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There's something rotten in the small town of Pickax--at least to the sensitive noses of newspaperman Jim Qwilleran and his Siamese cats Koko and Yum Yum. An accident has claimed the life of the local paper's eccentric publisher, but to Qwilleran and his feline friends it smells like murder. They soon sniff out a shocking secret, but Koko's snooping into an unusual edition There's something rotten in the small town of Pickax--at least to the sensitive noses of newspaperman Jim Qwilleran and his Siamese cats Koko and Yum Yum. An accident has claimed the life of the local paper's eccentric publisher, but to Qwilleran and his feline friends it smells like murder. They soon sniff out a shocking secret, but Koko's snooping into an unusual edition of Shakespeare may prove CATastrophic...because somewhere in Pickax a lady loves not wisely but too well, a widow is scandalously merry, and a stranger has a lean and hungry look. The stage is set for Qwilleran, Koko, Yum Yum, and the second act of murder most meow...


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There's something rotten in the small town of Pickax--at least to the sensitive noses of newspaperman Jim Qwilleran and his Siamese cats Koko and Yum Yum. An accident has claimed the life of the local paper's eccentric publisher, but to Qwilleran and his feline friends it smells like murder. They soon sniff out a shocking secret, but Koko's snooping into an unusual edition There's something rotten in the small town of Pickax--at least to the sensitive noses of newspaperman Jim Qwilleran and his Siamese cats Koko and Yum Yum. An accident has claimed the life of the local paper's eccentric publisher, but to Qwilleran and his feline friends it smells like murder. They soon sniff out a shocking secret, but Koko's snooping into an unusual edition of Shakespeare may prove CATastrophic...because somewhere in Pickax a lady loves not wisely but too well, a widow is scandalously merry, and a stranger has a lean and hungry look. The stage is set for Qwilleran, Koko, Yum Yum, and the second act of murder most meow...

30 review for The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare

  1. 5 out of 5

    James

    Book Review 4 of 5 stars to The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare, the 7th book in the "Cat Who" series, published in 1988 by Lilian Jackson Braun. At this point, the series is well under way. Qwill has been in Pickax, Moose County, 400 miles north of everywhere, for almost a year. He's gotten to know several of the town's residents, taken on a part-time column at the local paper and begun dating Polly Duncan, which will turn out to be a very low-key relationship for at least the next ten book Book Review 4 of 5 stars to The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare, the 7th book in the "Cat Who" series, published in 1988 by Lilian Jackson Braun. At this point, the series is well under way. Qwill has been in Pickax, Moose County, 400 miles north of everywhere, for almost a year. He's gotten to know several of the town's residents, taken on a part-time column at the local paper and begun dating Polly Duncan, which will turn out to be a very low-key relationship for at least the next ten books in the series. In this installment, we learn more about the Goodwinter family, early founders of the town, and a family full of kooky characters. When one of the elders, who publishes the paper, dies, it looks like it may be more than an accident. And so what does Qwill do when his mustache starts to twitch a little? He investigates like any good journalist. It's all about the Hixie Rice, the food critic, XYZ Enterprises, a big business and Down Below (anything south of Pickax), and the history of the Goodwinter family. Plus Shakespeare of course... and a very valuable copy of his play. This was one of the cuter books in the series, partially because we really spend a lot of time with the various townspeople, see a few of them murdered off, and get to experience Qwill building solid relationships. Hixie Rice is a fun character... she will always make you laugh and a little annoyed at the same time. But it's Junior Goodwinter who becomes a strong addition to the books in the future. He's young, eventually has his own family and looks at Qwill with a lot of respect. I enjoy their friendship over the years. You've go the usual antics with the cats, the plans for Qwill's future residence (he moves to a converted apple barn!) and his foray into becoming a core and leading member of the town. Writing this review kinda makes me want to go back to read one again. I probably won't, as there is so much else out there to read... but it's that kind of series. You will love the simplicity of the characters and the backdrop. About Me For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. [polldaddy poll=9729544] [polldaddy poll=9719251]

