Hmmm… Does Anyone Know What’s Happening with Lilian Jackson Braun’s The Cat Who ***

I have received e-mails from several Cozy Mystery site readers asking if I know when the latest Lilian Jackson Braun The Cat Who *** mystery will be released. I am always sorry when I am not able to track down information… and this is a case that has stumped me.

When I got my first e-mail asking for this information, I wrote to her publishing company. But (wouldn’t you know it?) I never even received an auto-response form letter telling me they got my letter. This brings me to the reason for this entry:

Do any of you know if they plan to release the latest (The Cat Who Smelled Smoke) in Braun’s series?  OR  Is The Cat Who Had Sixty Whiskers the last in Braun’s Cozy Mystery Series? If it is, I know that there are a lot of Braun’s fans who will be very saddened by this information.

So, if you have any information on the latest in the mystery of Braun’s mystery, please send us a comment!

PS >>>> My husband just did an online search for Lilian Jackson Braun and told me that he found that she was born in 1913 >>> Unfortunately, we can’t find a way to verify this information since the Detroit News (newspaper) no longer has the interview on file…

PS#2>>>> I just posted this very short entry to let people know about Lilian Jackson Braun’s passing away.

Comments

  1. Danna, on the wikipedia.org site under Lilian Jackson Braun the last book The Cat Who Smelled Smoke says it won’t be published in parenthesis with a question mark at the end. Just wanted to let you know. ok.

  2. I seem to remember that the publicity surrounding The Cat Who Had Sixty Whiskers made much of the fact that it would be the last book in the series. If it is in fact the last book in the series, I – like many others – felt the book left some loose ends hanging. The chatter on the Internet says that the publisher has stated that plans to publish The Cat Who Smelled Smoke have been scrapped for confidential reasons.

    It would have been nice to have one more book, but LJB is, after all, ninety-six so I guess we can’t expect her to keep churning out more titles.

    Perhaps someone else will pick up where she left off. But it seems to me that such efforts are seldom as good as the original . . .

  3. I’ve been following this since the first announced date for “Smelled Smoke” went by with no book published. On one hand, it seems that the project went far enough for the book to have a title and a release date announced, but on the other hand, it doesn’t seem that it got much past the manuscript stage. It’s certainly a strange situation.

    For a bit more background, the website of the Polk County NC Library (where she lives) has a nice page on LJB: http://www.publib.polknc.org/collections/Braun/index.php
    This includes details on a tribute that they held for her in 2005. Of special interest is the link for a 2006 Wall Street Journal interview with LJB. This is much more detailed than the interview in the Detroit newspaper that Wikipedia mentions. She indicates that she has vision problems, though she was still writing – at that time on “60 Whiskers”.

    Searching through LJB sites, message boards and forum postings, there are a few tidbits, some indicating that she is still writing, but more slowly. Still, it appears to be impossible to get a definitive answer to your question at the present time. If there’s anything else, I’d certainly like to know too.

  4. I have read all of her books on The Cat Who series and I love them. I hope she does do a final book and answers some of the things that were left hanging. I could see a lot of ways to really end the series. Wonderful books!!

  5. Any update on LJB and if we will see a last book???
    I miss Qwill and the cats!!

  6. If anyone hears anything, please let us know!

  7. I have to admit that I was somewhat disappointed in the “Sixty Whiskers” book. I’ve been a fan of LJB for many years and have enjoyed all the “Cat Who…” books. I fear that LJB has lost her edge. I found “Sixty Whiskers” (while indeed cozy) had little plot and very little mystery.
    Unfortunately all good things must eventually end, but if so, maybe it will end on a high note.

  8. I too found the “Sixty Whiskers”, somewhat boggling. But come on, if I may be so mentally fit to be writing at the same age as Ms. Braun then all I can say is Thank you Jesus and Bring on the publishers!!!!!!!!
    In all seriousness we can only hope that Ms. Braun will see fit to end the series graciously and not leave all her devoted fans wondering what next.

  9. I just finished reading the entire “Cat Who…” series straight through for the fourth time. Yes, the last few installments were less of a mystery than the earlier ones, but so what? After 30+ years of Ms. Braun’s efforts, Qwill, Koko and Yum Yum are dear friends whose world is a familiar part of my own.
    I hate to think that we’ll hear no more from them, but even if “Sixty Whiskers” is the last offering of Ms. B’s, I’m ever so grateful that she has shared all of her “Cat Who…” stories with us!

  10. I, too, am a big fan and have read all of the “Cat Who” series several times. Can anyone confirm if LJB is still alive, let alone still writing? I fear that 60 Whiskers will be the last.
    I have never enjoyed an author or cast of characters more and probably never will.
    Ditto your sentiments Linda, thank you for sharing, Ms.B, whever you are.

