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The Cat Who Lived High Paperback – Oct 3 1991


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Headline Publishing Group (Oct. 3 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747236712
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747236719
  • Product Dimensions: 11.7 x 1.6 x 17.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,056,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
THE NEWS THAT reached Pickax City early on that cold November morning sent a deathly chill through the small northern community. Read the first page
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By Roger Long on June 20 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I just can't agree with the reviewer who commented that the cat series was growing weaker. In fact, I think this was a bit better than the last several preceding this, partly because of the new surroundings.
Granted, the plots of the cat books are sometimes a bit weak, even outlandish. And the details of every last thing Qwilleran had for breakfast, lunch and dinner can be a trifle tiresome after the tenth time or so, especially when the same sort of detail is applied to the cats' meals and snacks.
But I can tolerate all those because the characters seem real and because the atmosphere is so carefully drawn. In this case, for example, we have the building owner, the "countess," with overtones of Miss Havisham telling Pip (or Qwill, in this case) simply to "Play." And then there is the apartment building, the Casablanca, with its rickety elevators and other signs of age and disrepair. I feel that I actually know the countess and can smell the Casablanca or find my way through the hallways in the dark.
One has to go by the sum total in evaluating a book, i.e., the credits minus the debits. That being so, I have to give this a solid recommendation as I look forward to the next in the series. The perfect mystery? Not at all. But pretty good.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The story begins with Moose County's reaction to the death of Jim Qwilleran, heir to the vast Klingenschoen fortune, beloved columnist in the Moose County Something, companion to Koko and Yum Yum and the hero of this series of books. The action then flashes back to the events that led Qwill and the cats to the 'Big City Down Below'. We learn that he had been contacted by a voice from the past, Amberine, one of the Weird Sisters, who was urged by their mutual friend, Mary Duckworth (both featured in The Cat Who Turned On and Off) to ask him to buy and restore the historic Art Deco era Casablanca apartment building. Qwill is both intrigued by the prospect of returning to city life, at least for a time,and eager to escape another long Moose County winter.
After arriving in the city and establishing himself at the Casblanca Qwill begins to catch up with old friends, visit old neighborhoods and delve into the issues surrounding the Casablanca. Of course once Qwill and the cats are on the scene the suicide and murder scandal that had rocked the community a few weeks before is discovered to be even more scandalous than previously thought. In the end Qwill and the cats unravel the plot.
This is one of my least favorite books in the series. The beginning is riveting, the opening scenes of the warnings Qwill receives from his Moose County friends and his re-introduction to city life are all very well done. It is also great for fans of the series to travel back to Junktown and see how it and some of its residents have changed since we last saw them (The Cat Who Turned On and Off and The Cat Who Saw Red).
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Hardcore mystery fans may find it a bit of a stretch, but if your taste runs to expertly written and very light fiction, you can't do better than Lillian Jackson Braun's "The Cat Who..." series. Her detective, reporter James Qwilleran, investigates crimes with the aid of his Siamese cats--and the solutions to the crime inevitably rest more upon intution than actual deduction. While the premise sounds farfetched, Braun's work is actually less fanciful than you might expect, and she presents her eccentric characters and stories with great charm.
THE CAT WHO LIVED HIGH finds Qwill enticed from his home in Moose County (miles and miles north of everywhere) to the mean streets of the city "down below," where an old friend hopes to interest him in the restoration of a landmark apartment building--but no sooner is Qwill installed in the penthouse than the astute Koko uncovers evidence of murder. Braun's novels often have a slyly satirical touch, and that is seen to particular advantage in this title, which finds Qwill musing on the subject of urban decay, crime, and people whose name-spellings make as much sense backwards as forwards. One of Braun's best!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In keeping with traditional "Cat Who..." conundrums, this particular offering of feline intrigue ties with hushed family secrets in a light hearted mood sure to please fans and first timers alike. Its writing style is relaxed, the characters whimsical, and the setting so realistic, one might feel the nip of November's breeze in Moose or another county's quaint villa universally known as Pickax by any other name, Somewhere or Anywhere USA. The central appeal of small town life is a recurring theme, for the roots which have given us wings beckon now and again. Similarly, Don McClean's song "Castles in the Air" exemplifies perhaps the theme song of James Qwilleran, a divorcee and a recovering alcoholic who is indeed not a part of the cocktail generation, but a prying newspaperman/unlikely detective in mufti. "But how can words express the feel of sunlight in the morning, in the hills away from city strife? ... I'm city born, but I love the country life". A calmly paced mystery, "The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts" allows readers to enjoy the rural scenery, converse with the locals at the Dimsdale Diner and gather strains of gossip which just might reveal the details of a quietly arranged "accidental death". Iris Cobb, staple character of the series, has been hastily obliterated it seems, and the population of Pickax/Moose County/ Down Below has surely diminished since our heroine's arrival on the scene. However, for the sake of country charm and a predictable yet satisfying mystery, this selection is recommended for city folks from Down Home, those among us who drive our SUV's, drink decaf latte, and listen to Garrison Keilor hailing from Lake Wobegon.
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