Discussion Forums - Mystery & Thrillers

Topic: The cat who Books By Lillian Jackson Braun

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
Page:   Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: The cat who Books By Lillian Jackson Braun
Date Posted: 1/19/2008 1:37 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 71
Back To Top
Date Posted: 1/20/2008 2:24 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2006
Posts: 2,246
Back To Top

I'm not sure what your question or comment is. If you're asking whether they're worth reading, I'd say that the older ones in the series are well worth reading, but the books published in the last 5-8 years are (let me be blunt) garbage. I'm not even sure Ms. Braun is writing them any more; there are enormous differences in syntax and general writing style in the more recent books, and she is, after all, 92 or something and not likely to still be writing.

However, the older books: Cat Who Turned On and Off, Read Backwards, Ate Danish Modern, Saw Red, Played Brahms, Talked to Ghosts, Sniffed Glue are all good cozy mysteries with good plots, good characters, and fun little plays on words.

Your thoughts?

Les

Date Posted: 1/20/2008 2:31 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 71
Back To Top

Thank You.I was wonder if they where worth reading .it was a questin?

 

 

Date Posted: 1/20/2008 5:02 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2006
Posts: 2,246
Back To Top

They're very popular here, and I should say that not everyone agrees with me that the newer books are poorly written. I see that Short and Tall Tales, which is a recent book of short stories, is available here on PBS, as is The Cat Who Talked Turkey, also The Cat Who Went Bananas, The Cat Who Brought Down the House, and The Cat Who Went Up the Creek, others are all available here. Maybe give one a try and see what you think.

Best wishes from one cat lover to another.

Date Posted: 1/20/2008 5:48 PM ET
Member Since: 1/9/2006
Posts: 760
Back To Top

Lester! I've said that same thing about the most recent LJB books!  I swear the original author died and someone else is writing the recent ones.  The picture of the author on the book jacket is the same one she's had for 20 years.

I did enjoy the older ones, right up until about 5 years ago.

Date Posted: 1/20/2008 6:27 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2006
Posts: 2,246
Back To Top

Melani, exactly. I think the newer ones are being written by ghostwriters, maybe from plot outlines Ms. Braun had. I recall reading some years ago that Ms. Braun was born in 1913, and I simply don't see how she could still be cranking out a novel a year at her age. I miss the quality of the older books, especially the dialog that she wrote so very well.

Tailed a Thief is the last one that made any kind of sense to me, then quality gradually declined until 5 or 6 years ago when it was obvious that she was no longer writing them. The writing style changed too much.

It's a shame, because she was a terrific mystery writer.

Ah, well, there are still 10-12 excellent Cat Who books to re-read on cold snowy evenings. :-)

Date Posted: 1/21/2008 9:58 PM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2007
Posts: 1,403
Back To Top


Last Edited on: 6/5/11 11:31 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/22/2008 7:00 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2006
Posts: 368
Back To Top

Lester, Melani, and Julie - my hat is off to all 3 of you for saying what I have thought for quite some time, but don't say aloud because of all the LJB fans I know! There has been a DEFINATE change in the writing style, so much so, that I haven't even read the last few. Just not like the earlier ones.

There is a mystery series about ghost writers who become involved in crime solving. Before I read it, I was naive and didn't know that such people exist! I think the later 'Cat Who......." books may be examples.

Date Posted: 1/22/2008 7:29 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2006
Posts: 2,246
Back To Top

Margaretann, what series is that, with the ghost writers who get involved in solving crimes? Sounds interesting.

Date Posted: 1/22/2008 9:59 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,192
Back To Top

Oh bummer - I read them all up until about 6 years ago when I just had enough of the series - yk, just too much of a good thing?! . I've gotten the most recent three lately and was looking forward to picking them up the series again .... If I was burning out on them then I'm betting I wouldn't like these.

Date Posted: 1/23/2008 11:18 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
Back To Top

I'm still reading them - or rather listening to them.   I'm listening to The Cat Who Talked Turkey right now.   I'm continuing with the series because (1) I love the narrator's (George Guidall) voice, and (2) I've grown to love the characters who live in Moose County and the cats.   But in most of the recent books - including the one I'm listening to right now - it's very hard to find the "mystery" in the story.     And if there is a mystery it makes no sense!

I know that most people prefer the first few books in the series.  My favorites have actually been those in the middle of the series - starting with the book where Qwill inherits boocoo bucks and moves to Moose County.  And I agree that the more recent books aren't that good and I'm listening to them only for the reasons previously listed.

I keep notes on all the books I've read, and this is the note that I wrote for The Cat Who Wasn't There (the one where Qwill went to Scotland).  It was one of my favorite books in the series.

My note was:  "This book was really good!  It actually had a PLOT!"

Plus some of the things that Qwill has done in the recent books make no sense at all to me.  WARNING - SPOILER AHEAD!!!!!!  In The Cat Who Robbed a Bank he had some letters written by his mother to a good friend.  He read a few of them and burned the rest without reading them!   Huh?????   If I didn't know anything about my father and my mother had passed away, I wouldn't burn the only way that I had to find out more!

I will say that I just got The Cat Who Cookbook, and am looking forward to trying out some of the recipes.   I'm a little disappointed, though, that it doesn't contain a recipe for my favorite dish in the books - smothered potatoes (mmmmmmm, those sounded so good).



