murder at a railroad tavern.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 1st 1996 by Jove (first published January 1st 1994)
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3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,719 ratings  ·  219 reviews

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3+ out of 5 stars to The Cat Who Blew the Whistle, the 17th book in the "Cat Who" cozy mystery series, written in 1994 by Lilian Jackson Braun. I'm closing in on the final reviews for all these crazy cat books... I read them all in order... all 30+ of them from about 1998 until 2010. Now I'm writing the reviews... out of order... by order in which I remember them. And this one, tho I do recall some key parts revolving around a crazy train accident... it fell in the middle ground
Ange H
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
In #17 ...Blew the Whistle, Qwill and the cats are fresh from their adventure on Breakfast Island and living in their actual home for a change. I noted in my review of #16 that Qwill was a real jerk, and it seems that even the author realized she took it too far because as this one opens, Qwill's character is given glowing reviews by various citizens of Moose County.

For a change of pace, Braun decides to make Polly the annoying one. We learn that she was named after Hippolyta from "A Midsummer'
Aug 24, 2010 rated it liked it
We read some of The Cat Who... books for our book group. Each member chose a different book and then gave a quick synopsis without giving away the mysterious killer. Here is my synopsis in poem form. I know I'm not a poet, but thought I'd do something different.

Jim Qwilleran and two Siamese cats live in an octagonal barn
Koko the cat is smarter than anything you or I could learn

Floyd Trevelyan owns a credit union but launches his party train instead
Then disappears and could he be dead

A cheapskate
Donald Butchko
Oct 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
It's hardly worth commenting on individual titles in this series--if you are a fan you will find each book to have the same comforting qualities, familiar characters, and decent mystery plotting. The contributions of reporter James Qwillerin's feline friends were somewhat less integral than they are in other books, with the bulk of the assistance coming from a new human accomplice. The narrative found a way to include most of my favorite denizen's of Pickax as well as the drama club. I'm surpris ...more
Apr 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: w
koko and qwill make the local police look inept
Shira Glassman
I don't really feel like writing a review of this one bc there are Cat Who's I enjoyed more and this one had plot and characterization facets that annoyed me, but I did want to come on here and protect my friends and followers by sending up a flare signal: the last few pages of this book come out of nowhere with surprise transmisogyny. I'm not even talking about transmisogyny stemming from actual trans representation, either. (view spoiler) ...more
Joy Gerbode
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is especially enjoyable for those who love trains, the railroad scene, or model railroads, as there are lots of references. I was really enjoying trying to figure out who was guilty, who was not ... and then it sort of just ended, and I sort of felt like I just fell off a cliff. But, the solutions were all there, I just would have liked to see some of the loose ends tied up a bit better.
Aug 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Second Read: It's been another age since I read them (collectively) again. I just love them and I had a huge reality check this week when I realized that I'm older than Qwill. That was a kick in the pants. Here he is the richest guy in his segment of the United States. I am a cat person and have an 18 year old cat named Frisco. So when he talks about Yum-Yum and Ko-Ko and their antics, I get quite a giggle about them. They have such talents in many ways. This one is about a train that they are r ...more
Aug 12, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, usa
Qwill and the cats are back in their apple barn house in Pickax. Qwill and Polly attend a fundraising event which is a ride on a renovated train with a steam locomotive. It is a wonderful event. The day after the event, the man behind the event, Floyd Trevelyan, has disappeared with thousands of dollars from investors; his secretary is also missing. The investigation points its fingers at Floyd. Ko-ko, on the other hand, tries to make Qwill realize that their focus should be elsewhere.
Didn't e
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I do so love these books. they're not very mysterious, but I really enjoy returning to the familiar characters. the ending on this one was QUITE a twist! and, as I've been noticing in this series, underneath the cozy elements (diners, cats, a drama club, a kilt tailor-made for Q, pyramid power), the story is very sad and dark.
Jun 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
I love all the Cat Who books, however this one took a little longer to grab my interest.
Jeanmarie Jones
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes in your life, as much as you want to read, you just can't. Such was my case the last few months, dealing with a crisis and chaos. My mind longed for a book, but couldn't handle it. As the skies are finally calming and clearing, I needed something easy and comforting to read, a story to bring me happiness. So I reached for an old friend in the cat who series, which I was rereading for the third go round. Qwill and the cats made me smile, made me think, made me laugh and I was drawn back ...more
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have always loved these books, but most people threw shade at them as I was growing up, because they're a cosy mystery series. People don't see the appeal, but I love a mystery with solid characters.
Holly Parrott
Jul 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Delightful book great characters wonderful cats.
Jul 31, 2013 rated it did not like it
I picked up "The Cat Who Blew the Whistle" on tape to listen to on a long drive. What a mistake! Without exaggeration, this was one of the worst things I've ever read (or listened to). It made an already long car trip interminable. I wish I could give this book zero-stars because a one-star "did not like it" rating just doesn't do this book justice.

So why was it so bad?

First off, it was unbelevablly boring. The first two or three chapters are basically pointless. Charavters were introduced, the
Jan 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Cat lovers, Mystery lovers, Animal detective fans
Koko's on the case again, obsessed with Pens and Lions. He yows when he hears the name 'Hermia', but for what reason? It's up to Qwill to put together the clues and find out what causes Koko to stare out the window at Polly's developing house, and why he doesn't like her new builder. Bring it all together with talk of trains and times long gone, and you've got yourself a mystery!

