The Cat Who Dropped a Bombshell (The Cat Who... Series #28)

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"The residents of Pickax eagerly await the start of Pickax Now, a festival celebrating the 150th anniversary of the town's founding. In the midst of preparations for parades and performances, newspaper columnist James Qwilleran must make time to entertain Harvey Ledfield, an aspiring architect visiting from out of town." "Qwill welcomes Harvey into his home to sketch, but strange occurrences seem to follow Harvey around. Why, for example, did the extraordinary Siamese Koko leap from the balcony onto Harvey's head while he was drawing Qwill's ...
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The Cat Who Dropped a Bombshell (The Cat Who... Series #28)

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Overview

"The residents of Pickax eagerly await the start of Pickax Now, a festival celebrating the 150th anniversary of the town's founding. In the midst of preparations for parades and performances, newspaper columnist James Qwilleran must make time to entertain Harvey Ledfield, an aspiring architect visiting from out of town." "Qwill welcomes Harvey into his home to sketch, but strange occurrences seem to follow Harvey around. Why, for example, did the extraordinary Siamese Koko leap from the balcony onto Harvey's head while he was drawing Qwill's barn? And why have Harvey's aunt and uncle - residents of nearby Purple Point - not been seen in public since Harvey's arrival?" Soon, Koko's strange behavior is not the only sign of trouble in Pickax. A knitter with psychic powers predicts murder, and a woman makes a weekend trip to Pickax from California to leave a message for Qwill. It's up to Koko to help Qwill piece the clues together.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
In the 28th (yes, 28th!) installment of Lilian Jackson Braun's Cat Who... saga (The Cat Who Read Backwards, The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern, et al.), the residents of Pickax City in Moose County -- "400 miles north of everywhere" -- are busy preparing the town for its big sesquicentennial bash. But amid the numerous parades, performances, and kitty auctions, tragedy strikes when an affluent elderly couple suddenly dies from mysterious causes…

The magnificently mustached local columnist Jim Qwilleran (along with his two Siamese cats, Koko and Yum Yum) has his hands full with numerous projects associated with the town's 150th birthday. But when an aspiring young architect visiting from California -- the nephew (and only heir) of the deceased socialites Nathan and Doris Ledfield -- asks to sketch his renowned home (a renovated apple barn), Qwill happily obliges. When the young man stops by, however, Koko inexplicably assaults the visitor by dropping onto him from an upper balcony. Quill realizes that his extraordinarily perceptive Siamese knows that something unseemly involving the architect is in the works -- but what?

Readers who enjoy "cozy" mysteries -- decidedly understated novels by authors like Dorothy L. Sayers, Nancy Atherton, Susan Witting Albert, M. C. Beaton, et al. -- will find comfort in Braun's nine-lived saga (begun in 1966!), which features friendly characters, pleasant plotlines, and always a purr-fectly happy ending. The literary equivalent of a sipping a glass of warm milk with nutmeg and getting your tummy rubbed… Paul Goat Allen
Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Braun's disappointing 28th Cat Who... novel (after 2004's The Cat Who Went Bananas) mostly follows journalist Jim "Call Me Qwill" Qwilleran as he runs around Pickax City, Mich., getting things ready for the town's blow-out celebration of its sesquicentenary. Many books ago, Qwill inherited tons of money and set up a foundation to benefit Pickax. Now that story line has become a caricature, with Qwill's fund popping up and financing yet another venture virtually every chapter. The "mystery" concerns Nathan and Doris Ledfield, a wealthy couple whose only heir is an obnoxious, greedy nephew. When late in the tale the Ledfields die... well, let's just say that no one will be surprised to learn who was behind their deaths, or what his motive was. Lame plotting isn't the only problem. The characterization is not just thin, it's anorexic. Perhaps it's time to put this series, which once defined feline fiction, to sleep. Mystery Guild main selection. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Sesquicentennial fever sweeps Pickax City. As head of the K Foundation, fabulously wealthy Jim "Qwill" Qwilleran is often involved in Moose County activities. He's just made the move from his in-town condo to the architecturally renowned apple barn that's his summer home. Qwill is happy to let the orphaned nephew of the wealthy Ledfield family make sketches of his apple barn for a college entrance portfolio. Harvey Ledfield soon arrives in a limousine with his fiancee, cat-loving journalism student Clarissa Moore, who is a hit with Qwill. But Qwill becomes suspicious of Harvey when Qwill's Siamese Koko drops from a balcony and knocks Harvey off his sketching stool. Like Yum Yum, Qwill's other cat, Koko is never wrong about people and obviously has it in for Harvey. In due course, Clarissa confesses that she's not engaged but just helping Harvey work a scam to inherit the Ledfield wealth. Undaunted, Qwill gets her a job at the local paper as he and his circle of friends gear up to make the sesquicentennial celebration one for the history books. Things go well enough until both Ledfield elders die mysteriously. For better or worse, parades and other events leave Qwill little time for sleuthing. No mystery to speak of, but cat-loving fans of Braun's Moose County saga (The Cat Who Went Bananas, 2005, etc.) will no doubt enjoy the latest from Pickax.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399153075
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/10/2006
  • Series: Cat Who... Series , #28
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.68 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Meet the Author

