The Cat Who Brought Down the House by Lilian Jackson Braun

Lilian Jackson Braun's Cat Who... series has sparked a whole new subgenre for those who like a little feline intervention in their mysteries.

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The Cat Who Brought Down the House by Lilian Jackson Braun


Features

  • Hardcover: 228 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.18 x 8.84 x 5.82
  • Publisher: Putnam Pub Group; (February 3, 2003)
  • ISBN: 0399149422


    Reader Reviews
    9 of 10 people found the following review helpful: A Cozy Quarter Century, July 25, 2003 Reviewer: Marc Ruby from Warren, MI USA It has been a long time (possibly 24 years) since anyone has read a Lilian Braun mystery story for the mystery. If for no other reason than that we often know who committed the crime before we ever know what the crime was. Instead we read them to enjoy the antics of a stellar cast of characters in a mythical town set '400 miles north of everywhere.' The ostensible star is Qwilleran, a recovering journalist, whose life in Pickaxe began when he inherited a fortune and found it impossible to leave. His friends include almost everyone, and his deepest secret is that Koko, one of his two Siamese cats, is the true brains behind the outfit. In this, the 25th in the series, Pickaxe is abuzz with the news of the return of Thelma Thackery, who left Moose County for Hollywood (where she eventually became a very successful restaurateur) 55 years ago. Now she has moved into one of the towns few mansions with Janice, her assistant and a bevy of colorful and outspoken parrots. Her sole surviving relative in Moose County is her nephew, who is noted for his smile and the lack of any visible means of support. And so the stage is set for intrigue, parrot-napping, blueberry pie recipes, and an endless flow of gossip and tales. The success of Braun's books depends not on the intricacies of plot and character development, but on Qwiilleran's exuberant side trips into the nooks and crannies of Pickaxe history. One of the dangers to any long running series is settling into formula writing and then forgetting the point behind the formula. For a while, Braun's books lost their focus, and Qwilleran allowed to become increasingly irritating as a main character. This has always been a series where a year between episodes was needed to maintain their charm, but recently a year has not been enough. I'm happy to say that 'The Cat Who Brought Down the House' has broken this trend. Not that it isn't formulaic, but it has returned to being a pleasant, entertaining romp. Cozy mystery stories are, after all, literary comfort food. Reading this story is almost like a return to the home that might have been if the world was a bit less dire. There is nothing in this volume that would prevent anyone from starting with it. For the most part historical relationships are explained, and there is nothing in the plot that depends on previous knowledge. If you are looking for pure escapism, consider starting here.

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