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The Cat Who… Books In Order

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Publication Order of Cat Who... Books

The Cat Who Could Read Backwards (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cat Who Turned On And Off (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cat Who Saw Red (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cat Who Played Brahms (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cat Who Played Post Office (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cat Who Sniffed Glue (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cat Who Went Underground (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cat Who Lived High (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cat Who Knew a Cardinal (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cat Who Moved a Mountain (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cat Who Wasn't There (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cat Who Went into the Closet (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cat Who Came to Breakfast (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cat Who Blew the Whistle (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cat Who Said Cheese (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cat Who Tailed a Thief (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cat Who Sang for the Birds (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cat Who Saw Stars (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cat Who Robbed a Bank (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cat Who Smelled a Rat (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cat Who Went Up the Creek (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cat Who Brought Down the House (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cat Who Talked Turkey (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cat Who Went Bananas (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cat Who Dropped a Bombshell (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cat Who Smelled Smoke is book #30 but has yet to be released.

Publication Order of Cat Who Short Story Collections

The Cat Who Had 14 Tales (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Short and Tall Tales / Qwilleran's Short and Tall Tales (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Private Life of the Cat Who... (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon

‘The Cat Who’ is a 29- volume mystery novel by the late Lilian Braun. The book follows Jim Qwilleran, a well-established reporter, and his two Siamese cats, Koko and Yum-Yum.

The first novel in the series , ‘The Cat Who Could Read Backwards’, was written and published in 1966 by G.P. Putnam’s Son’s (the publishing company behind all the books in the series).

It was followed shortly after by two other novels, ‘The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern’ and ‘The Cat Who Could Turn On and off’ (released in 1967 and 1968 respectively) with the fourth novel appearing eighteen years later. The latest ‘The Cat who…’ novel was published in 2007, after the 30th edition was cancelled by the publisher following the author’s death.

The entire novel skirts around Qwill, whose father, Dana, was reportedly a very talented theatre actor who had the privilege of touring the whole country. But after meeting Anne Mackintosh (Qwill’s mother), he decided to move to Chicago, so he could stay with her and find an excuse to leave the theatre group, a decision his parents strongly opposed to a point that they decided to disown him and break off all contact.

Penniless and deprived of work opportunities, Dana had no otherwise but to fall for evil ways in a desperate attempt to stay afloat. It didn’t take long before he was shot dead while attempting a robbery.

So Qwill was left to be raised by a single mother, knowing no other family besides his mommy and her close friend Francesca, known to him as Aunt Fanny.

Qwill as we are told had a knack for literature and was very talented at school. He had won numerous spelling contests and spent a greater bulk of his time working on his grammar and playing baseball. His English teacher was so fond of him and was helping him a great deal to compose enthralling essays.

At 17, Qwill’s girlfriend Joy would leave the town to pursue other goals in life while Qwill would decide to join the service.

The author doesn’t go into details regarding the war he fought in, but judging from the small details we can collect around, there’s a strong chance he was involved with the Operation Torch in World War II.

He would eventually leave the service, but with an injured knee that meant he could not play baseball. He therefore decided to join college and pursue acting, only to find out he had a natural knack for journalism.

Journalism became a huge success for him. He reported the crimes happening in the area to a major newspaper and even got the privilege of becoming a published author, writing his first book ‘The City of Brotherly Crime’ that would end up winning numerous awards and becoming a bestseller.

He would soon get married to Miriam, an established advertising executive, who as described, resembles Joy. Sadly, the marriage ended up in a devastating divorce, leaving Miriam admitted in an insane asylum and Qwill, out of guilt, a depressed alcoholic that will eventually see to it that he loses his job.

So one night, while drunk half-seas over, he falls asleep on a subway train passage. Luckily he’s rescued in time by a Good Samaritan. This unfolding brings him close to a harsh reality, pushing him to change for the better.

The rest of the story skirts around Qwill attempting to get his life back on track. Though not that glamorous, his new job keeps the world around him going.