Lilian Jackson Braun

Lilian Jackson Braun is the author of twenty-eight bestselling Cat Who . . . novels and three short-story collections.

Biography

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 the Berkley Publishing Group reintroduced Braun to the public with the publication of an original paperback, The Cat Who Saw Red. Within two years, Berkeley released four new novels in paperback and reprinted the three mysteries from the sixties. G.P. Putnam's Sons has since published seventeen Cat Who... novels, among them The Cat Who Went Up The Creek, The Cat Who Smelled a Rat, The Cat Who Robbed The Bank, The Cat Who Saw Stars, The Cat Who Tailed a Thief, The Cat Who Blew the Whistle, The Cat Who Said Cheese, The Cat Who Came to Breakfast, The Cat Who Went Into The Closet, The Cat Who Wasn't There, The Cat Who Moved The Mountain, The Cat Who Knew a Cardinal, The Cat Who Lived High, The Cat who Talked to Ghosts, The Cat Who Went Underground, The Cat Who Sniffed Glue, The Cat Who Saw Stars, and The Cat Who Sang For the Birds.

Even though Braun claims that her cats have never done anything extraordinary, her fictional cats, Koko and Yum Yum, solve crimes and delight fans in book after book. Braun says the reason for her success is that "people are simply tired of all the blood. I write what is called the classic mystery." She says that while "not all mystery fans like cats, all cat-fanciers seem to like mysteries. That makes for a large audience, since 26% of all American households own 53.9 million cats between them."

Braun was the "Good Living" editor of The Detroit Free Press for 29 years.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).

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    1. Hometown:
      North Carolina
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 30, 1915
    2. Place of Birth:
      Massachusetts
    1. Date of Death:
      June 4, 2011
    2. Place of Death:
      South Carolina

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 40 )
Rating Distribution

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(16)

4 Star

(2)

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(4)

2 Star

(11)

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(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 43 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2007

    The Cat Who Has Seen Better Days

    My sister and I have been reading and re-reading Ms. Braun's wonderful mysteries for years, and find the series so enjoyable and satisfying, that a Cat Who... book is being read by one or both of us every week of the year. Ms. Braun has helped us through some rough patches with her believable and lovable characters - we know some of these people! We both immediately questioned the source of The Cat Who Dropped a Bombshell, and have difficulty recognizing Ms. Braun as the author. Though it is certainly far better than I would be able to pen, it is not true to Braun's style. I understand that more beloved characters are dismissed from the series in The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers. Unless we are informed to the contrary, we are not reading that one. Rather, we will continue to re-read the series from the first book, The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, through The Cat Who Went Bananas. The couple of dozen-plus books with which Braun has blessed us will still be entertaining us many years from now. We thank her sincerely for sharing her talent, her intelligence and knowledge, and her keen observance of human and animal nature with her fellow lovers of mystery and felines. She has maintained a high standard of decency in a medium in which many compromise their craft, and she has our respect as well as our affection.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2006

    Not up to her usual standard

    Sorry, Ms Braun, but this TCW was not up to your usual standard. I have read most of the earlier books and was very disappointed in this one. It was bitsy, bits of this and bits of that....no thread to it, no consistant theme. Readers were left dangling about one suspected murder--the cousins who went shootong rabbits--and the other 2 murders didn't seem to have much point. Some say the books are being written by a committee. This one certainly reads like that.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2006

    The Cat Who Is Not There

    I was disappointed in this book. Most of the plot lines didn't go anywhere. Did she really write this? It didn't seem to fit her formula. If she isn't having fun with it any more, it is time to stop. I have read every one of the books she has written. I hope The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers will be better.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2010

    Not as good as previous books

    I have read all the "Cat Who..." books and was dissapointed with this. The plot was similar but things dropped and not explained. Too many details not followed through. Not up to the usual standards.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2007

    Definitely a disappointing book

    I agree with all the prior review about this not be Ms. Braun's best work. I was left with an extremely let-down feeling when I finished it. Jim Q. definitely does not have the same personality as in previous books and has become quite a boring person and not very interested in anything beyond his little part of the world. These books have been going downhill since The Cat Who Brought the House Down. I started reading them because they were engaging and had definite likeable and non-likeable characters. I will have to seriously consider whether I buy any future books unless they go back to the previous style. Even then, so many characters have been killed off for no reason, it may be hard to get back into it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2007

    Would Someone Tell Me What Is Going On?

