The Cat Who Could Read Backwards (The Cat Who... Series #1)

The Cat Who Could Read Backwards (The Cat Who... Series #1)

4.4 85
by Lilian Jackson Braun, Dunnington
     
 

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The world of modern art is a mystery to many. But for Jim Qwilleran, it turns into a mystery of another sort when his assignment to the art beat for The Daily Fluxion leads down the path to murder. A stabbing in an art gallery, vandalized paintings, a fatal fall from a scaffolding—this is not at all what Qwilleran expects when he turns his reportorial talents

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Overview

The world of modern art is a mystery to many. But for Jim Qwilleran, it turns into a mystery of another sort when his assignment to the art beat for The Daily Fluxion leads down the path to murder. A stabbing in an art gallery, vandalized paintings, a fatal fall from a scaffolding—this is not at all what Qwilleran expects when he turns his reportorial talents to art. But Qwilleran and his newly found partner, Koko the brilliant Siamese, are back in their element—sniffing out clues and confounding criminals intent on mayhem and murder.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Fans of this popular series will surely relish this reissue of its 1966 debut and the reminder that former newsman Jim Qwilleran, whose two prescient Siamese are the heart and soul of the stories, starts out with no cats and, in fact, is reluctant at first to become a sitter for the talented Koko. The series' other feline star, Yum Yum, is not yet on the scene. Qwill takes a job as a feature writer at a newspaper whose controversial art reviewer, George Mountclemens, owns Koko. Renting the downstairs apartment in Mountclemens's building, Qwill is soon coerced into performing small favors, including cat-sitting. The killing of a gallery owner rocks the town. When the critic is murdered, Qwill becomes more personally involved. By the time the story winds down, Koko has managed to help save Qwill's life and point out the murderer. Braun's witty investigation of the 1960s art scene is as entertaining as her depiction of crusty Qwill's growing admiration for Koko's extraordinary talents. (June)
Library Journal
The first book in Braun's beloved "Cat Who" series is being reissued in hardcover after a wait of over 30 years.
Kirkus Reviews
A new hardcover edition (after Dutton's in 1966) of the first in a series that now totals 19 (The Cat Who Tailed a Thief, 1997, etc.). Here, Braun introduces Jim Qwilleran, a prizewinning reporter who's been on the skids but is now coming back with a job as feature writer (mostly on the art scene) for the Daily Fluxion. George Bonifield Mountclemens, the paper's credentialed art critic, writes almost invariably scathing, hurtful reviews of local shows; delivers his pieces by messenger; lives with his all-knowing cat Koko in a lushly furnished house in a moldering neighborhood, and has a raft of enemies all over town. He offers the newcomer a tiny apartment in his building at a nominal rent, and Qwilleran grabs it, surmising the deal will involve lots of cat-sitting. Meanwhile, a gallery whose artists get happier treatment from Mountclemens is owned by Earl Lambreth. The acerbic critic has praised paintings there by a reclusive Italian named Scrano; the junk assemblages of Nino, who calls himself a "Thingist," as well as works by Lambreth's attractive wife Zoe. It's Zoe who, one night past closing, finds her husband stabbed to death in the vandalized gallery. Days later, Qwilleran, guided by an insistent Koko, finds Mountclemens's knifed corpse on the patio behind his house.

It takes a while to put the meandering pieces together and to uncover an overriding motive behind the mayhem, but the best things here are Qwilleran's low-keyed charisma and the author's well- aimed, often funny barbs at the pretensions of the contemporary art world—as on-target today as they were some 30 years ago.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780515090178
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/28/1986
Series:
Cat Who... Series, #1
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
127,047
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.80(h) x 0.68(d)
Lexile:
810L (what's this?)
Age Range:
18 Years

