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The Cat Who Went Up the Creek Hardcover – January 14, 2002

3.5 out of 5 stars 132 customer reviews
Book 24 of 29 in the Cat Who... Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Braun's 24th Cat Who... mystery (after 2001's The Cat Who Smelled a Rat), journalist James Mackintosh "Qwill" Qwilleran ("the richest man in the northeast central United States") and his two Siamese cats, Kao K'o Kung ("Koko") and Yum Yum, find themselves in the thick of another light and lively murder investigation in rural Moose County. When Lori Bamba, the new manager with her husband of the Nutcracker Inn in Black Creek, complains that the old place is haunted and making her feel gloomy, Qwill agrees to spend several nights with his cats at the converted Victorian mansion. Koko's noise gets them moved from the turret room, where the cats like to watch squirrels, to a cabin recently vacated because its occupant was murdered. Koko stumbles on a clue to the murder, while Qwill locates the source of the inn's haunting. In the meantime, Qwill's need for material for his newspaper column prompts him to help promote many local activities: the production of a Gilbert and Sullivan opera, a historical re-enactment of a lumberjack's rowdy evening, the opening of an antiques fair and mall, the launching of a book of photographs of scenic Moose County, the adoption of a boy orphaned by a suicide and another murder. As usual, the various mysteries and their ultimate solutions matter a lot less than the smalltown doings of the author's irresistible characters, both human and feline. This gentle, entertaining tale is proof once again that Braun reigns supreme as the queen of the cat cozies. (Jan. 14)Forecast: A consistent bestseller, Braun should once again climb the charts with her winning combination of cats and crime.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Now on their 24th case, James Qwilleran and smart kitties Koko and Yum Yum find no peace at lovely Nutcracker Inn, where more than wild beasts are afoot.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; 1st edition (January 14, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039914675X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399146756
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.3 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,208,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By H. Male on December 5, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
For 17 years, I had a beloved Siamese cat, also by the name of Koko, who was very intelligent and perceptive. It was because of her that I was quickly drawn to the mystery-solving Koko (Kao K'o-Kung) and all the "Cat Who" books. Many of the older books in this series are actually very entertaining mysteries written skillfully with characters and plots that have depth. I will forever be a fan.
Having said that, the last several books have been quite disappointing, and it appears to have gotten worse with "The Cat Who Went Up The Creek". The author seems to be just going through the motions with bland and uninspired writing. Qwill suddenly appears to be disinterested in solving a murder. Instead, he spends his time gathering quaint little stories for his newspaper column and throwing "K Fund" money around to solve everyone's problems. Oddly enough, he still managed to have all the answers and solve the murder mystery at the end . . . . he must have been sleuthing around for clues when I wasn't looking.
There is no mystery here, no suspense, no character development and no great Koko moments. If you are a cat lover and enjoy good mysteries, you will for sure be entertained by many of the previous books in this series, but please don't start here. Instead, start from the beginning with "The Cat Who Could Read Backwards".
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Format: Hardcover
When I learned of Mrs. Braun's upcoming word, "The Can't Who Went Up the Creek," I waited with tepid anticipation. Her more recent offerings hadn't been what I had come to expect from the series and I hoped that perhaps things would pick up and the series would return to its previous quality. Unfortunately, I was disappointed...
In the past, Lilian Jackson Braun's works have been an excellent mixture of mystery, suspense, and storytelling. In recent "Cat Who" history though, and especially in this work, there's a couple of elements missing: the mystery and suspense! Instead, it reads more like one big story with some elements about a murder mixed in. Although it was a mildly interesting little story, there was really no suspense factor that would keep me wanting to read the book over some other book I might happen to have with me at the time. Some of the best things from past works are missing, such as Qwilleran actively working to stop murder plots, Koko and Yum Yum being a more significant portion of the story, and Celia Robinson- Agent 0013 1/2 being written once and forever written out of the series. On the positive side, one character is for the most part missing: Polly.
If you're just starting out on the series, or you haven't yet read all of the "Cat Who" books, don't read this one first. If you are a loyal fan, and can't abide by missing out on her this newest book, then try getting a copy of this from library first before deciding whether to buy. You may found you made a wise decision.
With this latest offering, Lilian Jackson Braun is not only up the creek, she's jumped the shark.
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Format: Hardcover
Other reviewers like to give plot analyses, I like to generalize about whether a new reader can "safely" spend his or her money on the book and not be grossly disappointed.
All of the "Cat Who" books by Lilian Jackson Braun are good entertainment. These stories are "clean" and Braun has a sense of humor that I thoroughly enjoy. I rarely chuckle when I read, but Mark Twain and Lilian Jackson Braun can make me laugh out loud.
I eagerly look forward to each new "The Cat Who..." book by Lilian Jackson Braun. If you are contemplating buying this book and have never read any books by Braun, go ahead, you'll enjoy Braun.
Just so you know, the cats in the story do not talk and they do not do things that are terribly unbelievable. If you've ever owned a cat, you can relate to the cats' behavior. If you're a dog-or-bird-only person, you will still love these stories (and be glad you have a dog or bird!).
Each "The Cat Who" book is a stand-alone story, but you might enjoy them better if you read them in order of publication. My personal opinion is that the older books are more enjoyable--probably because the author was fresh then and took more time fleshing out the characters, but I still enjoy each new title as it appears each January. I wish Ms. Braun could publish one a month. . . .
If you are from Michigan, you will certainly enjoy seeing a few familiar places mentioned in "The Cat Who Went up the Creek" and will howl with laughter at Braun's "The Cat Who Went to Breakfast" for its depiction of the disguised Mackinac Island.
If you are from "anywhere" NORTH, you will totally love the "Cat Who" series after Qwil moves from "down below" to the north.
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Format: Hardcover
I don't remember how I got involved in "The Cat Who..." series, but "The Cat Who Went up the Creek" provides more fun for those of us who find Koko, Yum Yum and Qwill part of our family. You won't find autopsy reports in these books, nor well developed murder plots, like a Kinsey Milhone mystery. But, I always learn something new, like doll making, the antique business, the sport of curling, taxidermy, and other arts, and enjoy the company of Qwill and his friends at a variety of cafes and eateries.
I'm a fan, so take my review with that in mind. New readers to the Braun series are usually warned to start with the original three (...read backwards, ...Danish Modern, ...on and off) which breaks the basic commandment, as I understand it, of reviewing: You review the book that you are reviewing. But, with Braun's series there are several fully populated towns and cities, a wealth of side characters and a host of animals to keep track of in each book.
I find I have to read books from this series in one sitting (if possible) and then go back and read the book or two before...but, that is never a chore. These are easy reading mysteries...albeit some real tough vocabulary words tossed in each text...and can be read painlessly on a typical airplane trip.
So, I certainly would recommend this book to fans; newcombers might want to hit the library and start with the original books. Like Brother Cadfael books, the atmosphere of Moose County takes a few chapters to understand the geography and population. "The Cat Who Went up the Creek" assumes much for the reader concerning these issues.
Fans: enjoy this book and, like me, look forward to the next chapter.
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