Tag: Lilian Jackson Braun

Mystery Series Reviews | The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern

Lilian Jackson Braun, The Cat Who series #2

In The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern, we travel back to Chicago to find Jim Qwilleran down and out:  he must move out of his apartment, aka “homeless;” the moths are putting holes in his favorite neckties, aka “tieless;” he has no viable dating prospects on his calendar, aka “womanless; and if things do not go well when he goes to the office, he could be out of a job, aka “jobless.” Fortunately, he is not friendless. His bright spot is Koko, his extraordinary and intelligent feline companion for the past several months.

Thus begins the second of Ms. Braun’s “Cat Who . . .“ series. Jim Qwilleran loves to solve crimes, and to do so he uses some extraordinary measures. One is his very bushy moustache, which tingles when he becomes suspicious of something or someone and when he notices something just not quite right with a situation. Also, after living with Koko for several months, he learns to use his feline partner’s unusual communicating skills. Koko is not just another cat – Koko knows things that elude the supposedly “higher intelligence” of the humans in his world. In order to help him understand his intelligent friend, Qwill seeks out the help of a psycatatrist.

When he arrives at the office all primed to speak to the chief about work more challenging than the boutique assignments he has been doing, he surprisingly learns that he has been given a new assignment – a newspaper magazine on interior decorating – even though he admits to knowing next to nothing about interior design. In spite of doubts about his qualifications, Jim sets out to publish a magazine that will make a decorator’s dreams come true, except when things go terribly wrong.

Once again, Ms. Braun takes us on a mystery adventure, and we all know that in a murder mystery series, someone is about to be murdered, and solving a crime makes Qwill’s moustache twitch and tingle and brings out more of Koko’s communication skills.

Next up:  A Dangerous Mourning, by Anne Perry

Harriet Engle, a Staff Assistant at the Manheim Community Library, is an avid reader of several authors who write murder mystery series. Look for her weekly reviews highlighting each of these series.

Note: If you decide to start one of the series being reviewed and wish to read the next in the series, go to www.fantasticfiction.com, type in the author, and scroll down to see which book was written next under that series. The Manheim Community Library may not have the book you want, but staff will be happy to order it for you from another library.

You can also find and request the next book in the series right from the LSLC catalog. Search the book you have just read from the search bar at the top right of manheimlibrary.org. Click on the title to open up the book information and then scroll down to the section marked “Series”. At a glance, you can see the series and where the book you searched is in the series. For series of more than 14 titles, click on the button below that says “See Full Series”. To request another title from this section, just click on the cover and it will take you to the screen to request a copy from the Library System of Lancaster County to be delivered to Manheim Community Library (or another library in the LSLC.)

Mystery Series Reviews | The Cat Who Could Read Backwards

Lilian Jackson Braun, #1

Just as writers have their style, readers have their preferences. Some readers like to read fiction, some non-fiction. Some enjoy romance novels, others prefer murder mysteries. Just as both fiction and nonfiction abound in variety, so is the variety of readers.

Several authors have written series that combine murder, mystery, intrigue, some humor, and a little romance, which allows readers to witness the evolving events and personalities of the characters. Add to that mix a good dose of history, and the plot thickens.

One of my favorite authors is Lilian Jackson Braun, who has written more than three dozen whimsical mysteries about a newspaper journalist and two Seal Point Siamese cats he adopted – KoKo and Yum Yum. In the first book of this series, The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, Ms. Braun begins the journey of James McKenzie Qwilleran, who writes a newspaper column focusing on special events in the city of Chicago. Jim, also known as “Qwill,” was a very successful crime reporter before he fell into difficult times. As he regains his feet and begins a new position, he is given assignments not of crime but what he deems to be “fluff.” His first assignment is to do a human-interest story about artists, particularly an artist named Cal Halapay. Little does he know that as he delves into interviews and journalistic footwork for this assignment, murder and crime can drop into and from anywhere. And, little does he know that two very precocious cats will become his trusty sidekicks who serve him well as he unearths clues to solving the crimes.

Start your adventure with The Cat Who Could Read Backwards and follow Qwill, KoKo, and later Yum Yum through big city crimes in Chicago to crimes of a small town “400 miles north of everywhere.”

Next up:  Anne Perry’s novel featuring William Monk in The Face of a Stranger.

Harriet Engle, a Staff Assistant at the Manheim Community Library, is an avid reader of several authors who write murder mystery series. Look for her weekly reviews highlighting each of these series.