    You don't have to include a murder, I just love being with Quill and the cats, but please if you're going to copy LJB or continue her series, please at least study her style!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2006

    The Cat Who Disappointed Readers!

    This book is part of the 'series' now apparently written by a team of writers who have not even had the courtesy of reading Ms. Braun's much earlier works for reference---the lack of consistency and poor attention to detail insult her and her many fans. The publisher may simply want to keep the franchise around--legions of readers devoted to Koko and YumYum buy many books!--but clearly, it is time for Ms.Braun's name to be retired. Someone said she had given an interview to the Detroit paper last year. Actually it was in 1989. This book and at least four others before it offer no fresh plots, instead putting hurried and bizarre scenarios together into chapters that stumble over one another.Newcomers to the series should read her earliest titles in the series to experience the joys of a fun-filled read. Devoted readers should stop buying the new titles. I know, some reviewers insist Ms. Braun is still writing every word, and if she is, that's proof that she has lost interest in her characters and their adventures. 'The Cat Who Took Retirement' should be the next, and final, installment in what once was pleasurable reading.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2006

    Definitely not Braun's best

    Normally, I don't agree with the literary critics but this time I do. The Publisher's Weekly review described precisely what I felt after finishing the book. I've read all the 'Cat Who..' books and this one, I'm very sorry to say, is just not up to the author's previous great work. I was very disappointed. It's a fast review of the characters' backgrounds for the first time 'Cat Who..' reader but lacks the energy and creativity of her earlier works. It read like someone trying to meet a deadline and was terribly repetitive throughout as though trying to just fill in space. The thin plotline felt secondary to describing the human & animal players. I fear it wouldn't entice me to read the earlier works if I were new to the series. I'm not sure I look forward to her future 'Cat Who...' books and can only hope this was a fluke and that Ms. Braun's future stories about Qwilleran and the cats will flow once again with the creative pizzaz for which she is known and loved.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2006

    'Bombshell' Bombs

    'The Cat Who Dropped A Bombshell' is Braun's biggest disappointment and weakest effort: weak plot, weak characters, and Koko's famous mystery-solving skills are almost nonexistent because there is an almost nonexistent mystery! In fact, the mystery is completely overshadowed by Jim Qwilleran's fitful attempts to find something to write about in his 'Qwill Pen' column. It seemed as though Ms. Braun was attempting to include every character she has ever written about in the past few books, perhaps trying to tie up loose ends, and giving each one only the briefest mention. In past books, Ms. Braun has displayed a wealth of knowledge of gourmet food, literature, architecture, trains, antiques and even goats, but in this book she merely writes about...well...nothing. I felt the writing was unworthy of Ms. Braun's previous efforts, seemingly written for a group of 6 or 7 year olds, not adults who have loved and collected her books for years. The very, very simple writing style (short, declarative sentences and choppy paragraphs) was an insult to her intelligent readers, who are legion. The lack of descriptive detail, which is so relished by her readers, is only slightly relieved in the last chapter, giving the impression that Ms. Braun was rushing to get the book written. I wonder if Ms. Braun should drop a bombshell of her own and put the series to rest?

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2011

    Plot Holes, Confused Writing, and an Ending that Confuses

    MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS! I own every "Cat Who" book that Lilian Jackson Braun wrote, but she must have used a tremendously untalented "ghost writer" for this one. Note that Braun was 93 years old at the time of printing. Then there's the confused writing. As with all Braun's books, we do have Pickax characters and introductions of newcomers. However, they come and go. KoKo acts odd, dropping from the balcony onto one of the newcomers. Why? There are a couple of confused hints. Toward the last quarter of the book it gets even more confusing because there are murders and one odd death that are glossed over. Qwuill doesn't even react with a twitching moustouche over the third death and it's someone he knows well! At the end, nothing is really explained. There are implied motives and suspects. However, the book simply ends with the reading and execution of a will. What's the "Bombshell" that KoKo dropped and what was he trying to say? I just believe it's the badly ghost-written book masquerading as a Braun original.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2009

    The bombshell book

    I picked this book up because I have enjoyed the other "cat who" books for easy reading. I found that this book did not come up to the usual standards. It couldn't have been too awful, because I finished the book; but I didn't find it nearly as well plotted or as interesting as the others in the series. A disappointment, to say the least.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2009