  2. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    In this 7th book in the 'Cat Who' series, Jim Qwilleran (Qwill) - formerly a crime reporter in Chicago - is living in a town called Pickax in Moose County....a region that's '400 miles north of everywhere.' The book can be read as a standalone without missing much. Qwill and his pets moved to the nether regions because he's required to live in Pickax for five years to get his inheritance: the Klingenschoen fortune and the Klingenschoen mansion. One of Qwill's notable characteristics is his luxuri In this 7th book in the 'Cat Who' series, Jim Qwilleran (Qwill) - formerly a crime reporter in Chicago - is living in a town called Pickax in Moose County....a region that's '400 miles north of everywhere.' The book can be read as a standalone without missing much. Qwill and his pets moved to the nether regions because he's required to live in Pickax for five years to get his inheritance: the Klingenschoen fortune and the Klingenschoen mansion. One of Qwill's notable characteristics is his luxuriant mustache, which twitches when something is 'off.' Qwill isn't very interested in the trappings of wealth, so he uses the Klingenschoen billions to establish the philanthropic 'K-Fund'.....and is converting the Klingenschoen mansion into a museum. To this end, Qwill hires Mrs. Iris Cobb to be his housekeeper/house manager. This works out well because Mrs. Cobb - an antiques expert - will catalogue the contents of the mansion. Moreover, Iris is a wonderful cook, and bakes delicious cookies and cakes. Two other members of Qwill's entourage are his beloved Siamese cats, Koko and Yum Yum, who have their own 'apartment', eat gourmet food, and get lots of attention: Qwill talks to them, reads to them, brushes them, and so on. Yum Yum is a normal kitty - who likes to swipe and hide shiny things, but Koko is very unusual: he's a sort of 'cat clairvoyant' who can sniff out evil; predict crimes; mount rescue operations; etc. Koko communicates via yowls, facial expressions, and unusual behavior. In this book, Koko continually knocks Shakespeare books off the shelf.....especially Macbeth. Though 'the cat who' books are ostensibly cozy mysteries, the 'mystery' part of the stories is sometimes rather nebulous. That's certainly the case here. For the most part, Qwill keeps busy with normal everyday things such as: dating the head librarian, Polly Duncan; taping the remembrances of elderly Pickax residents; hobnobbing with acquaintances from 'down below' who've moved to town for employment; conferring with Junior Goodwinter - the editor of 'The Picayune' - about modernizing the newspaper; avidly following the weather reports to see when 'the big one' (a huge snowstorm) will hit; and doing other mundane things. On the 'suspense' side, a few things do concern Qwill: several people, including Senior Goodwinter (Junior's father) are killed in car accidents; Qwill's old friend Hixie Rice - a restaurateur - is acting hinky; and Mrs. Cobb is dating a businessman named Herb Hackpole - an unpopular, bad-mannered lout who drinks a lot and is mean to the cats. (Boo! Hiss!) ☹ By the end of the book a crime is uncovered and a tragedy has occurred....and it looks like Koko predicted it all. SPOILER ALERT (view spoiler)[I have to say, Lillian Jackson Braun is not shy about divesting Moose County of people and property in her books. LOL (hide spoiler)] END SPOILER ALERT I've been a long-time fan of this series, and I enjoyed this book. Recommended to fans of cozy mysteries. You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....

  3. 5 out of 5

    C.

    I have nearly all 32 of Lilian Jackson Braun’s books. In cat love kinship, I cherish this beloved authoress, who lived until age 98. I am not partial to breeds but the eldest of our precious babies is a mixed Siamese. They all receive respect and attention, cherished above all relatives because we love them as sons & daughters. I relished how realistically James Mackintosh Qwilleran’s cats were the centre of his life. They were not decorations, like in the average novel. It was also impressed to I have nearly all 32 of Lilian Jackson Braun’s books. In cat love kinship, I cherish this beloved authoress, who lived until age 98. I am not partial to breeds but the eldest of our precious babies is a mixed Siamese. They all receive respect and attention, cherished above all relatives because we love them as sons & daughters. I relished how realistically James Mackintosh Qwilleran’s cats were the centre of his life. They were not decorations, like in the average novel. It was also impressed to find excellent mysteries! I gave the fourth novel four stars but the first three were five-star hits: mature and fast-paced, not “cozy”! In the fifth novel, Jim received an inheritance and moved to northern Minnesota; close to my home, Manitoba. The stories have had no oomph since this change but are said to improve after this seventh story, “The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare”. When one is prolific and reshaping their franchise, there might be a few duds. Perhaps this 1988 novel was filler. Maybe overexertion with red herrings came across that way. What I can tell is that unimportant characters, scenes, and events were in superfluity; components that did not shape a decent mystery. Which crime were we supposed to follow: the murder of the newspaper patriarch? His unfeeling sell-out of a widow? An unknown chef? Arson? A blizzard was clamoured about too much. We live further north than Minnesota and only refer to storms, the week they are forecast. Burning the main, antique setting was extreme; especially the drama of hoping Koko and Yum-Yum were not inside. Jim’s attitude was too silly, to at least thrill readers by appreciating the security of his money. I will follow the series but do hope a positive writing and plotting change is in the air.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ange H

