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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.
In Braun's 24th Cat Who... mystery (after 2001's The Cat Who Smelled a Rat), journalist James Mackintosh "Qwill" Qwilleran ("the richest man in the northeast central United States") and his two Siamese cats, Kao K'o Kung ("Koko") and Yum Yum, find themselves in the thick of another light and lively murder investigation in rural Moose County. When Lori Bamba, the new manager with her husband of the Nutcracker Inn in Black Creek, complains that the old place is haunted and making her feel gloomy, Qwill agrees to spend several nights with his cats at the converted Victorian mansion. Koko's noise gets them moved from the turret room, where the cats like to watch squirrels, to a cabin recently vacated because its occupant was murdered. Koko stumbles on a clue to the murder, while Qwill locates the source of the inn's haunting. In the meantime, Qwill's need for material for his newspaper column prompts him to help promote many local activities: the production of a Gilbert and Sullivan opera, a historical re-enactment of a lumberjack's rowdy evening, the opening of an antiques fair and mall, the launching of a book of photographs of scenic Moose County, the adoption of a boy orphaned by a suicide and another murder. As usual, the various mysteries and their ultimate solutions matter a lot less than the smalltown doings of the author's irresistible characters, both human and feline. This gentle, entertaining tale is proof once again that Braun reigns supreme as the queen of the cat cozies. (Jan. 14) Forecast: A consistent bestseller, Braun should once again climb the charts with her winning combination of cats and crime. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Now on their 24th case, James Qwilleran and smart kitties Koko and Yum Yum find no peace at lovely Nutcracker Inn, where more than wild beasts are afoot. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Praise for Lilian Jackson Braun and the Cat Who series "A master of mystery."--People "Upbeat prose and amiable characters."--Publishers Weekly "The mix of crime and cats [is] catnip to readers who like both."--Chicago Sun-Times "Braun keeps both paws on the side of charming."--Los Angeles Times