  11. My Mom and I have been reading the stories of Qwill, Koko and Yum Yum for many years. Each year we looked forward to the next book coming out with anticipation. In my heart, I had hoped that LJB would mentor a new writer that would be able to keep the wonderful magic alive for many years to come.
    I will always be grateful for the wonderful stories that brought my Mom and I closer together.

  12. I feel like I’ve been left with a cliff hanger and was looking forward to reading another or at least the last of “The Cat Who” books and am very dissappointed. Please, if Ms. Braun is unable to finish the series, isn’t there one of her children or close friend that can finish the book. I have been looking everywhere for “The Cat Who Smelled Smoke” book and now I find that it is not even being written. What a let down.

  13. I hope that Lilian Jackson Braun is still alive and I can’t wait to see a new book from the series “The Cat Who…”. I love these books. I’m a huge russian fan of Qwill, Koko and Yum-Yum.

  14. I have been enjoying The Cat Who series with my cat! Lu Lu and I get all cozy and warm and listen for hours. I have learned alot about cats from listening to Ms Braun and I hope she will have more mysteries for us, but I guess I’ll have to learn to be grateful for what she has given us….and I know I can always hear them again.

  15. I too, have finished reading the entire series again. I have made it a point to read the entire series every year, (and sometimes twice a year), and have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of “Smoke”. It was truly a great disappointment to learn that the book will not be released. I have been an avid fan for so long, these books are near and dear to my heart. I will miss LJB dearly.

  16. I heard that Lilian Jackson Braun had died. I can’t confirm this.
    Does anyone know?

  17. I have enjoyed reading The Cat Who series so much. Koko, Yum-Yum & Mr. Q are old friends. I am sorry that the series might end. What a talented writer that captivated the hearts of so many with her characters. I will miss my ole friends.

  18. I have really enjoyed reading LJB’s The Cat Who. I felt like Mr Q, Yum-Yum and Koko were part of my family and couldn’t wait for the next book. I hope there is one more to wrap everything up. LJB is a great lady for sure.

  19. I am a bit shocked be the possibility of the the end of the Cat Who series. Living in Amsterdam ( the Netherlands) it’s always great to escape for a while to Moose County with it’s colorful inhabitants. The first books were simply great too. Mrs Braun has always kept up with ‘modern times’ in a confident and somewhat cosy way. I hope she will finish her current book!

  20. I want the next book!!!! What happened to Polly!!! Does she come back!!! Does Qwill get into Barbara!!!! Please let me know!!!!

  21. I think that this entry has elicited some of the most comments for an entry here at the site. What a shame that The Cat Who Smelled Smoke didn’t get published… Hopefully, someone at the publishing company will “find it” and get it out to Lilian Jackson Braun‘s awaiting fans!

  22. She was born in 1911. I have recently finished The Cat Who Sniffed Glue.

  23. I thought she was born in 1916.

  24. I believe Lilian Jackson Braun was born in 1913 according to some of the biographies I’ve seen on a Google search :D I’m very sorry to hear that Lilian Jackson Braun won’t be writing another book and I hope that someone else with similar style will continue the series for her. I haven’t yet read the Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers, but I’ve heard it was a let-down. I wonder why The Cat Who Smelled Smoke was cancelled.

  25. At 96 Lilian Jackson Braun deserves to put her feet up. As for ’60 Whiskers’ being a let-down, at least one other book left a crime unsolved. I have loved Koko, Yum Yum and Qwill since the first book, and being owned by a couple of siamese I can relate to them. If ever ‘smelled smoke’ is published in any form, even unfinished, I shall be straight on-line to purchase it!

  26. Does anyone know if there are plans for more of the titles to become audio books? I think George Guidall does a great job! I’ve listened to all the available books several time.

  27. Our beloved friend Lilian B.
    Has provided us hours of glee
    To Pick-Axe with Qwill
    We’re transported still
    And possibly always will be.

  28. Thank you SO MUCH, Alex, for the nice poetic tribute to Lilian B.!

  29. Thanks, Danna. Of course, I got the idea of trying my hand at limericks from one of LJB’s books-I believe it was The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers. And thank you so much for this wonderful website. I look forward to visiting some new communities-probably Mitford!

  30. I finished The Cat Who Wasn’t There a few days ago, it was a great book (considering I’m a BIG cat-lover) and just realized it’s a series! Looks like I’m starting from square 1… Anyone know what book is the first one? I think it might be The Cat Who Could Read Backwards… but I don’t know for sure…

  31. Welcome to the site, Shelby.

    Here is Lilian Jackson Braun‘s page on the site. It has all of her The Cat Who * * * Series in chronological order.

