The Cat Who Could Read Backwards

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9780425195208: The Cat Who Could Read Backwards

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 to cover the art beat for the Daily Fluxion leads down the path to murder. A stabbing in an art gallery, vandalised paintings, a fatal fall from a scaffolding - this is not at all what Qwilleran expects when he turns his reporting talents to art. But now Qwilleran and his newly found partner, Koko the brilliant Siamese, are in their element - sniffing out clues and confounding criminals intent on mayhem and murder.

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About the Author:

Lilian Jackson Braun began writing her Cat Who... detective series when one of her own Siamese cats mysteriously fell to its death from her apartment block. She and her husband, Earl, live in the mountains of North Carolina.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A new hardcover edition (after Dutton's in 1966) of the first in a series that now totals 19 (The Cat Who Tailed a Thief, 1997, etc.). Here, Braun introduces Jim Qwilleran, a prizewinning reporter who's been on the skids but is now coming back with a job as feature writer (mostly on the art scene) for the Daily Fluxion. George Bonifield Mountclemens, the paper's credentialed art critic, writes almost invariably scathing, hurtful reviews of local shows; delivers his pieces by messenger; lives with his all-knowing cat Koko in a lushly furnished house in a moldering neighborhood, and has a raft of enemies all over town. He offers the newcomer a tiny apartment in his building at a nominal rent, and Qwilleran grabs it, surmising the deal will involve lots of cat-sitting. Meanwhile, a gallery whose artists get happier treatment from Mountclemens is owned by Earl Lambreth. The acerbic critic has praised paintings there by a reclusive Italian named Scrano; the junk assemblages of Nino, who calls himself a ``Thingist,'' as well as works by Lambreth's attractive wife Zoe. It's Zoe who, one night past closing, finds her husband stabbed to death in the vandalized gallery. Days later, Qwilleran, guided by an insistent Koko, finds Mountclemens's knifed corpse on the patio behind his house. It takes a while to put the meandering pieces together and to uncover an overriding motive behind the mayhem, but the best things here are Qwilleran's low-keyed charisma and the author's well- aimed, often funny barbs at the pretensions of the contemporary art world--as on-target today as they were some 30 years ago. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Lilian Jackson Braun
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