Lilian Jackson Braun Books

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Lilian Jackson Braun was an American author that wrote mystery novels. Though, the mystery novels she wrote were more light-hearted than those of her peers when she was first starting out. Born in 1913 in Willimansett, Massachusetts to an inventor (Charles Jackson) and a homemaker (Clara Ward Jackson), she spent some time in Rhode Island, Brooklyn, and Detroit because of her father’s work.

Order of Cat Who... Series

1The Cat Who Could Read Backwards 1966Description / Buy
2The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern 1967Description / Buy
3The Cat Who Turned On And Off 1968Description / Buy
4The Cat Who Saw Red 1986Description / Buy
5The Cat Who Played Brahms 1987Description / Buy
6The Cat Who Played Post Office 1987Description / Buy
7The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare 1988Description / Buy
8The Cat Who Sniffed Glue 1988Description / Buy
9The Cat Who Went Underground 1989Description / Buy
10The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts 1990Description / Buy
11The Cat Who Lived High 1990Description / Buy
12The Cat Who Knew a Cardinal 1991Description / Buy
13The Cat Who Moved a Mountain 1992Description / Buy
14The Cat Who Wasn't There 1992Description / Buy
15The Cat Who Went into the Closet 1993Description / Buy
16The Cat Who Came to Breakfast 1994Description / Buy
17The Cat Who Blew the Whistle 1994Description / Buy
18The Cat Who Said Cheese 1995Description / Buy
19The Cat Who Tailed a Thief 1997Description / Buy
20The Cat Who Sang for the Birds 1998Description / Buy
21The Cat Who Saw Stars 1999Description / Buy
22The Cat Who Robbed a Bank 1999Description / Buy
23The Cat Who Smelled a Rat 2001Description / Buy
24The Cat Who Went Up the Creek 2002Description / Buy
25The Cat Who Brought Down the House 2003Description / Buy
26The Cat Who Talked Turkey 2004Description / Buy
27The Cat Who Went Bananas 2004Description / Buy
28The Cat Who Dropped a Bombshell 2006Description / Buy
29The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers 2007Description / Buy

Order of Cat Who Short Story Collections

1The Cat Who Had 14 Tales 1988Description / Buy
2Short and Tall Tales / Qwilleran's Short and Tall Tales 2002Description / Buy
3The Private Life of the Cat Who... 2003Description / Buy

Lilian Jackson Braun Anthologies

1 Mystery Cats1991Description / Buy
2 More Mystery Cats1993Description / Buy
3 Mystery Cats 3: More Feline Felonies1995Description / Buy
4 Midnight Louie's Pet Detectives1998Description / Buy
5 Tar Heel Dead2005Description / Buy
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Writing was always a passion for the author. At first, she pursued the activity because it was fun. Then she started sending sports poetry to the Detroit News. She was just a teenager at the time.

In the years that followed, various department stores in Detroit made effective use of the advertising copy she wrote for them. She stayed with the Detroit Free Press the longest. By the time she left in 1978, she had spent three decades working as a Good Living Editor.

She was already a published author by this point. Her first novel came out in 1966. Titled ‘The Cat Who Could Read Backwards’, the novel was a critical success. The two novels that followed were equally well-received.

After waiting tables for a few days, Braun started her work as a copywriter for Detroit’s department stores. Then she made the jump to ‘Director of Public Relations’. Her first three novels were written during this period.

She had to take time off to write the books. She joined the Detroit Free Press soon after. Once the first three novels in her bibliography came out, they should have marked the start of a long and illustrious career.

However, that did not happen. After publishing her third book in 1968, the author disappeared. She stayed away from the publishing industry for 18 years, only emerging when the Berkley Publishing Group published ‘The Cat Who Saw Red’ in 1986.

The original paperback was supposed to introduce Braun’s work to a whole new market of readers. The gamble paid off. Berkley reprinted the author’s earlier works, giving Braun’s career the spark it needed.

According to Earl Bettinger, her husband, Braun left publishing because the industry had changed. Her peers were writing mysteries that incorporated sex and violence into their stories. Braun’s publishers wanted her to follow suit. She resisted the push because her stories were fun, warm, and light-hearted and she wanted them to stay that way.

Rather than surrendering to the will of the publishing arena, the author quit. She had a full-time job at a newspaper she loved. As far as she was concerned, she could live without the publishing industry. Once she came back, it did not take her long to conquer the mystery genre. She appeared on many bestseller lists.

But even though she became a household name among mystery fans, Braun was still a private person. She made every effort possible to keep her private life out of the limelight. She died in 2011 at the age of 97.

Her husband said that her only regret at the time was that she never finished ‘The Cat Who Smelled Smoke’. It was her last novel.

Lilian Jackson Braun Awards

Braun received Anthony and Edgar Award nominations.

Best Lilian Jackson Braun Books

Earl Bettinger was Braun’s second husband. Paul, her first husband, died. Braun, Paul, and Earl had a drink when Paul was alive. Paul called Earl one of the nicest people he had ever met. Braun’s best books include:

The Cat Who Could Read Backwards: Jim was a prizewinning reporter. But his luck had taken a turn for the worst. Now, he is hoping to make a comeback by taking up a position at the Daily Fluxion. Jim has to deal with George Bonifield Mountclemens, an art critic at the paper that just offered him a tiny apartment.

George had a raft of enemies. When his corpse was discovered, Jim realized that it was up to him to find the person that had stabbed the art critic. Fortunately, he has Koko, George’s cat, to guide him.

The Cat Who Saw Red: Jim was having a difficult time completing his gastronomical assignment. The setting, Maus Haus, was far from ordinary. The fact that the mansion was associated with an unsolved suicide was bad enough. Now, strange things were happening. When his old girlfriend vanishes, Jim has no choice but to act.

When Does The Next Lilian Jackson Braun book come out?

Lilian Jackson Braun doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers and was released on January, 2nd 2007. It is the newest book in the Cat Who... Series.

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