  32. Thanks so much! Looking forward to reading the series. Lilian Jackson Braun is a wonderful author for this fiction series! :D

  33. A friend turned me on to the “Cat who” series with “the Cat Who Rang the Bell”. It was “love at first read”. I have all of the books in the series and have read them several times. I do hope there is another one, but I know that Mrs. Braun deserves a rest. If “The Cat Who had 60 Whiskers” is her swan song, I am very sad.

  34. @Shelby… I started there too… albeit 12 years ago… such a great story to suck you in I though!

    @Alex… The cat who dropped a bombshell was the lymerick cue for you I believe!

    And @everyone… LJB style has changed over the years for better or worse and people question if she is around, sick, alive, still writing, who wrote the last few etc. etc.

    I for one am grateful to her for the hours and hours of entertainment! For my wonderful friends koko and yum yum and for giving to me an intelligent and witty way of looking at the world more logically if not a little more lovingly! I would like to hope that she will write more books or that ‘smoke’ will be published or that others may pick up her pen in honour of this wonderful lady. I’d ask the publishers to stop this questioning as it is disrespectful to such an awesome talent! However, if she has indeed retired I accept this and if she has passed on I pray for peace to an amazing woman!

    LJB… I thank you Darling for everything!

    xoxo Cath

  35. You’re right, Cath. It would be nice if Braun’s publishers would be more open with their information… She has provided a lot of enjoyment for many readers…

  36. I began reading these books by chance. A local library here in Central MA was discarding a few of them so I picked them up to occupy my evenings. They are wonderful! I am very excited to have found this site and just printed the list of books. I am planning to get the others, slowly but surely! I, too, would like to know if Lilian is alive. There seems to be mixed information out there!

  37. Rose, you’re right about the mixed information regarding Lilian Jackson Braun. I know that lots of her fans would love to see her mystery series wrapped up. But, it doesn’t look like that will be happening…

  38. Hi LJB fans..I too have her on my mind lately. I fell in love with her work when I read my first book..The Cat Who…..I was hooked!! I had to go hunt and start from the beginning, I’m’ still reading as I stopped for a while but, I kept up on her latest releases, so I have a few to catch up on but, that’s ok, gives me something to look forward to. I read she was born in 1916. Lilian has put a wonderful feeling in my life with her Cat who…..thank you LJB.

  39. I am now on “The Cat Who Said Cheese.” Since I am allergic to cats and have never owned one (but I’m a huge animal lover), LJB has invited me into the world of cat ownership. All of her books have been delightful. I was even able to obtain “The Cat Who….Cookbook.” I bought one for myself and one for the wonderful woman who got me hooked on the series. All the recipes are arranged by the book they were mentioned in, not by food category. There is a small excert from their corresponding story along with each recipe. Thanks LJB for all the enjoyment you have given me.

  40. Lilian, if you keep track of these messages:

    I thank you over and over for your wonderful series. Being homebound much of the time, I can’t explain how important they are to me. I have read them all in order – and look forward to reading them again in the future!

    Although I have tried other books in the meantime, they are disappointing; the authors never write about how Quill, Koko and Yum Yum are doing-!?!

    Thank you for the smiles and entertainment. My own kitty girlfriend Daisy Byrd, a sweet calico, sits on my shoulder as I read – she enjoys your books, too.

  41. Reading about Twill and KoKo and YumYum helped to get me through chemo – afterwards I’d read Lilian’s newest book whenever I needed a ‘comfort’ time. I’d snuggle down w/ the book and escape into Twill’s world. Thank you Lilian for giving me a place to go that was warm, comforting and fun.

  42. As a cat-lover and mystery fan, I became a HUGH fan of Ms. Braun when I read “The Cat Who Went Into the Closet”. I immediately obtained all of her books and read them all at least four times. I am, however, very disappointed in her last four books but hope someday to read “The Cat Who Smelled Smoke”. If this book is to be the end of the series, let’s hope that Ms. Braun ends it on a happier note. Hopefully, Polly will return from Paris and Qwill will realize that Polly is the love of his life and marry her. Of course, KoKo and Yum-Yum live happily ever after with them!

  43. I hope she finishes writing her ‘Cat Who’ book, The Cat Who Smelled Smoke, at least, leaving it as the last in her series, if that’s what is going to happen. I’m disappointed and saddened to hear there may not be any more books from her in the future. I love the ‘Cat Who’ series and hope The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers is not her last.

  44. I was looking for something new to read a few years back and got one of “The Cat Who……” books at the library. I read one and liked it, got another and realized it was a series and then started from the begining, and have read them all now, several times over. I looked forward to each new one to come out ~ got so she couldn’t write them fast enough :)

    Since she (LJB) is a mystery writer, perhaps it is fitting that information about if she is still living and writing is a mystery of its own. I do wish we knew though.