He one day visits George Mountclements, the paper’s art critic who resides a few blocks from him, where he meets Koko, a Siamese cat that can read, but backwards only. He rents a room from Mountclement and moves in with Koko, who happens to have a delicate taste in the food he eats.

Mountclements holds a number of local artists in the area in full admiration, but there are some that he hates in equal measure. Fitting the former group is a young maiden, Zoe Lambreth, who’s married to the owner of Lambreth Gallery–a company she works with alongside a long list of other employees include Scrano and her protégé Nino.

One Saturday evening, Qwill is busy blowing off some steam in a local watering hole with one of his friends Bunsen, a photographer who he also works with, when Bunsen receives a pager text reporting a murder incidence at Lambreth Gallery. Turns out it’s the company’s owner, Earl Lambreth who’s murdered.

Lambreth Gallery is in total disarray; furniture is tossed around and all paintings destroyed. Qwill notices that there’s a Ghirotto painting worth $150, 000 missing.

Being an art writer, Qwill enters to a ‘happening’ featuring Nino. Nino has a weird talent. All his creation comes from the things other people throw away. These are the things that make sense to him, but mean absolutely nothing to those around him.

Nino succumbs to his death after one of his creations gets knocked off its scaffolding. Qwill has to combine his skills and wits to get to the root of the murder.

In the second volume, The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern, the story unravels with Qwill and his Siamese cat settling into a new assignment—one involving a magazine dealing with home decors.

He gets to meet David Lyke while conducting the assignment, who introduces him to his friend George Tait and Mrs. Tait, who we are told paid David to decorate their mansion in Muggy Swamp—an ultra-rich neighbouring estate—a while back.

Being a collector of Jade, George asks Old Bunsen to take pictures of them. The next day, news coming in report of Mr. Tait’s mansion being robbed, and Mrs. Tait’s death that appears to have been as a result of a heart attack.

Qwill gets to meet another one of David’s clientele who happens to be in the company of his friends in the decorating business including Harry Noyton and Natalie (Noyton’s ex-wife). Noyton offers to let Qwill rent his expensive apartment as he’ll be travelling to Europe.

Qwill moves into the new house but Koko starts eating fabric off furniture and even bites the new lady she is involved with at the time.

He soon discovers that Harry Noyton was a close acquaintance to Mrs. Tait and he’s currently in Denmark andnot Europe as he had suggested.

He begins to suspect that some of the raids happening have something to do with sabotaging his assignments one morning when a house he was supposed to cover also gets raided. His third assignment which involves David Lyke’s apartment is thwarted when old Bunsen and Koko come across David’s dead body. Though he holds a Japanese Chef as the prime suspect, he again has to apply his skills and wits to unravel the truth.

Book Series In Order » Characters » The Cat Who…

3 Responses to “The Cat Who…”

  1. Jen: 1 year ago

    Hi, I don’t know if this thread is still active, but if so, then I have a question.

    Do you know if the earlier Cat Who novels were recorded? I have been listening to the audiobooks for years in the car, while traveling with my cat, and she loves listening to Guidall’s narration as much as I do! I’ve borrowed them from public libraries, but they are getting harder to find. I’d really like to listen in order of publication as much as possible, so lately, I started with ‘.. Backwards’ but can’t seem to find several in the sequence. Thanks

  2. Karyn Myers: 3 years ago

    I loved reading all about Jim Qwillerman and his cats, Koko & Yum Yum. Lilian Jackson Braun had a very nice way of writing. I loved all the different genres covered…it was informative as well as entertaining.

    I wonder why the 30th wasn’t released…wasn’t it finished? If not, couldn’t someone else finish it?

    • Suzanne: 2 years ago

      Lillian Jackson Braun died. She was 97, and writing till the last. However, the last two published books in the series had some loose ends, as though she was getting tired. It does help to read the series in order, and you can find the books for a very reasonable price on Amazon, or in thrift shops.


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