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The Cat Who Saw Stars by Lilian Jackson…
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The Cat Who Saw Stars (original 1999; edition 1999)

by Lilian Jackson Braun

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,2471210,319 (3.51)10
Qwilleran and his feline colleagues go to Moose Lake for a little R & R. The trio quickly find themselves looking into the disappearance of a backpacker and other unusual goings on.
Member:joeeasterly
Title:The Cat Who Saw Stars
Authors:Lilian Jackson Braun
Info:Recorded Books, LLC (1999), Audio CD
Collections:Fiction & Literature, Audiobooks
Rating:***
Tags:mystery fiction

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The Cat Who Saw Stars by Lilian Jackson Braun (1999)

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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
The 21st Û_Cat Who‰Û_ was a big, boring mess. I think it took me longer to slog through this one than the previous 20 combined. It is only my extreme affection for this series and these characters that stops me from giving it one star.

The story: Qwill and the cats head back Moose County for a short vacation at their luxurious cabin by the lake. There were a lot of interesting ideas that in previous novels, the author might have done something fun with: UFOs; a woman obsessed with crows (the birds, not Native Americans); a sudden outbreak of knitting; a big Fourth of July parade including a children's dog-cart race.

The problem is, these quirky elements were described without much humor, nor were they really tied together in any cohesive way. Most of the usual characters flit in and out of the action but fail to do anything memorable. It seems to me that Braun phoned this one in and relied on the loyalty of her readers to just go with it and choose not to notice that it was deadly dull and had no plot.

The final straw was this ridiculous incident at the very end, that was out of character for the sensible, cynical Qwill and off-tone for the series in general: At the very end, Qwill sees a spaceship land on the beach. Koko runs out to meet the cat-like aliens that emerge from it. Qwill wonders if this is the source of Koko's uncanny abilities. REALLY?!!! Barf.

Originally published: 1998

Body Count: 3 backpacker (alien abduction or something), Owen Bowen (stabbed in the head with a knitting needle and tossed overboard by‰Û_.); ‰Û_Ernestine Bowen (buried alive in an RV after a sinkhole opened up)

Preceded by: ‰Û_Sang for the Birds
Next Up: ‰Û_Robbed a Bank ( )
  AngeH | Jan 2, 2020 |
Many years ago, when I was a teen and dinosaurs roamed the earth, I read the very first “Cat Who” book: “The Cat Who Could Read Backwards” and enjoyed it. Decades later, I discovered that Braun had written a whole series of ‘Cat Who’ mysteries. So I picked this book up when I saw it.

The protagonist, a news reporter named Qwilleran, is still the same. He’s a recovered alcoholic with literate tastes and a sixth sense for news. The cat, Koko, (the one who could read backwards) is still with him (Koko also has a sixth sense for news and finds ways to communicate these things to Qwilleran), and has been joined by Yum Yum, another Siamese. Qwilleran and cats have moved from a big city to a small town. The cats are not like the ones in the Mrs. Murphey Mysteries by Rita Mae Brown- Brown’s cats talk amongst themselves like humans; Braun’s do not. The only thoughts we are privy to are Qwilleran’s.

Sadly, this book was not like the first one. It’s the 21st book in the series, and Braun seems to have lost her touch on this one. It’s disjointed and lacks any tension. A person turns up dead near the beginning, and that mystery is never solved- barely mentioned later. There are a couple of instances where a scene starts and goes a ways, then there are a few sentences that contradict what just happened. While the ending is dramatic, it has nothing to do with the murders at all. It all has an air of “And then this happened. And this. And this” and very little of it advances the story other than in time. It’s fitting that it occurs in summer, because it really reads like “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” by a 6th grader. ( )
  lauriebrown54 | Feb 4, 2015 |
I usually really enjoy these Braun fun little mysteries, but I thought the combo of the UFO stories combined with the Sand Giant was a tad much. ( )
  dele2451 | Jan 4, 2015 |
Listened to the CD version of this book in my car. Glad for the light listening, as I'm recovering from a busy weekend. The storyline was okay, but I enjoyed the update on the characters. ( )
  dukefan86 | May 29, 2013 |
This is my favorite book of the whole series! ( )
  NicoleEvelina | Mar 31, 2013 |
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Dedicated to
Earl Bettinger,
The Husband Who...
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World-shaking news was seldom broadcast by WPKX, the radio station serving Moose County, 400 miles north of everywhere.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Summer vacation at the beach house. 4th of July parade and a play ("UFO"). A body found in the sand dune, plus drownings. New restaurant owners in town.
    -------------------------------

UFOs in Mooseville? Rumors abound that a missing backpacker has been abducted, and it looks like Jim Qwilleran's sedate summer may be interrupted by an investigation - with the help of his own little aliens, Koko and yum Yum.

And when the backpacker's body turns up - and transplanted Floridian Owen Bowen is found dead soon afterward - the search for intelligent life turns into a close encounter with a killer ....
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