  45. Having read ALL of the “Cat Who” series, I was disappointed by both “Bombshell” and “60 Whiskers”. They seem to have been written by committee and not LJB. The last one was worthy of the round file as it was so disjointed that it made it almost unreadable. Sorry to say that if indeed that was her last book, she went out with a whimper. I noticed it going downhill with “Up the Creek” and from there on out it just slid off the map. Sad, as I DID enjoy her writing…

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      Bill, many of the authors who I once considered favorites have gone out with “a whimper” for me. There are several who I stopped reading way into their series… some of them got too repetetive, some of them (who continually put their sleuths in crazy, DANGEROUS situtations during the last ten pages of every mystery) I simply could not keep reading.

  46. To be honest, I’m no longer sure which book was my first read, but I do know that from that first read onward, she was one of a very short list of must read, must have authors in my collection. Quirky, self-involved, but never a sell out to her vision, Lilian’s books were always entertaining. The fact that the last few entries were written well into her nineties, and had lost some of the core elements are sad, but the books read just like what they should, a return home to good friends and family. Cozy, comfortable, whatever you like to call them, these books will never leave my personal collection. No writer could enter this world and bring the sheer joy that Lilian has for Mooseville, etc to life. I hope she is alive, but being almost Agatha Christie-like at the end has a certain apropos-ness that is fitting. Only Lilian knows for sure what will come, until then, Koko can perch watching Yum Yum steal a little nic-nac and Qwill will be sitting reading in his favourite chair. What will Koko pick tonight?

  47. I too would like to see a book which followed the one where Qwill and the cats find a new home. I believe that the barn house burned down??? My mother and I have read all the books and are disappointed that there was no follow up to that book. We MISS HER STORIES!

  48. The “CAT WHO” books were really the ones that got me ‘hooked’ on ‘cozy mysteries’ – I bought & read every one and am so disappointed no one can continue their saga. Haven’t found any ‘cat mysteries’ to match them – Lord knows I’ve tried. They just don’t have the same attraction that Qwill and his felines had.

  49. I have all of the books. Whined and pouted until Daughter got all of them for a birthday present!!!!! I never even had cake..Took my books home and organized them according to published date…….I have read them several times…Good reading.. If LJB is no longer with us RIP…

  50. I am glad you are keeping track of this. I felt the need for closure, after reading 60 Whiskers, having read the entire series (twice – I know, I need a life). It seemed like such an abrupt ending with Polly leaving and the barn burning; no explanation of Qwill’s feelings or what happened next. One gets invested in the lives of continuing characters, and it is a shame The Cat Who Smelled Smoke may not be read.

  51. I went out and bought the entire series (at the time) in paperback in 2000. Since then, I’ve added each new one to my collection. I love to re-read the entire series at least once a year since then. Nothing else satisfies like my friends in Pickaxe. I know all good things must come to an end but I will go the rest of my life hoping for just one more. I am a teacher in an urban low income area and it’s so comforting to come home and relax with another place where people like their neighbors and there aren’t any “bad” words in every sentence. We love you, LJB.

  52. I started reading “The cat who….” series and was onto the third book when I realised I had to start reading them in their order. I read the 30 books one after the other and found the first 25 books were great reading, but after that I was disappointed as the books ended abruptly and left a lot of questions unanswered, and I was left wondering what “really happened” to Elizabeth Hart, and the bee sting girl? Maybe like “The cat who smelled smoke” the publishers should have pulled the pin on the last three books they published, as well. I suppose when you are writing books in your 90′s they are not going to be as good as the first ones. Why is it such a mystery if LJB is alive or not? If she has gone – post her date of death on this site, please.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      Good comments, and great question, Anne. I have no idea if she is gone, or not. If I did, I certainly would have responded to people who wondered about this very same topic. Sorry, I simply don’t know!

      • I was told at the library that the publisher will not release her series any longer. Has anyone else heard the same information?

        • My mom and I think we have collected her “works” including the cookbook. Can’t forget the cookbook. Wherever she is I think one thing is for sure, “We wish her many happy Qwill, Polly, KoKo, and Yum-Yum moments.”

  53. The barn has burned. Polly has moved to Paris. No answer to who killed Libby. Apparently the last unsolved mystery is when and how did LJB herself leave this “earthly toil”?

