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The Cat Who Smelled a Rat [Mass Market Paperback]

Lilian Jackson Braun
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 9.99
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Book Description

Jan. 23 2002 Cat Who... (Book 23)
Meet prizewinning reporter Jim Qwilleran and his extraordinary Siamese cats Koko and Yum Yum—the most unlikely, most unusual, most delightful team in detective fiction!

The way Jim Qwilleran sees it, there’s nothing worse than being left high and dry. But that’s exactly where he’s been ever since a record-breaking drought hit Moose County. He’s bedraggled. Beleaguered. And, following a rash of fires at local historic minesites, deeply bewildered. Some blame the blazes on bad weather conditions, but Qwill’s thinking arson. And when a mysterious explosion is followed by a blood-chilling murder, he starts seriously praying for snow—and answers. Good thing Koko can smell trouble a mile away…


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The Cat Who Smelled a Rat + The Cat Who Went Up the Creek
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Product Description

From Amazon

Moose County journalist and philanthropist James Qwilleran, better known to fans of Lilian Jackson Braun's evergreen series of feline-inspired thrillers as the owner of a couple of remarkably prescient Siamese cats named Koko and Yum Yum, is comfortably ensconced in his winter residence in Pickax at the beginning of The Cat Who Smelled a Rat. But he and the other citizens start hoping for snow when a series of arson fires threaten their safety as well as the historically significant shafthouses that sit atop the long-closed mine sites scattered throughout the county.