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The Cat Who Could Read Backwards (The Cat Who... Series #1) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 85 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a really good book! I thought the beging was a little boring but when he met Koko i really started to like it! I would recomend thie book to anybody who likes murder mysterys!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am about halfway through this series. Starting here is the best path. I have found most of the time it is unpredictable and all of the time it is clever. The written illustration of the characters and their surroundings take you away to people and places who are so familiar you would swear you have met them. I must admit I do not look at my two feline friends in the same light since starting this series of books. If I was to reduce a star it would only be because they end too soon. Each could be a novel verse a quick read paperback. Enjoy.
LuvSmellOfBooks More than 1 year ago
I am in love with the "Cat Who...series"! If you like a nice mystery, check out these books. Everyone i know who has read even one book out of the series, gets addicted. The characters are wonderful, you fall in love with them instantly. One character named Koko (the male cat) always seems to stumble upon clues to the mystery..or does he? Is it just coincidence? This is something that Jim Qwilleran (owner of the cats/reporter) wonders himself. Lovely little Yum Yum (the female cat) is always ready to keep a lap warm or clean an ear for Koko that cant be reached. From time to time she doesn't mind following Koko in his search for clues..or are they just wandering around looking for trouble like most cats? Don't miss out on a great read. Check out this series! I suggest reading them in order.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I will try a few of her later books because I can't beleive that anyone who writes this poorly survived to write so many more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Icefire looked for Lilywolf. Stormyeye looked for Larkfrost.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nightfang padded in cheerfully.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As you know, I am leaving tomorrow night. Goodbye and here is a gift. <p> [intro] The snow glows white on the mountain tonight, not a pawprint to be seen. A clan of icelation, and it looks like, I'm the leader. The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside, couldn't keep it in; StarClan knows I tried. Don't let them in don't let them see, be the good shecat you always have to be conceal don't feel don't let them know well know they know!!!! Let it go Let it go, Can't hold it back anymore; Let it go, Let it go Turn away and wave my tail, I don't care what they are going to say, let the storm rage on. The cold never botherd me anyway. [Music] It's funny how some distence, makes everything seem small and the fear that once controled me can't get to me at all. Its tine to see what I can do to test the limits and break through no right no wrong no rules for me; I am free! LET IT GO!!! LET IT GO!!! I am one with the wind and sky-y. Let it go, Let it go, they will never see me cry; here I stand and here i stay let the storm rage on.... [ music] My power flurries through the air into the ground my soul is spiraling in frozen fractels all around! And one thought crystilizes like an icy blast; I am never going back; the past is in the past!!!! LET IT GO!!! LET IT GO!!! AND ILL RISE LIKE THE BREAK OF DAWN-AHAN!!! LET IT GO!!! LET IT GO!!! THAT PERFECT SHECAT IS GONE! HERE I STAY IN THE LIGHT OF DAY!!!! LET THE STORM RAGE ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The cold never bothored me any way. Bing! <p> hope yall liked it I will be back june 29th and will be less active! Bye!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Navysky explored the camp, his eyes wide with wonder. "Hm," the warrior murmured, sniffing at a honey-suckle bush. "I remember these from my rogue days... They were good."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Her breathing had finally returned to normal for the most part and she was not shivering as bad, though she was still a bit cold. Her whiskers twitched once, and with that, and the rise and fall of her chest, she proved she was alive. She still hadn't awoken again yet, probably traumatized and had a concussion. ~Rose &hearts~ PS Lily, I REALLY need to talk to ya tomorrow. Peeps, I've had a long, tiresome day, so I won't be on too terrivly long. Don't forget to tell your lovely fathers Happy Father's Day! Today, for some, will be very memorable so make each day count! If I don't reply in awhile, I fell asleep o.o
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Wonderful, but I'm ten times better now that you're bavk." Cloudripple nuzzled her friend. She looked over at Goldensmoke. "Yes, you may join, but you must participate in one hunting patrol and one border patrol."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok, so first of all I just posted my updated bio. Secondly, sorry for the late notice, but I'm going on another vaca and I'm leaving for the airport tonight. The actual plane technically departs at midnight, morning of Friday the 13th, so if you never hear hear from me again, you'll know what happened lol ;) jk. So yea I'll be back in about 10 days. (Regionals soccer tourney, wish me luck!)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey guys! I'm back from the awesomeness of it all! Tfios was great! Okay? Okay. Omg the quotes are haunting me! Anyways, Lily's on the prairie with Goldenstripe! Omg Dreamlily welcome back!!! Some infinities are bigger than others! ~ Lilywolf &hearts
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Along the river that brought life to the grassy prarrie, a large clump of briars grew on the bank. A small fern tunnel offered the only entry into past the thorny barrier. Inside, the ground was soft with young sprouting grass and moss. At one side, the briars offered protection. On the other there was a thick wall of cattails and reeds, and the water gently lapped at the reeds furthest out. Both the reeds and the briars made places for dens in a few places, and in the middle of the clearing a large limestone rock upheld what would be Horseclans High Log. -Clearing-
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great beginning to the "Cat Who" series and the introduction to all of the important characters. KoKo just begins to show his hidden talents.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Chiburger525 More than 1 year ago
Quite entertaining! I thouroughly enjoyed this book. I think Koko is hilarious. The rest of the series is great too but they get a little old after abound the tenth book. I'd suggest taking a break between each book to read something else.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very good if you love catzs you will lpve this book.
RJohnson More than 1 year ago
This might be an older book but I really enjoyed it. It was a fast read & I enjoyed all the characters especially the Siamese that can read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok so my aunt got me hooked on these books and i absolutle l o v e love them