  54. Since her husband has a different name did anyone search for her by Lilian Bettinger?

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      Well, Molly, I just googled Lilian Bettinger, and came up with no information… a lot of speculation, though…

  55. I am a fan and did some research and this is what I found:
    “Some bad news regarding Lilian Jackson Braun’s book, “The Cat Who Smelled Smoke”. At this time, the publisher has cancelled publication. We hope that Ms. Braun is doing well.”
    Nothing from the publisher or her agent about condition other than book is cancelled.
    Lilian Jackson Braun (born 1913)
    There is speculation that a Ghost writer has done the books after “The Cat Who Went Bananas 2004″

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      I know, Helene, it seems that there has been a lot of speculation on the internet…

  56. I miss her. Hope she is well and doing fine. Miss you koko and yum yum.

  57. I just googled Ms. Braun and found an obituary for her!
    I didn’t read the details but if she is truly gone I shall miss her and her wonderful books. And if she is truly gone, will they publish her last book? I know I sound ghoulish but I really would like to know the answers that were left hanging in “The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers”.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      Oh my goodness, Jamie… I tried google-ing L J Braun and came up with empty on any current information.

  58. In which book does Qwill and a couple friends take a boat ride and get stranded?

    Thanks.

  59. I found it myself. It’s THE CAT WHO WENT UNDERGROUND.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      I’m glad you found the book you were looking for, Lou. I have been out of town (again!) and my husband was just posting the comments in an “as is” fashion. Sorry I wasn’t any help.

  60. I am sorry to hear that LJB may be gone, I will truly miss her and Qwill, koko and yum yum too. I always got them on audio and even my own cats enjoyed listening to them. Is it possible that the “ghost writer” could take over the series? Maybe LJB could truly become a Ghost Writer. Anyone who believes in the paranormal knows that this is not too far fetched. It’s happened before. Miss u all.

  61. I emailed Putnam Books and this is what I sent/received. As you can see, not very informative.

    LILIAN JACKSON BRAUN

    Discussion Thread
    Response (Dianne – Problem Resolution Specialist) 03/25/2011 09:09 AM
    Dear Mr. C.,

    Thank you for your inquiry. We do not have a publication date for THE CAT WHO SMELLED SMOKE available at this time; however, when a date becomes available it will be posted on our website.

    If you would like to be notified when we publish new titles by your favorite author, search for the author’s name on our website at http://www.penguingroup.com and choose any title; posted under the title’s description is a box that reads “Email Alerts.” Click the box next to “please alert me when the author releases another book,” enter your email address in the box and click “go.”

    If we can be of further assistance to you, please feel free to contact us.
    Message

    Customer 03/25/2011 01:58 AM
    It is my understanding that “The Cat Who Smelled Smoke” was to be released in 2009, but it was cancelled. What’s happening with the latest title from Lilian Jackson Braun?

    MD

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      Michael D C., thanks for passing this information on to us. I know there are many Lilian Jackson Braun fans who read the Cozy Mystery site…

  62. tg I found this site! I’ve been trying to get info on LJB for over 2 years now. Nothing comes up at all. “The Cat Who Smelled Smoke” was listed in the Library Cat. late 2008 & was supposed to be released early 2009. Never heard anything else in all this time. And now I’m back trying to find out about the book, but when I put in the title NOTHING comes up at all LIKE it disappeared off cyber-space forever! (When I read “The Cat Who Blew The Whistle” it wasn’t up to par & I realy thought it was a ghost writer) maybe LJB was sick because the next set of books were back to her style of writing ………………………….
    ===================================
    ANY INFO ON LJB PLEASE POST

  63. Looks like we finally have an answer –

    http://www.blueridgenow.com/article/20110607/NEWS/110609883

    RIP We’re gonna miss you!!!!

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      Thank you so much, Angie, for sending us this link. I know there are many, many fans of Lilian Jackson Braun who are going to miss her.

  64. I just discovered the cat who books this year and determined to read them all. I read all but the cat who turned on and off. It is not available in my area in the library system. That is how I have spent the last two months. Imagine my horror to find out there are no more! Since I read alot of the books out of order, I wondered what book Elizabeth Hart died in. I guess I am in the minority when I say that I was thrilled when Polly went to Paris and never came back. I thought she was unfriendly, judgemental and selfserving. I was hoping for Qwill to find a lovely companion like the lawyer that moved into the condominium in the last book. She was so sweet and down to earth. I believe Qwills personality was growing in a direction that Polly wasn’t. He was always unable to share his feelings about his friendships with the people of Pickax because Polly would be “upset”. I personally would be thrilled to read anything that was written in the last book even if it ended in the middle of a sentence, in the middle of the book. It could shed some light on the direction Qwill’s life was going. Thanks for the blog, I mistakenly thought I was the only one left without my Pickax friends.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      Elizabeth, my husband just asked me to get him The Cat Who Could Read Backwards (the first of The Cat Who *** mysteries). He said he wanted to find out why there are so many devoted Lilian Jackson Braun fans…

    • Your comments have sparked some thinking about the characters of Polly and Q that I hadn’t done before. In a lot of ways it could be seen as a rather one sided relationship, which supports the departure of Polly for something she sees as better for herself without any particular concern for Q as being believable.

