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The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts by Lilian…

The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts (original 1990; edition 1990)

by Lilian Jackson Braun

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1,2661110,108 (3.54)34
Jim Qwilleran and his two cats move into a possibly-haunted farmhouse to investigate the death of its owner Mrs. Cobb.
Title:The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts
Authors:Lilian Jackson Braun
Info:Jove (1990), Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Fiction & Literature, eBooks
Tags:mystery fiction

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The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts by Lilian Jackson Braun (1990)



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*** Mild Spoilers ***

The 10th entry in the series has Qwill once again moving temporarily. He seems to be settling back into the vagabond ways that characterized his life in the first few books. This time he and the cats move into the caretakerÛªs apartment at the Goodwinter museum formerly occupied by Iris Cobb after she sadly passes away from an apparent heart attack.

Unsurprisingly, Qwill soon suspects foul play. His main squeeze, Polly Duncan, has returned from her sabbatical in London and they have the following hilarious exchange:

‰ÛÏIt‰Ûªs my theory,‰Û he said, ‰ÛÏthat Iris Cobb‰Ûªs death was a case of murder.‰Û

When Polly heard the word ‰ÛÏmurder‰Û she was aghast. In Moose County homicide was traditionally considered the exclusive property of the cities Down Below.

My reaction to this: wait, are you KIDDING? I don‰Ûªt know if Polly is just not the most observant person on the planet; or maybe that she‰Ûªs in denial because she enjoys being romanced by a multi-millionaire. But I‰Ûªve been keeping track (literally, if you check my previous reviews) and the body count just since Qwill moved to Moose County is ‰Û_. TWENTY NINE. That‰Ûªs right, 29 people have been murdered or died under mysterious circumstances since he showed up. I think if I lived there, I would carry around a crucifix and a bottle of holy water to hurl at Qwill in case I ever accidentally crossed his path. That guy is the freaking Angel of Death.

While I‰Ûªm besmirching Qwill‰Ûªs character, I might as well point out that while I found him mildly annoying in the last installment, here he graduates to full-fledged jackass. He‰Ûªs rude to everyone. He is too selfish to let the little neighbor girl meet Koko and YumYum even though she loves cats. Supposedly he‰Ûªs all about Polly, but he regresses to Old Lecher mode when he meets Kristi, a pretty young woman who lives down the street from the museum and raises (doomed) goats. But the crowning offense in my opinion was how snotty he was about Polly‰Ûªs joyful love for her newly acquired kitten, Bootsie. He actually refused to cat-sit for her! But finally he relented, which led to one of the funniest scenes so far in the series, where Bootsie basically kicked Qwill‰Ûªs ass. I enjoyed it immensely.

So even though I didn't like Qwill so much, I enjoyed the book. It was quick and breezy, with the usual cast of Moose County characters and some new ones. We learn nothing further about Qwill‰Ûªs past life but there is a surprising development in the recurring story of old Ephraim Goodwinter ‰ÛÒ original owner of the farm - who either committed suicide or was lynched back in 1904. Koko provides his psychic assistance to the best of his ability and the mystery of Mrs. Cobb‰Ûªs murder is eventually solved.

Originally published: 1990

Body Count: 2 Iris Cobb (murder/suffocation) Brent Waffle (bludgeoned) plus more if you count the poor poisoned goats

Preceded by: The Cat Who Went Underground

Next Up: The Cat Who Lived High ( )
  AngeH | Jan 2, 2020 |
I love reading time spent with characters Jim Qwilleran with Siamese cats Koko and Yum Yum.

Mrs. Iris Cobb, Qwill's former housekeeper, calls him for help but by the time he arrives Mrs. Cobb has died of an apparent heart attack. Knowing the series, the reader can project that her death might not have been due to her ill health. There's definitely many elements to investigate even with Moose County's gossip mill in high gear.

One of the funniest parts of this novel is reading about Qwill, Koko, and Yum Yum's reactions to his friend Polly's new kitten Bootsie.

I always try to put all the clues together to solve the mystery but so far I haven't matched wits correctly. I'll happily try again with the next novel in the series. ( )
  FerneMysteryReader | Nov 9, 2019 |
When Mrs. Cobb is found dead in the apartment she lives in at the historic Goodwinter farmhouse, Jim Qwilleran and his two housemates, Koko and Yum Yum move in until someone can be found to take Mrs. Cobb's place.

Qwill feels that Mrs. Cobb did not die a natural death or that she may have been frightened to death! Maybe because he received a phone call from her asking him to come over as she was frightened by the strange noises she was hearing. When he arrived, he found her already dead.

Qwill is not the only one who thinks there is something strange going on. Koko has taken to pacing around on a particular carpet, or crawling under it and 'talking' to himself. Is there something under the floor?

And then there is the Vince Boswell, his wife Verona and their daughter Baby. Boswell is there to catalogue the numerous printing presses and machinery stored in the barn. And also the neighbour Kristie, who lives at the Fugtree farm.

In solving the murder, Qwill unearths some of Moose County's ancient history and scandals. Seems not everyone is what they seem to be.

Another in this fun series. ( )
  ChazziFrazz | Jan 25, 2018 |
Quillervan and his feline assistants, Koko and Yum Yum make an excellent detective team. This was my first book by this author,it was a quick and enjoyable read. As far as mystery goes,loved it. I will be reading more of her books in the future! ( )
  LauGal | Aug 16, 2016 |
Jim Qwilleran "Qwuill" + cats murder in old farmhouse barn

When Mrs. Cobb heard unearthly noises in the antique-filled farmhouse, she called Jim Qwilleran for help. But he was too late. It looked as if his kindly ex-housekeeper had been frightened to death--but by whom? Or what? Now Qwilleran's moved into the historic farmhouse with his two cat companions--and Koko the Siamese is spooked. Is it a figment of feline imagination--or the clue to a murder in Moose County? And does Qwilleran have a ghost of a chance of solving this haunting mystery?
  christinejoseph | Feb 5, 2016 |
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Jim Qwilleran is a very rich man--the richest individual in Moose County, to be exact.
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When Mrs Cobb heard unearthly noises in the antique-filled farmhouse, she called Jim Qwilleran for help. But he was too late. 
It looked as if his kindly ex-housekeeper had been frightened to death - but by whom? Or what?

Now Qwilleran's moved into the historic farmhouse with his two cat companions - and Koko the Siamese is spooked. Is it a figment of feline imagination - or the clue to a murder in a Moose County? And does Qwilleran have a ghost of a chance of solving this haunting mystery?
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