Book: The Cat Who Could Read Backwards
Author: Lilian Braun Jackson
Reason for Reading: book club
Summary: Jim Qwilleran is a seaonsoned reporter who accepts a job as feature writer for the Daily Fluxion, a local paper for an unnamed midwestern city. Quill is assigned to write features on the local art scene. He meets George Bonifield Mountclemens, the paper's recluse art critic, who writes mostly scathing reviews of local shows and has enemies all over town. Mountclemens lives with his all-knowing cat Koko in a lushly furnished house and offers Qwill a tiny apartment in his building at a nominal rent. Two murders occur and Qwill finds himself in the thick of the investigation with Koko the cat by his side.
Christine's Review: This is the first book in the popular 'The Cat Who..' series which has over 19 books to date. Braun has created a title character (Qwill) who is entertaining, witty and fun to follow. Although the first murder occurs approximately 100 pages into the book, Braun introduces many flamboyant characters that keep the story flowing. I have no experience in the art scene but from what I hear, her depictions of artists (quirky, narcissistic, jealous) is right on target. Written in 1966, Qwill investigates both murders the good old fashioned way..by interviewing people. This is a nice departure to more modern books that focus on forensics. By the end of the book, Qwill solves both mysteries and acquires a trusty companion, Koko the cat.
Overall, this book is a quick, fun read. It would be perfect for a flight or car trip.
Book Junkie's Grade: B