    Not as good as previous by same author

    I love Braun's characters. Her books are delightful, easy reading. But this one is not as satisfying as her previous books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Qwilleran, everyone's favorite reporter

    Amateur feline sleuths KoKo and YumYum again help reporter Qwilleran solve the mystery. This time, the Town of Pickax is on the verge of its 150th anniversary. Polly, Qwill¿s amore, has moved from Head Librarian to Manager of The Pirates¿ Chest, a bookstore financed largely through the K-Fund which came from Qwill¿s unexpected inheritance.<BR/><BR/>A large part of Braun¿s success is a reader¿s enchantment with Qwill, his two cats and his community. After an architect student sketches the interior of Qwill¿s apple barn home, a murder takes place at a family reunion. Qwill and his Siamese cats put together their senses to find out the who and why. The mystery plays a small part of this novel but it is fun to revisit the world created by Braun.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2006

    Loose ends and little substance

    I've been a fan of Lilian Jackson Braun's 'Cat Who' series for a long time, and have read all of the earlier books. 'Bombshell' is a disappointment. It's not up to the high standards Ms. Braun set for herself in most of the previous titles. Qwill and supercat Koko have little involvement in crime solving in this one, and two recurring characters are killed off to no real purpose in advancing the plot. Those deaths are mentioned only in passing, and Qwill seems strangely unmoved by them-- nor are there any traditionally grand Moose County funerals for either character. One of the murder plots in this book is so patently obvious that even the less astute Yum Yum could have solved it singlehandedly, and that's hardly what we've come to expect from L.J.B. There are rumors that, because of Ms. Braun's advanced age, she is no longer writing the 'Cat Who' stories, but they are being ghostwritten. With 'Bombshell,' that seems possible. It is almost as if someone took Ms. Braun's outlines for three of four future stories and strung them together, without fully fleshing out the plot (or subplots). It's always fun to visit with the denizens of Moose County, but I'd rather spend time with them in their earlier appearances in print.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    RETURN OF THE FROLICKING FELINES

    George Guidall is most definitely at the top of the narrators A-list. He has over 800 unabridged novels to his credit, and an Obie on his mantle. When not lending his storied voice to a narrative, he's often seen on film and television. His delivery of Koko's latest caper charms and entertains. You don't have to be a feline fancier to enjoy the adventures (perhaps more appropriately misadventures) of those two splendid Siamese cats, Koko and Yum Yum. They never fail to give their owner, writer James Qwilleran (better known as Qwill) cause for concern, consternation, and cheer. With the opening of The Cat Who Dropped A Bombshell' we hear that this should be a time of celebration as the town of Pickax is preparing for its sesquicentennial. However, Koko has other ideas. He's taken to practicing a minor form of sky diving - sailing himself off from balconies and landing in most inappropriate places. When a visitor comes to Pickax Koko is one of the first to greet him. As if this welcome weren't enough the visitor's family are all suddenly taken ill, and it's up to Qwill to get to the bottom of these cat-astrophes. - Gail Cooke

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2006

    Missed the Mark

    I found this edition of a long line of excellent story lines lacking creativity. The usual inclusion of funeral details were missing. Qwil has turned into an instant money bag that solves every problem with the K Fund. Mrs Jackson has in the past killed charming characters, but the deaths outside the main plot meant nothing. I'm disappointed in what has been a most enjoyable series of stories.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2014

    Wolf

    Wolf smiles and closes her eyes, purring softly and licking her daughter's ears. "I'm just so happy your okay," she meows with an exhalation of relief. She looks at Lilywolf with admiration, so many different thoughts coming and going in her mind. "Lilywolf..." the grey shecat says the name slowly, her smile widening even more. "That's a good name. You have many good things here, Goldenstripe, kits; I met Cometstorm and Shellpool and Larkfrost; and lots a good friends you love you a lot." Wolf sets a paw on hers and rests her head. "I couldn't be more proud of you, you've gained and acomplished more than I ever could've hoped you would." (Sorry for being super late!)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2014

    Lilywolf to Wolf

    If you read my post at the old camp could you respond here? I'll be checking back here! ~ Lilywolf &hearts

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2014

    Moonwool

    She smiled and settled down into the soft moss, wincing as a pain jabbed her side, but like every other time, she thought nothing of it and pushed it to the back of her mind. She rested her head onto her matted side and fell into a dreamless sleep.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2014

    Velvetstar to Horseclan

    A clump of heather grew near the briar side of the camp. Inside it was warm but airy, extra soft nests were made and a few pieces of prey eere left. Here Horseclan's senior members could rest and tell stories to the younger ones, an important part of becoming a warrior. -Elders Den-

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