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

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

by Lilian Jackson Braun, Dunnington

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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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 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 reporter talents to art. But Qwilleran and his newly found partner, Koko the brilliant Siamese cat, are in their element—sniffing out clues and confounding criminals intent on mayhem and murder. This riveting beginning to the Cat Who series is the perfect cozy mystery for cat lovers to start sleuthing!

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: 71,924
Product dimensions: 4.23(w) x 6.85(h) x 0.66(d)
Lexile: 810L (what's this?)

About the Author

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 Berkley Publishing Group reintroduced Braun to the public with the publication of an original paperback, The Cat Who Saw Red. Within two years, Berkley released four new novels in paperback and reprinted the three mysteries from the sixties. Since then, G.P. Putnam’s Sons has published seventeen additional novels in the Cat Who series. Braun passed away in 2011.


North Carolina

Date of Birth:


Date of Death:

June 4, 2011

Place of Birth:


Place of Death:

South Carolina


Graduated from high school at age 16

Table of Contents

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The Cat Who Could Read Backwards (The Cat Who... Series #1) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 96 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.
taz_ on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Light, quick and enjoyable, the mystery in this late '60s period piece takes a back seat to the characters of the hardboiled reporter who's emerging from a rough patch and the cat who steals his affection - as well as the small town atmosphere where backbiting is a sport.The most vivid writing is often in minor details that seem to be written from life - especially descriptions of the cat (surprise!). Who isn't absolutely certain that Lilian Jackson Braun must have had a special cat pillow on the top of her fridge for her own "Koko"? I think I'll be reading some more of these, to see how Qwillian and the cat get on.
NashNordin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jim Qwilleran was assigned as the art writer for the Daily Fluxion although he knew not much about it. Daily Fluxion had one art critique, George Bonifield Mountclemens. As Qwilleran began to learn more of local arts, he discovered that not many of the artists like the art critique. Because of that, he was curious to know who the art critique is and wanted to meet him. Soon, he started to befriend with the Mountclemens and his Siamese cat, Ko K'ao Kung or Koko. Koko is a really smart Siamese cat who could read newspaper headline backwards.When Koko's owner is found murdered, Qwilleran started to look after Koko. Qwilleran then started to find out who the murderer is that murdered Mountclemens and two other people with the help of Koko.I knew I have to read this book the minute I saw the title (it's catchy!). Besides, I think I've seen Gosho Aoyama (creator of Detective Conan) featuring Koko as a detective at the back cover of Detective Conan volume 61. And I thought that this book is probably going to be good.The Cat Who Could Read Backwards was a fun, cozy mystery read. I love Braun writing style. It's relaxing and not boring at all. But I love the book (and Koko!) I enjoyed the book and look forward to read the continuation of the series.
goose114 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Newspaperman Jim Qwilleran has just been hired to work at a local newspaper writing articles about local artists. This particular newspaper is notorious for an art critic that is mean, harsh, and controversial. Qwilleran soon becomes involved in the art culture when suddenly a murder takes place. With the help of Koko the Siamese cat, Qwilleran solves the mysteries surrounding this town¿s art world murders. This was a great cozy mystery ¿ an interesting story with unique characters. I will definitely read the second book in this series.
carter_who on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not quite what I was expecting.This had been recommended to me by my sister, who really enjoyed this series. I am a big fan of detective fiction, especially Sherlock Holmes and Ellery Queen, so this seemed to be right up my alley.The plot is fairly simple, a writer for the arts section of a local newspaper gets caught up in a couple of murders. First the owner of a popular art gallery is killed, then the paper's art critic is murdered at his home. I will admit that I was unable to discover for myself who the murderer was until it was revealed.The pace of the story seemed to drag in places, there is a lot of plot exposition and character development, rather than a lot of action. I did enjoy the clever involvement of the cat, Kao K'o Kung "Koko" in the discovery of some of the clues, leading to the eventual capture of the killer.All in all, I would probably recommend this book to others. It's worth a few hours of your time to read.
bluesalamanders on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Qwill wants the crime desk at the newspaper, what he ends up with is the art beat. It turns out to be more exciting than he anticipated, though, when his new acquaintances start dropping like flies. He takes care of his landlord's cat - the soon-to-be-famous Kao K'o Kung - who helps him solve the case and even saves his life.Qwill is a fun character, if a bit sexist, and this is a great start to Koko's career as a mystery solver. These books are enjoyable fluff.
sarah-e on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's short. It's cozy. It's not entirely predictable. The cat is cute. The newspaperman/detective is fun to read about. It's one of those... if you don't like this sort of thing, you don't - but if you do, you can't ask for much more than this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved Koko and how he helped solve the artist and the murders.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed it, and finally found out how Qwill acquired Koko.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love Koko
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Quick enjoyable read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really good book. Hard to put it down. Makes you want more. Good thing there are more. Can't wait to get to the next one to see what cat detective does next. He is the Point of the cat world!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
first time reading thiS author. Good plot. Nice portrayl of the cat.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Icefire looked for Lilywolf. Stormyeye looked for Larkfrost.
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!)