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The history of Lilian Jackson Braun is perhaps as exciting and mysterious as her novels. Between 1966 and 1968, she published three novels to critical acclaim: The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern, and The Cat Who Turned On and Off. In 1966, the New York Times labeled Braun, "the new detective of the year." Then, for reasons unknown, the rising mystery author disappeared from the publishing scene. It wasn't until 1986 that Berkley Publishing Group reintroduced Braun to the public with the publication of an original paperback, The Cat Who Saw Red. Within two years, Berkley released four new novels in paperback and reprinted the three mysteries from the sixties. Since then, G.P. Putnam's Sons has published seventeen additional novels in the Cat Who series. Braun passed away in 2011.
Bestseller Braun's formulaic 27th Cat Who... mystery (after 2004's The Cat Who Talked Turkey) lacks the charm of earlier adventures starring Siamese sleuths Koko and Yum Yum. In Pickax City, "400 miles north of everywhere," Jim Qwilleran, the semiretired gentleman columnist for the Moosehead County Something, is content to court longtime gal pal Polly Duncan while overseeing his philanthropic Klingenschoen Fund, which is bankrolling the Pirate's Chest, a new bookstore built to replace an old landmark. The arrival of talented thespian Alden Wade, a handsome widower who's to play Jack Worthing in a local production of The Importance of Being Earnest, threatens to enliven the proceedings and add tension to Qwill and Polly's peculiar, passionless relationship, until Alden's sudden marriage to the local Hibbard House heiress. Preparations for the Wilde play's opening and references to the Hibbard House history that Qwill is writing don't have much to do with the unsolved murder of Alden's first wife via a sniper's bullet. Once noted for its fine style, great characterizations and clever cat crime-solving, this cozy series has become a shadow of its former self. Agent, Lynda Gregory and Merry Pantano at Blanche C. Gregory. (Jan. 3) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
When the Theatre Club production is threatened by a cast member's suspicious death, the cats (Koko and Yum Yum, that is) are out of the bag, ready to investigate. Braun lives in North Carolina. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
"Lilian Jackson Braun keeps both paws planted on the side of charming."