This is another of my favorites, because of Celia Robinson. She is one of my favorite characters, if only for her laug
Karin Jenkins
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
These books are always fun page-turners. The author throws in lost of other literature and you walk away having learned from all her research. The books are clean, so far, but 'warning' somebody dies in every book, just like Mattlock and Father Brown episodes. You don't have to read them in order, the author always catches you up, but it helps me to keep a list of characters and how they are known to the main character, who is kind of a cross between Magnum P.I. and Mark Twain. And of course, it ...more
Peggie Ross
May 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This one I must have missed as none of it was familiar but clearly I have read several other books in the series which are later (based on who is in them and where people live). I always enjoy this series and though KoKo is the chief detective, it is YumYum who is my favorite cat; she reminds me of several we have owned over the years. Qwill is an interesting hero and I love his eccentricities. I'm always looking for more of these books to read and enjoy them even out of sequence.
Dec 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
The plot of this 17th Braun book centers around a historic steam locomotive, and although I really have no interest in anything railroad related, at this point in this series it's not always the plot that is the catch. It's the characters...Qwill, Koko and Yum Yum...and all the rest of the characters who continue to revolve in and out of Braun's books. I love this cozy mystery series, always a great escape.
Apr 19, 2011 rated it did not like it
I have had siamese cats and can relate to their characteristics detailed in this book, but I did not really enjoy the story (did not find that the cause of the power outage was ever explained, etc.)! Seems that there were many dangling story threads that were not unraveled! This series is something my wife seems to enjoy?
Mar 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
¡Ay, qué pesado! Great characters, plot, story line, writing, ... potentially a very interesting book, but the cats? I LOVE cats, but they are a distraction throughout this potentially great read. Then again, this whole series of books has the cats as the central theme, so I clearly am unclear on the concept. Someone please explain this to me - thanks!
Roxana Griffith
Oct 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Lillian will be missed by me. I have loved each and every one of her books. She took me to a nice place and kept my attention on the story. Was always able to come back to my book. Even if I didn't want to leave.
Elizabeth Martel
Apr 23, 2012 rated it did not like it
Mystery isn't my usual genre...but I have two siamese cats, so I couldn't resist....

...but I didn't like the characters ...didn't like the cats....didn't like the plot....loved the main character's house
Bridgette Griffith
I grow up listening to The Cat Who series on many a long car trip with my mom. I have been a cozy mystery fan since I was a kid and The Cat Who series has always been one of my favorites. I recently started to listen to the series again because I have trouble sleeping and suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. There's something about the combination of George Guidall's voice, and the lives of Qwill, Koko,Yum Yum and associates that I find deeply soothing. However despite loving the new transplan ...more
Actually a 2.5 rating. I used to love this series, but haven't read a book in about 10 years. This time, I found the story line confusing and the "detecting" rather bizarre. I did not find Koko's antics amusing, Polly's house was a drag, and even Qwill I found irritating. Does he like Polly? He doesn't seem to. Why was Celia added to the mix? It looked like Qwill was trying to make Polly jealous, but why I don't know.

I think I have grown up and out of these books. I now find it ridiculous that t
Dharia Scarab
Oct 29, 2016 rated it liked it

Since I don't normally write reviews unless I have something specific to say, here's the break down of how I rate my books...

1 star... This book was bad, so bad I may have given up and skipped to the end. I will avoid this author like the plague in the future.

2 stars... This book was not very good, and I won't be reading any more from the author.

3 stars... This book was ok, but I won't go out of my way to read more, But if I find another book by the author for under a dollar I'd pick it up.

4 sta
Jennifer Nanek
Feb 20, 2017 rated it liked it
These books are light books. That's a given. I'm basically enjoy them primarily for all the antics of the cats. I love the descriptions of small-town life and the fact that everybody in town seems to have their own cat with their own quirks. The mystery was not that interesting but I always love hearing how Coco and Yum Yum figure things out long before anybody else does. I have read several books in the series.. totally out of order of course but I can pick up the general story at any point tha ...more
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have read this series of books and then listened to all the books again and now I'm listening to them again or at least the ones on the Phoenix Audio Library.
I wish I could have started with book 1 and just gone through them but they aren't in my library to do that.
I love the characters in the book and the small town and all the crazy things that go on in the town. I wouldn't ever want to live there because a person or more dies there in each book!! LOL
Clean, fast reads!!
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another fun read. Although, I have to ask. Am I the only person that finds Polly annoying, cold and unfriendly? I liked the lady who was a great cook and lived in the museum. But, she was killed off. I wish she had lived and Polly was killed off.

The Cat Who Blew the Whistle is an enjoyable volume in this series even though it is a bit darker than most of the other books. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it.
Delores Thomas
Dec 24, 2016 rated it liked it
I always find "The Cat Who" books a fun and fast read. Quinn and his two cats live in a beautifully refurbished barn and he writes a column for the local newspaper in the far north. The Moose county investors were embezzled of their money and the embezzler vanished. The investigation is complicated by a murder and a large train accident. It is up to Quinn to understand why his cats are acting the way they are and how it relates to these problems in order to solve the mystery.
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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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