      As a man I’ve always thought he might have had a relationship with one of the other women interested in him that would have been better for him.

      As one who likes to think he might actually write something some day, I’ve started looking at characters in a new way – which is quite fun and you have given me something to mull over. Thanks

    • I totally agree about Polly!! I never thought she deserved Qwill. I wish someone would continue the story, I miss Qwill, KoKo and YumYum and PickAxe in general.

  65. I understand Lilian Jackson Braun is well into her nineties, like 97 or 98. After starting her last book, decided she couldn’t finish it and has retired.

  66. She passed away june 4th

  67. I was informed that an obit for her was in the paper on June 18th, 2011 but it said she died June 7th.

  68. Sorry to say, my library has a poster up saying that she died on June 4, 2011.

    I have read and enjoyed all of her books. They are wonderful stories of an interesting time and place.

    I miss them.

  69. The author died June 11, 2011. She was 97 years old. Her latest book will not be printed.

  70. Rest in Peace, Miss Lillian. Loved your books and have them all except the cookbook. Will miss your books and a finale ending on what happens to everyone. Mr Q, you should have married Polly, she got tired of waiting.

  71. When I read about Ms. Braun’s passing, I felt as if I lost a friend. Her books and her characters (Qwill, Koko, Yum Yum, Polly, and the others) and the locations will always bring a smile to my face. Especially since I’m from Michigan originally and her books (with the exception of a few) are located there.

  72. I was hoping that they would publish her last book. I really enjoy the series and am now re-reading it on my Nook. I am really going to miss this series and LJB. She had a great run!

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      It is a shame, Robin. But, she was such a perfectionist when it came to her writing – I think they made the right decision not to let someone else finish her mystery.

  73. Was pleased to discovery this website and sad to learn that The Cat Who has ended. I’m currently up to book 20 and have greatly enjoyed the visits to Moose County. Also sad to pick up from comments about some of the nasty things in the later books. I will definitely not be reading the last book and if someone were to warn me in which of the last books Elizabeth Hart I will be skipping that one too.

    It seems to me that some of the later books I have just read showed an increase in ugly things happening to some of the nicer characters. In the most recent one we have a 93-year-old woman burned alive and a talented young artist beaten to death.

    In my view these are not so much mysteries (the most useful ‘clue’ comes from Koko’s hints), as visits to a nice place many would like to move to. However, a few more ugly incidents like these and I’ll be moving out of town ahead of schedule.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      William, my husband told me about some speculation as to why there was “an increase in ugly things happening to some of the nicer characters” in her mysteries.

      To me, the setting and characters are the most important ingredients in a Cozy. Of course, the mysteries are important, too. But if you don’t have people in a village/town/theme place, then why would the reader want to spend his/her time there?

      • Danna, would be very curious about the speculation. For me the Cat Who series has not been so much about mystery but about being a nice place to visit, and the cats – my calico girl cat is sitting on the shelf beside me commenting on the current lack of treats situation.

        Your comments about Polly have really had me thinking. Here is a woman who in the early books was clearly living on a very limited income (Q mentioned it early on) who is living rent free, was given a new car, has nice jewels and clothes provided and who disappears frequently over the summers to spend time with cousins no one else in town has ever heard of. And having read The Cat Who Tailed a Thief, we know that a cousin is in the Moose County world. And it took a direct request from Q for her to finally write “hurriedly scribbled” post cards during her current summer jaunt.

        Since your comments got me thinking about it, I’m seeing Polly in a much more unfavorable light. Q repeatedly mentions not liking ‘sexually aggressive’ women. However, Melinda and Fran (the only two real candidates) were not so much sexually aggressive as straightforward and honest. Polly on the other hand seems to be playing to his weaknesses and directly benefiting financially in a way neither Melinda or Fran seem to have desired.

        Perhaps this negative view is influenced by my life experiences or my ‘testosterone poisoning” (a popular term of denigration these days), but I must thank you for nudging me to think more deeply about a character I’ve been taking at face value.

        • Danna - cozy mystery list :

          William, I want to clarify that by “your comments” you mean the comments on this blog made by other people. I didn’t point out any of those examples or instances. But, I’m glad the Cozy Mystery site readers were able to get you thinking!

  74. Danna, I so apologize, with the long list of comments I confused your comments with those of Elizabeth – my bad.

    And being nudged to think is always good. :)

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      William, I just reread my previous comment, and I am so sorry I sound so brusque. I just didn’t want to get the false compliments Re: the thinking Elizabeth got you doing. I wasn’t that thought-provoking!

