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Monday, June 16, 2014

The Cat Who

Some readers I know refuse to read a book more than once.  I just do not understand that as I love to read old favorites over and over again.  The last week has been one that has left me in need of a comforting read so I went upstairs to my stash of The Cat Who books and selected the first book in the series, The Cat Who Could Read Backwards by Lilian Jackson Braun.

I wanted to visit with Jim Qwilleran and his two Siamese cats, KoKo and Yum Yum.  I am not a real cat lover and I am usually not a fan of a book with a guy as the main character, but I fell in love with this series back in the late 80s. I enjoyed this series so much that I added each and every book to my own personal library.

There is an interesting story about this series as well. Ms Braun wrote the first three books from 1966 to 1968. She received great reviews but after the third book was released she stopped writing mysteries for almost 20 years! Then surprise! In 1986 she released the fourth book in the Cat Who series and went on to write a total of 29 books before her death at age 97.

I must say that the last book in the series made many of her loyal friends a bit angry as she ended the book in a way that seemed out of character for Jim and his long time girlfriend, Polly. I have to think that she must have used a ghost writer for that last book...at least I hope so. It was a sad way to leave your writing career after so much success. I think everyone should quit while they are ahead! Maybe that is why Margaret Mitchell and Harper Lee only wrote one book!

I have enjoyed reading of Qwill and his life, starting when he is determined to remake his life and career after a failed marriage and alcoholism. He joins up with his old friend, Arch Riker at the Daily Fluxion and proceeds to make quite the splash in the newspaper business before becoming a millionaire when his godmother leaves him her fortune on her death. Qwill and the cats move NORTH to Pickax, where he becomes a benevolent philanthropist in the community and solves many mysteries with the help of his assistant detective, Ko Ko.  This stories tend to be cozy mysteries but try not to get attached to many of the characters in Pickax because they just might find themselves on the wrong side of the mystery!

I also enjoy going back to the days when technology was in the future and the people communicated via phone and letter and the communities hummed along at their own pace. If modern day authors are letting you down, try one of these delightful books filled with quirky characters guarranteed to make you smile.

3 comments:

Blackberry Lane said...

I have read a few of these books to my late mom and we enjoyed them.

Re your comment about Acworth instead of Chatsworth.....when we lived in Acworth, our GPS lady's voice called it A. C. Worth!!!

Terri D. said...

I enjoy reading a good book again, and again. I think I've read "Gone With The Wind" four or five times, as well as "The Once and Future King". Excellent stories. I've not read "The Cat Who..." series, but am hung up on the Mrs. Murphy mysteries. Lots of fun!

Arlene Grimm said...

You ladies have excellent taste in reading!!:) Mildred, I am glad that it is not just me. I know the north GA twang can be deceptive but if the GPS lady says A C worth, maybe the two really sound alike when pronounced.

Terri, I have read GWTW many times as well!! I think I read it for the first time when i was in the sixth grade. I laughingly say that I can read mysteries over and over again because I have forgotten who DID IT no matter how many times I have read it. One of the best things about our older brains and memory.

Have a great week ladies!!