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The Cat Who Knew a Cardinal by Lilian…
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The Cat Who Knew a Cardinal (original 1991; edition 1992)

by Lilian Jackson Braun (Author)

Series: The Cat Who... (12)

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1,3012011,413 (3.58)36
All the world's a stage--and now Jim Qwilleran's apple orchard has become the stage--for a real-life murder scene. The much-disliked director of the Pickax Theatre Club's Shakespeare production, Hilary van Brook, is found dead after the closing-night cast party...and with the help of his super-smart Siamese, Qwill must cast a suspicious eye on all the players--especially the ones pussyfooting around behind the scenes.Description based on print record.… (more)
Member:Altivo-
Title:The Cat Who Knew a Cardinal
Authors:Lilian Jackson Braun (Author)
Info:Berkley (1992), 288 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Cat Who Knew a Cardinal by Lilian Jackson Braun (1991)

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» See also 36 mentions

English (19)  Italian (1)  All languages (20)
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
4 ½ stars
This was a reread that I’d last read in the 1990’s when I read the entire series available at the time. It was my favorite book of the series back then and I still remembered many details of the book which is different from my reread of the early books which I retained a slight familiarity with. It really stood up for me I liked that the mystery was tied together with Edmund Backhouse and will look for his biography next time I’m in the library. I also love the barn as a setting. ( )
  kevn57 | Dec 8, 2021 |
After a disastrous venture Down Below, James Qwilleran and his cats are back in Pickax for the 12th in the series, and it doesnÛªt take much time before they are once again embroiled in a murder mystery.

The cardinal in the title refers mostly to a bird that Koko befriends after he, Qwill, and YumYum move into yet ANOTHER new home ‰ÛÒ a converted hexagonal apple barn on the Klingenschoen property. Qwill came up with this idea on the fly in the previous book, to explain his interest in large tapestries, and apparently he liked it so much that he went through with the project. This unique home, which includes a ‰ÛÏpenthouse‰Û built exclusively for the cats, attracts a great deal of interest and attention, so much so that tickets for a public tour to benefit the Pickax library are immediately sold out.

Shortly after he moves in, the entire Pickaxe amateur theater company shows up late one night for an impromptu party after the final performance of their latest play. Qwill has been involved with the company on and off. So he good-naturedly allows the gathering, which is a thin excuse for the troupe to get a more private look at his new home. After the party breaks up in the wee hours of the morning, Qwill ventures outside to see why one of the cars is still parked in front of the barn. He finds that it‰Ûªs owner ‰ÛÒ the widely disliked director of the play - has been murdered, leaving the entire theater company and himself as possible suspects.

This was one of my favorites in the series so far. The mystery was interesting as was a minor subplot where Polly the librarian seems to be two-timing Qwill. There were many funny moments involving the cats. Braun clearly knows that sinking feeling when a cat owner steps on something unexpected with their bare feet; and how cats will immediately jump into any open suitcase and refuse to budge; and how they will react with bored disdain when you present them with a new toy you were sure they would love.

In the previous book, the number of dead bodies piled up around James Qwilleran slowed down a bit, but the Grim Reaper is back. Scottie, his tailor, is one resident of Pickax who has finally picked up on this:
‰ÛÏWeel, laddie, you‰Ûªve done it again!‰Û he said, putting on the brogue that pleased his customers.

‰ÛÏMeaning What?‰Û Qwilleran asked.

‰ÛÏYou found another dead body! Canna remember any dead bodies before you moved into town.‰Û
Based on one of the deaths this time, it could be argued that it‰Ûªs not Qwill; instead Koko and YumYum are actually the Cats of Death. The two cats are alone with poor Grammy when she drops dead in the elevator.

Originally published: 1991

Body Count: 3 Hilary Van Brook (gunshot to the head, outside the apple barn); Dennis Hough (suicide/hanging inside the apple barn) Grummy (natural causes at her home in Lockmaster while Qwill and the cats are visiting.).

Preceded by: The Cat Who Lived High

Next Up: The Cat Who Moved a Mountain ( )
  AngeH | Jan 2, 2020 |
One of the delights of this series is that one never knows where Jim Qwilleran and his Siamese cats, Koko and Yum-Yum will be residing as the setting for their residence changes throughout the series and they always add an interesting twist to the mystery of murder and mayhem and a fascinating new cast of characters for their interactions.

As always, I can't wait to read the next one in the series but didn't realize until I added the title on GoodReads that I missed reading #11 so will take a step back as I can't miss any of the titles in this series. ( )
  FerneMysteryReader | Nov 9, 2019 |
I have heard about this series forever, but only delved into it when I saw that George Guidall, one of my favorite narrators, had performed the book. It was delightful with colorful details, interesting characters and a good mystery as well. I will be looking into the rest of the series. ( )
  Brauer11431 | Apr 16, 2019 |
Another good "Cat Who" book. This time Qwilleran and his cats have moved into the renovated apple barn. His theatre friends force an impromptu party at his home following their play Henry VIII. But one of them ends up dead in his car at Qwilleran's place. Will Koko and Qwilleran figure out who did it? Also, will Qwilleran and Polly grow closer or drift apart? ( )
  LilQuebe | Apr 11, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lilian Jackson Braunprimary authorall editionscalculated
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedicated to
Earl Bettinger,
the husband who...
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September promised to be a quiet month in Moose County, that summer vacation paradise 400 miles north of everywhere.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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All the world's a stage--and now Jim Qwilleran's apple orchard has become the stage--for a real-life murder scene. The much-disliked director of the Pickax Theatre Club's Shakespeare production, Hilary van Brook, is found dead after the closing-night cast party...and with the help of his super-smart Siamese, Qwill must cast a suspicious eye on all the players--especially the ones pussyfooting around behind the scenes.Description based on print record.

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