Last Edited on: 2/4/08 1:09 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/26/2008 11:30 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2006
Posts: 2,246
Back To Top

Lynne, here's a recipe for smothered potatoes that looks to be just like the way my sainted MIL made them, except she added about 1/2 tsp of sugar and about a tablespoon of cider vinegar right at the end. Heaven on a plate. http://www.cookinglouisiana.com/Cooking/Recipes/Vegetables/smothered-potatoes.htm  I never knew they were called smothered potatoes until Chris (Manny) mentioned them in a post a month or so ago.

POSSIBLE SPOILER:

I'm so glad to hear that someone else thought that burning the letters from his mother was just off, off, off. No one I know would do that. That's not even human. I know that Qwill has cut himself off from a lot of his emotions, but I didn't buy that. No one would just shrug and burn them.

END OF POSSIBLE SPOILER

Les

Date Posted: 2/3/2008 7:44 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,354
Back To Top

I enjoyed the older ones where he was in the city.  Since he moved out of the city they've been hit or miss, and more miss than hit. 

SPOILER RELATED TO PREVIOUS SPOILERS (edited this to add that in)

(And add me to those who thought burning the letters was out of character.  And spoiled future depth to the stories).



Last Edited on: 2/3/08 7:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 2/11/2008 5:00 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2005
Posts: 487
Back To Top

I recently read an article somewhere about this (can't remember now). Anyway, her husband was interviewed and he swore she was still writing the books but had been very ill lately so if people saw differences in the style it was because of her illness.

 

Edited to say: I just collected all the PB versions and am slowly reading through them. I use them to break up the time between more serious books. It refreshes my brain :)



Last Edited on: 2/11/08 5:01 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/28/2008 10:15 AM ET
Member Since: 3/12/2007
Posts: 27,682
Back To Top

Wow!

 

I had stepped away from this series for a long time (wasn't doing much reading at all) .. and I thought it was just my perception that had changed!  Good to know that it was the books!  LOL!!

I agree that the mysteries have begun to play second-fiddle to the "characters" ... a true shame .... and the last one I read (60 Whiskers?) ended so abruptly, that I thought the publisher had left a chapter or more out at the end!!

Date Posted: 2/28/2008 3:48 PM ET
Member Since: 4/12/2007
Posts: 106
Back To Top

I haven't been a big fan of the recent Cat Who books either.  I really liked the older ones.

Date Posted: 3/20/2008 10:24 AM ET
Member Since: 11/29/2005
Posts: 953
Back To Top

Well color me stupid! I didn't see this thread until just now. That will teach me to post and then scroll. Duh!

Thanks for the info in all of this. I thought she seemed a bit old to be still writing that often too but some people just have good brains so I was giving her the benfit of the doubt.  I'll take all of that into consideration when I pick out my next book on tape by her.

Date Posted: 3/20/2008 10:40 AM ET
Member Since: 3/12/2007
Posts: 27,682
Back To Top

Well now ... I wouldn't let age fool you .... Take, for instance, my favorite author, Dick Francis .. he published his first book in 1962, at the age of 42, and is STILL writing today!!! 

He averages one book a year (except for a 6 year hiatus when his wife passed away), and his last book was fantastic!!

Date Posted: 3/20/2008 12:24 PM ET
Member Since: 11/29/2005
Posts: 953
Back To Top

88 years old! That is great. I still haven't read him yet but my friend loves his books. What makes him your favorite, Karen? Just curious.

Maybe she still is writing her own stuff. I hope so. I like it when authors switch up their writing style as long as it compares with the quality they have been putting out in the past.

Date Posted: 3/20/2008 3:23 PM ET
Member Since: 3/12/2007
Posts: 27,682
Back To Top

Hi Collette!  He is my ab-fab, because of his characters, plain and simple.

He doesn't write series about the same characters.  (In 41 books, maybe two sets of repeating characters in a total of 6 books!)  In each book, he develops his characters sooo strongly, that I can identify with them ... see myself doing what they do ... knowing how they think .... And his characters grow ... finding things out about themselves that more modern authors take 6 books to do ...

And because each book stands alone, there's no concern of having to read them in order to not miss anything.

Some of my favorites are:  To the Hilt, Smokescreen, The Edge, Straight, Longshot, & Hot Money

The common thread, especially in these, but really in all of his, is his understanding and portrayal of human behavior, and the strength his characters display when faced with situations (both mental and physical) that they must overcome.  I think I read To the Hilt at least 4 times a year!!  I can recite scenes from it ... and I still love it every time!!

Date Posted: 3/21/2008 12:03 AM ET
Member Since: 11/29/2005
Posts: 953
Back To Top

Hey Karen

Thank you so much for the recommendation. He should have you do commercials. :)  Now I really want to get one of your favorites and try it. When I do, hopefully soon, I'll report back. :D

Date Posted: 3/21/2008 11:31 AM ET
Member Since: 3/12/2007
Posts: 27,682
Back To Top

I'd love to know what you think Collette.  You just happened to get me rolling on one of my favorite subjects!

 

In fact ... I'm thinking of starting up a new swap in the Games forum (as soon as my current one is done mailing) ... for swapping "favorite" books ... I know I'll be offering at least one Dick Francis!!  ;-)



Last Edited on: 3/21/08 11:31 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/3/2008 10:54 AM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
Back To Top

Bump!

Date Posted: 11/3/2008 5:18 PM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2008
Posts: 2,161
Back To Top

Oh bumping this made me sad... I had forgotten how thoughtful Les was to those looking to read new series. *sighs*

Date Posted: 11/3/2008 6:51 PM ET
Member Since: 12/14/2005
Posts: 325
Back To Top

Can't stand them.  I am a huge animal lover and love books that include them, but talking animals, yuck.

Page: