Monday, October 29, 2018

Re-visiting Cat Who Mystery Series by Lillian Jackson Braun

My Favorite "Cat Who" Mystery Series

Hey fellow mystery lovers!  I'm starting off the week by sharing, or should I say re-sharing, one of my most favorite mystery series of all time. The "Cat Who" series, written by late author, Lillian Jackson Braun, will be sure to both delight and thrill you as you read about the mysteries solved by Jim Qwilleran and his two precocious Siamese detectives Ko Ko and Yum Yum. 

I actually own all the books in this series having inherited many from my late Mother, who shared a love of this series with me, and the titles I have added over the years. I didn't feel like pulling every book down off the shelf, however, so I'm only showcasing five of my paperback copies in the above picture. 

Lillian Jackson Braun was a prolific writer who actually wrote the first three books of this series in the 1960's, took an eighteen year hiatus, and then resumed writing one book of the series per year until 2007. Braun died in 2011. 

Qwilleran, known in later books as "Mr. Q" by most of the community, is introduced in the first book as an award winning crime reporter with a best seller on crime under his belt who is now struggling as a down and out reporter at "The Daily Fluxion" due to some difficult years in which a divorce drove him to drink. As a recovering alcoholic, he is given assignments to write about restaurants and antiques and lives month to month on a paycheck that just covers his meager expenses. Along the way, mysteries cause him to meet two separate Siamese cats (KoKo aka "Kao Ko Kung" and Yum Yum) and he ends up adopting each cat and they become a loving family of three. 

During a vacation sometime later in Moose County (400 miles north of everywhere according to Braun) Qwilleran reacquaints himself with an old family friend of his mother's, "Aunt Fanny," who dies and leaves her millions to a very surprised James Mackintosh Qwilleran. The remainder of the books chronicle his life as a somewhat eccentric millionaire living with two cats who help him to solve all manner of Moose County mysteries. 

Besides being a millionaire, Qwilleran's claim to fame is a luxurious moustache that sends him "signals" whenever he encounters a mystery. Koko also has a bit of psychic ability which Qwill has learned to trust over the years as they work together to solve crimes. Along the way, many characters return in each book such as Qwilleran's longtime childhood friend and fellow journalist Arch Riker, his longtime librarian love interest Polly and Mildred Hanstable whose last name later changes-but if I tell you too much I'm giving the stories away! 

Being a cat lover and cat parent, I love these books and it has been such a treat to re-read many of them once more. I am currently re-reading The Cat Who Played Post Office and what a joy to remember how Qwill and the cats adjusted to life in Pickax City after years of living "Down Below." Such fun! 

If you're looking for a great mystery series and you are a cat lover like me, then I think you will enjoy the Cat Who books by Lillian Jackson Braun. Let me know if you have read these or if you choose to give them a try, OK?

So tell me, what is on your reading list right now? Be sure to share in the comments section. I love hearing from you!

Until Next Time,


Sharon said...

As a fellow cat lover, I can't believe I have never read any of Braun's books. I'm putting them on my reading list right now. Thanks for the recommendation, Debbie!

Debbie Styles Life said...

I think you will truly love this series, Sharon!

Karen said...

My mom has every one of those books too. She moved recently and those were the only things she wanted to take besides clothes and her cat! I'm not sure she can read them, but she had to have them!! I'll be reading them to her so she can enjoy them again. Sounds like I'll enjoy them too.

Susan Joy Clark said...

Hello. I have read several but not nearly all of "The Cat Who ..." books and have really enjoyed them. I have not necessarily read them in order, so I have jumped around in Qwilleran's life a little bit. For this reason, it was nice to see your timeline. Of the pictured books, I'm sure I read, "The Cat Who Played Brahms."

Jacqui said...

I'm a cat lover but, like Sharon, I have never read these - they sound really good. I'll have a search at my local library and see if I can find them.

I'm halfway through 'The Strange Death of Europe', a newly published non-fiction personal account of a continent and culture, by Douglas Murray.