  75. Lillian Jackson Braun died June 7, 2011 at the age of 97. How sad, I loved the books and was looking for more.

  76. I’ll admit that I would love to find out about Qwill, Polly, Koko, and Yum-Yum but after reading Michael Crichton’s last book, “Micro”, I’ve changed my mind. It was obviously finished by someone else and the ending, well, let’s just say that “The Cat Who Smelled Smoke” might be better off just a dream for us Cat Who fans.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      Jamie, personally, I think an author should write his/her own books. I know that fans want to see a story line wrapped up at the end of the series, but better to leave with a great memory and have questions than to leave with an imitation of what we enjoyed of the author’s work in the first place.

  77. Here is an article I read back when I found out she died….. it starts off with the following…

    Author Lilian Jackson Braun died with one regret, her husband of 33 years said Monday. Because of her failing health, she was unable to finish her last novel, “The Cat Who Smelled Smoke.”

    http://www.blueridgenow.com/article/20110607/NEWS/110609883

  78. I just found out about LJB’s passing … this is very sad ! I loved all her books and have read all but a couple I can not find here. I have mixed feelings on finishing Smelled Smoke … I really want it to wrap up the series but, I don’t want it butchered !

  79. I am on the 17th book. Am trying to collect all of them but my book store told me some of them can be found…

  80. What you have to understand is that some of these authors are really up there in age. They don’t write anymore because they can’t or because it’s just too much trouble. Lilian Jackson Braun wrote into her mid-late 80′s and I think we were very lucky to have her for that long.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      Susan, and, Lilian Jackson Braun made a lot of people very happy because she continued to write for so long.

  81. I just now realize that it has been a year since I did a check on Lilian Jackson Braun. I knew she was in her late 90′s but always held out hope for the last book. I am grateful for her books and I know that I will read them all again. Wonder if she knew how loved her series is? Rest in Peace.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      Wendy, from the articles I have read about Lilian Jackson Braun, she knew how much her fans loved her series. The fact that she insisted on not caving in to her publishers’ demands, and that she kept her mystery books true to her original concept, says a lot about her.

  82. I’ve just scanned through your comments and reviews–love all her books. Did anyone get the Cat Who Quiz Book that covers most of the actions in her books. It is really “neat” and tests our memories of what happened in what book. Sorry, but mine is currently stored or I could be more specific.

  83. Starting many years ago, I have read and loved all the “Cat” books….until that is, “The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers”. I do not believe Ms. Braun wrote that book.
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    It was shocking enough that Polly so suddenly gave up her life and friends in Pickax so easily; what was more shocking was that Qwill gave up the apple barn!! No way! That man loved his home and would never leave it so casually. And casual was the attitude expressed. Impossible!!

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      Maureen, perhaps she was intending to finish up the series in the next book, and thought these changes would pave the way for that…

  84. I’m wondering if anyone knows if there is a possibility that another writer will pick up the “baton” and continue the series??

  85. I was able to pick up a bunch of these Cat Who books from a recent library book sale. What a great find for me!!

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      Linda, you sure get lucky at your library book sales. When I used to go to ours, the books were all scattered around, and very picked over.

      • Next time Danna, try to get there early. I seemed to have better luck when I am one of the first in line for when the doors open. It’s nice to be able to discuss what kind of books I am looking for with other people standing in line waiting for the doors to open.
        On the last day of one particular library sale patrons can pick up a whole grocery shopping bag full of books for a dollar. This year I was able to load up with 6 bags. As I read them I just donate them back for future sales. Everyone wins!!
        At previous dollar day bag sales there would be an older husband and wife couple who would barge in front of the crowd in order to grab up as many books as they could. This couple didn’t even take the time to see what books they were picking up, just grab, grab, grab!! These people were very rude. I figured they must be picking up books for their flea market booths. But this year other people/patrons seemed to expect this couple and wouldn’t let them through. It was funny to see the indignation on their faces when this couple realized what was going on. Made my day!!! Some people get what they ask for!!

        • Danna - cozy mystery list :

          Linda, during the book sales here, our library system simply puts all of the mystery books in a huge area, with no rhyme or reason to it. I wonder if that older couple you told us about resells the books they are able to get at the library book sales.

  86. I for one am glad that the beloved series of Cat Who books ended as it did…
    My mother absolutely loved the series…Once she discovered it, she read all of them within a few months…She owned several of the books…I had read a few and loved them as well…After her death I took her books home and getting the missing ones from the library, read the whole series start to almost finish… (I just started The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers”.)
    I remembered her telling me the series would end with…
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    … Yum Yum dying and the apple barn burning down…I was dreading that horrific ending, and couldn’t thoroughly enjoy the series with that looming over my head! When I got to the last three books, I had to flip through to see when it was going to happen, and it didn’t! I was so relieved, and a little upset that it had somewhat ruined my experience of the series…In the last book I found a note from my mom saying “Wheres the Cat Who Smelt Smoke?”
    So again, I for one am very glad the series left off without dear Qwill (I always pictured Tom Selleck in the role if there had been movies, with salt-and-pepper mustache, and his brooding and sympathetic eyes…) enduring the heartache of loosing his beloved dear sweet Yum Yum and his one-of-a-kind home burning to the ground.
    I wish Ms. Braun was alive so that I could tell her how much her books meant to my mother, and that I read them to escape to another place and time, where life is simpler and people genuinely care about one another. I wish I could move to Pickax, 400 miles north of everywhere…
    A’ bientot!