    This 7th entry of the adventures of former newsman Jim Qwilleran and his amazing siamese cats, Koko and YumYum, finds him settling into life as the wealthiest resident of Moose County. A key event in the story: Jim has completed his plan to turn the fabulous, treasure-filled Klingenschoen mansion into a part-time museum, available for tours and private events. He still spends days there but prefers the cozy apartment he had created over the four car garage. The museum is soon to be open to the pu This 7th entry of the adventures of former newsman Jim Qwilleran and his amazing siamese cats, Koko and YumYum, finds him settling into life as the wealthiest resident of Moose County. A key event in the story: Jim has completed his plan to turn the fabulous, treasure-filled Klingenschoen mansion into a part-time museum, available for tours and private events. He still spends days there but prefers the cozy apartment he had created over the four car garage. The museum is soon to be open to the public, and a gala is planned. This one moved at a leisurely pace, and there wasn't a hugely compelling mystery. It seems to be more about getting to know the characters and the setting. We find out more about the townspeople and the quirks of life in this place "400 miles north of everywhere." For example, Qwill doesn't take the winter weather warning seriously enough and is almost killed as a result. I enjoyed the passages where Qwill interviews the town's old timers on tape, to preserve their memories; and the troubled history of the local newspaper, the Pickaxe Picayune. In terms of personal info, we learn that Qwill finally quit drinking when he fell off the platform onto the subway tracks. Also he's now established as "in his 50's." (So, he had a good run - he was 45 from 1968 when the series started, until at least 1987.) The unlucky-in-love Hixie Rice from "...Saw Red" has moved to Pickax with her chef boyfriend and is managing the Grist Mill restaurant. On the romance front I got my wish and Melinda Goodwinter is no longer his girlfriend; instead he is dating Polly, the town librarian. Mrs. Cobb, his housekeeper, mentions how glad she is that he's dating someone age-appropriate. I know from reading the books out of order that Polly sticks around for quite awhile. Mrs. Cobb also gets a boyfriend, with unexpected results. As the title implies, there are many references to Shakespeare. Koko has taken to pushing volumes of plays off the shelves, and his selections would have saved a lot of grief if Qwill had been paying attention. The most sad and tragic figure in the novel is quite a surprise - not a who, but a what. Originally published: 1988 Body Count: 5 (view spoiler)[Senior Goodwinter (murder disguised as a car accident); Gritty Goodwinter and Mr. Noyton (actual car accident); Antoine, Hixie's unseen chef boyfriend (freezes to death in her car, which he has stolen in an attempt to flee to Canada); the Herb Hackpole formerly known as Basil Whittlestaff (fatally successful arson) (hide spoiler)] Preceded by: The Cat Who Played Post Office Next Up: The Cat Who Sniffed Glue

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten #meditate #smile #saveyourhearing #speakincompletesentences #notobacco

    I'm not a cat person, I'm really not. But you just can't not love these cats. Lilian Jackson Braun really knew how to craft a cozy. Murder and violence happens, but conveniently off-scene. There are lots of lovable and quirky characters in a small town. (Of course, this small town's murder rate must be atrocious!) This is actually one of the better ones. Very enjoyable.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Good, my only problem is that she keeps killing off 2 or more residents of the town in each book. By the time I get to #30 of her books, there won't be any one left in town.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alondra Miller

    3 Stars Started off with the quirkiness that is Pickaxe; then we get our typical murder mystery for our mustachioed sleuth and feline friends, to solve...… but not so. Too many side stories or just too many stories period, that sidetrack this plot. Basically, it seemed like it was all over the place. The ending was just dumb... I don't know. Of course, I will continue to read this fun, little series; because it has been consistent, thus far.

  8. 5 out of 5

    aPriL does feral sometimes

    The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare' by Lilian Jackson Brown concludes in a shocking finale, but there are plenty of mysterious goings-on beforehand in the small town of Pickax City. Koko the Siamese cat tries to communicate what he senses is going to happen to Jim Qwilleran, recent millionaire, by knocking books on the floor - especially the play Macbeth. A car crash kills a local man. Murder or accident? Heavy snow is predicted. A wedding is apparently going to happen soon, but Qwill dislikes the gro The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare' by Lilian Jackson Brown concludes in a shocking finale, but there are plenty of mysterious goings-on beforehand in the small town of Pickax City. Koko the Siamese cat tries to communicate what he senses is going to happen to Jim Qwilleran, recent millionaire, by knocking books on the floor - especially the play Macbeth. A car crash kills a local man. Murder or accident? Heavy snow is predicted. A wedding is apparently going to happen soon, but Qwill dislikes the groom. Koko isn't very friendly towards the groom either. A stranger in a black raincoat keeps showing up in local restaurants and the library. What is he after? Qwill is enchanted by yet another woman, Polly Duncan, the chief librarian of Pickax City. Will this relationship work? 'The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare' is book seven in the Cat Who series. Readers must begin with The Cat Who Could Read Backwards. Every mystery in the series so far moves along briskly and is full of tongue-in-cheek fun!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sue Smith