Qwilleran and his pets take quite a while to connect the fires with the death of a local builder in a seemingly unrelated accident. But his leisurely jaunt to the conclusion of this lightly plotted adventure leaves plenty of room for the author to do what she does best, which is sketching the picaresque characters who people Pickax and dwelling on the small-town charms of a place where everybody knows everything about everybody. The cats are quicker to solve a crime than the local constabulary. Only Koko could find the clues hidden in an antique pitcher and an old-fashioned glove box, and only a cat lover could consider this a mystery or even a romance. There's no suspense, very little drama, hardly any blood, and not even a hint of sex between Qwilleran and his lady. But Braun's fans are legion, so we know she must be doing something right. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The 23rd entry in Braun's Cat Who... series (The Cat Who Robbed a Bank; The Cat Who Saw Stars; etc.) testifies to the amazing popularity of mysteries featuring cats. Once again philanthropist-journalist Jim Qwilleran, columnist for the Something, the local newspaper of Pickax City in Moose County, turns for crime-solving help to his insightful and sensitive Siamese sleuths, Koko and Yum Yum. It's late October and the residents of Pickax are praying for the Big One, the annual blizzard that ushers in the long winter. This year it is much needed since the extreme drought conditions have made the area a virtual tinderbox. After several fires break out, volunteers form the Citizens' Fire Watch to protect the historic shafthouses, all that remain of the county's once prosperous mines. Anxiety increases as more fires occur and a volunteer is shot dead at one of the shafthouses. When the president of the local curling club dies from a fall, Qwilleran, with a twitch of his moustache and an ear-splitting shriek from Koko, joins his feline assistants to find the rat responsible before snow flies. Regular fans will enjoy being back with old friends and will be intrigued by the eccentric new additions to Pickax. The complexities of small-town life and the feline antics portrayed with Braun's apt wit and humor combine with a puzzling mystery to make for a most welcome addition to the series. (Feb. 5) Forecast: With a solid bestseller track record for this series, this entry is sure to claw its way up the lists. British rights have been sold to Headline.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
It was late October, and Moose County, 400 miles north of everywhere, was in danger of being wiped off the map. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have purchased every Cat Who book, plus the Cat Who Companion, and Short and Tall Tales. I pre-order each one, and I continually read them in sequence. By the time the new one comes out, I have gone back and read every one of them again and champ at the bit for the new one. I am a cyber resident of Moose County! Now I enjoy a thriller as much as the next reader; I enjoy adventure and science fiction, but no other series of books has ever completely captured my heart like this wonderful Quillerain Community! I hope Lillian Jackson Braun lives to be 150 years old and writes at least a Cat Who book every year!
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
The first body doesn't appear until about half way through the book. The first half of the book catches fans up on the latest in Moose County. Suspicious fires have been plaguing the beloved shafthouses, those tourist attracting relics of Moose County's mining past. Qwill and Koko begin to unravel that little problem but are sidetracked by the death of an old friend. More suspicious destruction sets them back on the trail, the bodies (finally) begin to appear. Of course Qwill and Koko prevail with the added triumphs of discovering the motives of the abherent behavior of a long time Moose County resident and shooing away yet another rival for Polly's affections.
This is a long running series of cozies. If you are already familiar with Moose County, its resident mystery solving cat and his millionaire companion you'll LOVE this book. If not you probably want to look elsewhere. If you are new to the series this is not where you want to start. If you are looking for a very challenging mystery you probably won't be happy with the series at all.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Enjoyable March 30 2002
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 SMELLED A RAT finds Moose County, a place 500 miles north of everywhere, in the midst of a serious winter drought: lack of snowfall has turned the county into a tinderbox, and mysterious fires of uncertain origin have the residents on edge--but when a fire-spotter is murdered while on patrol Qwill begins to suspect there is more going on than juvenile-inspired arson. In addition to a few new characters, RAT features all the characters fans of the series have come to know and love, and as usual Braun makes our visit with Qwill & Co. a thoroughly enjoyable diversion. Recommended for fans and newcomers alike.
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By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
My first intro to "The Cat Who..." series was "The Cat Who Saw Stars" and consequently I purchased each book in the series (some hardback, some paperback)and read them in order -- it's the best way to achieve full appreciation of the series and Ms. Lilian Jackson Braun's skills. Upon finishing the latest available installment I've pre-ordered next year's edition with high hopes. I'm noticing, as others have, that the writing of some later titles veers away from the style present in earlier books. So, I was relieved with "The Cat Who Smelled a Rat" because it definitely harks back to the earlier writing style of the series. I'm beginning to suspect Ms. Braun is a bit ahead of most of us, i.e., have any other readers dedicated to the series started noticing the slow progression of Qwilleran's life as if it is an integral subplot? Also, particularly intriguing are this title's references to unknown information from his childhood combined with Qwill's reflections upon his relationship with Polly. I'm going to start over and read the series again, a first for me. Because I suspect Ms. Braun has laid a framework throughout the series regarding Qwill's personal evolution through the years that has gone past even a dedicated reader like myself. Ms. Braun has received accolades for her writing yet I feel she surpasses in skill and talent even the best of compliments she has so far received. This great author is telling LAYERS of stories, weaving a beautiful tapestry of not only Qwill's adventures but of his personal journey through life. In a few of the later books, I felt a sense of isolation from the character which is what I think others felt when wondering if possibly a ghostwriter was involved. Now, I'm not so sure it wasn't intentional. Definitely something is going to occur between Qwill and Polly in the next installment!! Great reads.... Highly recommended series.
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4.0 out of 5 stars entertaining June 28 2001
Format:Hardcover
The Cat Who Smelled a Rat is about Qwilleran and his two cats, Koko and Yum Yum. Qwilleran writes a twice weekly column for the Something (the local newspaper) called the "Qwill Pen". Besides writing his column he is a local mystery-solver. He doesn't look for mysteries to solve. They manage to occur on their own and around him. Of course he has the help of his two cats in solving the mystery. In this particular book the mystery is the old, abandoned mine sites that an arsonist is lighting fires to. Who and why are the questions Qwill needs to answer. And of course he has help from other Pickax residents and friends.
This being my first The Cat Who...book, I wasn't sure what to expect. I was not disappointed. This book is a very light mystery. Qwilleran and Co. are fun to read about and are always stumbling upon something that just doesn't seem quite right. The cats are absolutely hysterical in their antics. (If you have cats, then you know the author is right on with some of their actions.) And I think 98% of the residents in Pickax own cats!
Overall I had a lot of fun reading this book. Again, it's a very light, funny story. It's a very good way to pass a couple evenings. I will definitely read more Cat Who...books.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Series !!
Am addicted to this whole series !!
Every one is excellent !!
Relaxing, funny very good stories !!
Wish there were more !!
Published 6 months ago by Sally Black
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun Read
Although not a great work of literature, these books are a light, easy read which are bound to entertain any animal lover. Read more
Published on Feb. 28 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars I think Braun really is writing these books....
... because she's turned a 50ish man into a little old lady of 87. I know some 50ish men. They would not be seen dead in "jumpsuits" or "leisure suits". Read more
Published on Sept. 16 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Smells pretty good to me!
This was good enough to read during one prolonged session in the bathtub. Oops! That says more about me than it does about the book. Read more
Published on Feb. 5 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Smells pretty good to me!
This was good enough to read during one prolonged session in the bathtub. Oops! That says more about me than it does about the book. Read more
Published on Feb. 5 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Smells pretty good to me!
This was good enough to read during one prolonged session in the bathtub. Oops! That says more about me than it does about the book. Read more
Published on Feb. 5 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Smells pretty good to me!
This was good enough to read during one prolonged session in the bathtub. Oops! That says more about me than it does about the book. Read more
Published on Feb. 5 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Smells pretty good to me!
This was good enough to read during one prolonged session in the bathtub. Oops! That says more about me than it does about the book. Read more
Published on Feb. 5 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Smells pretty good to me!
This was good enough to read during one prolonged session in the bathtub. Oops! That says more about me than it does about the book. Read more
Published on Feb. 5 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Smells pretty good to me!
This was good enough to read during one prolonged session in the bathtub. Oops! That says more about me than it does about the book. Read more
Published on Feb. 5 2003
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