  87. Well, my apologies!..After posting my comment a few minutes ago, I returned to The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers, turned over my mothers note, and there it was…
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    “pg. 179, the barn burns”…! I was quite surprised at Qwill’s reaction, which was not much of one! Also a note on Polly’s staying in Paris for at least 3 years… Not a huge loss in my estimation, lol…Altho she was companionship and a big part of his life, seemingly he wasn’t that important to her…And in a letter!
    So again, apologies for my premature writing…This is probably only my 3rd response to a blog… But the series is so important to me that I had to respond!

  88. Just thought I’d share the results of my search for this series in audiobook format. I have been able to get some of the titles at my library, but many are in horrible condition. As some folks may be aware, Audible does have some of the titles, but not all. George Guidall IS, to me, James Qwilleran, lol. However, be advised that not all of Audible’s titles are narrated by Mr. Guidall. I inadvertently purchased one of the titles on Audible and was very disappointed with the narrator. He did not do a very good job of creating different voices for each of the characters, IMO. That said, I was determined to get ALL of the Cat Who books in audio format, and found that Recorded Books holds the copyright. Simply Audiobooks is Recorded Books. So, I purchased a membership just so that I could get this series. Discovered that S.A. has two options, a Rental Club and a Download Club. But the latter only allows one download per month. So I chose the Rental Club. I chose only one book at a time – my budget will not allow for more! The shipping is free, but SLOW. For example, I sent a title back on the day after Christmas, and I did not receive the next title until Jan 11. However, the CD’s are in relatively good condition, and I’m very happy that I am in the process of obtaining the COMPLETE Cat Who audio library! Just thought this information might help someone else!

  89. I finished reading the last book, The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers, and I, like many others, was baffled and disappointed in the strange turn of events for Qwill and company. I have been reading aloud for the last nine years to an elderly lady at a nursing home, and I’m almost afraid to tell her there are no more books by LJB. I’m afraid I’ll have to pick up again on another of the lady’s favorite authors, Rita Mae Brown, although I find her books too racy. Any other suggestions out there on good books with cats as part of the story line? My friend LOVES cats. Thanks!

  90. I have read all of the Cat Who… books and when I tried to find The Cat Who Smelled Smoke the only reference I could find was for an audio book. Has anyone found a published copy or is it as Helene said that the publisher has cancelled publication? If so, I wonder why it is in audio form.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      Ann, audible.com doesn’t show anything for The Cat Who Smelled Smoke, however I see that Amazon has their “Sign up to be notified when this item becomes available.” notice up. That usually means that they don’t have the item, but if it ever (as in today or ten years from today) becomes available it will be posted.

      I sort of remember reading that since the book was not finished before Lilian Jackson Braun’s passing, it would not be released.

  91. Wikipedia says she died, unfortunately. I’ve been a fan since I was a teenager and will sorely miss her work. I wonder if she even finished the last book. Maybe she left notes where she wanted to go with it… It wouldn’t be the same, of course, but I’d rather read whatever she left behind than nothing at all. I wish the publisher would publish whatever she left. If unfinished, they could ask someone else to finish the rest of the book. It happens sometimes. I’d like to think Mrs. Braun would want Qwill and the cats to live on and the readers to know what was happening with them… We will all miss you, Qwill, the cats, and all your other wonderful characters.

  92. I stumbled across these books several years ago, so I have not been a fan for long. I have completed the printed texts to day; and because of Lilian Braun’s death, The Cat Who Smelled Smoke will not be printed.

  93. I just finished the cat who dropped a bombshell and the cat who had 60 whiskers. It left so many unanswered questions. but I think if someone could pick up where 60 whiskers left off would help all the fans.
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    First it made no sense for Polly to send the Dear John letter as said in the book. Totally out of character. She would never leave Catta and Brutus. Qwill never spoke to her. This has the perfect set up to show her not coming back has something sinister behind it. We never really met this guy Steve, Shirley’s son. Was hoping the end of the series would be happy.

  94. If there is another book I’m not aware please let me know.

  95. Any thoughts

    • Like Chris, I think that there is a problem with Polly in Paris.
      In the last book of the series, Qwill has to go there and save her
      and the end will be happy…

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