    If you've never read any of "The Cat Who...." books, you really should. They are a mindless, easy read...and really fun! I've read them all, and love them!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    This is a reread of an audio book that I listened to and loved back in the 1990's, this time I read the ebook. Hardly no mystery but great characters and the series just keeps getting better and better.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    In this book, Qwill is no longer the only transplant from Down Below. Hixie Rice who we meet in The Cat Who Saw Red and Iris Cobb who we met in The Cat Who Turned On and Off and now living in Pickax and are becoming a part of the community. Qwill a newspaperman at heart starts taking an interest in the Pickax Picayune the local newspaper that seems to be stuck in the 19th century. The book focuses on the owners of the paper the Goodwinters especially the death of the patriarch of part of the fam In this book, Qwill is no longer the only transplant from Down Below. Hixie Rice who we meet in The Cat Who Saw Red and Iris Cobb who we met in The Cat Who Turned On and Off and now living in Pickax and are becoming a part of the community. Qwill a newspaperman at heart starts taking an interest in the Pickax Picayune the local newspaper that seems to be stuck in the 19th century. The book focuses on the owners of the paper the Goodwinters especially the death of the patriarch of part of the family who is also the owner of the paper. Qwill now gets caught up in the investigation of his death while worrying about Iris Cobb his former landlady who gets involved with someone Qwill has some suspicions about.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    The gym I'm a member of has a shelf of free books to take for your workout, if you happen to be one of those folks who can run, bike and read at the same time. I'm not, but noticed this volume of Braun's "The Cat Who" series while waiting for my friend in the foyer. I'd read many of these books as a kid, and liked them. So, wondering if Braun would hold up to twenty years of life including a college and graduate school education, I took home "The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare." Though not a work of ( The gym I'm a member of has a shelf of free books to take for your workout, if you happen to be one of those folks who can run, bike and read at the same time. I'm not, but noticed this volume of Braun's "The Cat Who" series while waiting for my friend in the foyer. I'd read many of these books as a kid, and liked them. So, wondering if Braun would hold up to twenty years of life including a college and graduate school education, I took home "The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare." Though not a work of (shall I say) Shakespeare, Braun still has a certain charm and quaintness. The funny names of the members of the town in which Quilleran finds himself (Hackpole, Goodwinter, etc) are noteworthy enough to have the characters themselves comment upon them! Yet, the true charm resides in the feline characters of Koko and Yum Yum. I'm not sure you could appreciate this book if you aren't a cat lover (even a mild one), especially when Braun suggests Koko solved the crime long before his human companion. I can't say I "learned" anything from the story and it felt a bit like eating empty calories reading it. But there's a time and place for such things and if the desire ever comes again to attempt to read while running, I'll look for another Braun "The Cat Who" mystery.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Maybe 2.5 stars if I'm being generous. I'm starting to wonder why I've been continuing with these series. The protagonist is still a selfish, chauvinist pig; the murders are not interesting or of emotionally invested characters; and the suspense in the mystery does not manage to be compelling at all. The only slightly redeeming qualities of these books are the involvement of the cats and reading about the old mansions and antiques. If this series doesn't start getting better like the first few b Maybe 2.5 stars if I'm being generous. I'm starting to wonder why I've been continuing with these series. The protagonist is still a selfish, chauvinist pig; the murders are not interesting or of emotionally invested characters; and the suspense in the mystery does not manage to be compelling at all. The only slightly redeeming qualities of these books are the involvement of the cats and reading about the old mansions and antiques. If this series doesn't start getting better like the first few books were, I'll end up giving up and not finishing, as much as I hate doing that with a series.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Joy Gerbode

    Whether just in the mood for a "cat who" book, or just in the mood for a good cozy, I really enjoyed this one. After reading a number of the books, this one filled in a few gaps, since I've not read them in order. And I do love Qwill, and the antics of his kitties.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    Another good book in the installment though the ending left me a little sad (and there are a lot of deaths in this one).

  16. 4 out of 5

    Juliet

    Another set of adventures featuring Koko and YumYum. Thrilling mystery in a little town, where everyone knows everyone, where old stories dictate everyday life. Definitely worth reading!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tomi Alger

    The books of plays by Shakespeare that Koko knocks down are a hint of what is to come. For example, the first one, The Tempest, comes just before the death of Senior Goodwinter, the owner of the local paper. Plus, there are plenty of Hamlet connections with the characters these Cat Who books are always fun to read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    J.M. Brister

    A Quick Review of The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare by Lilian Jackson Braun Rating: Five Stars Genre: Cozy Mystery Date Published: 1988 Series: The Cat Who Series #7 General: This book is a cute cozy mystery about a man who has a psychic cat that helps him solve mysteries. Plot: The pace is slower than normal mysteries and has a lot of small-town aspects interwoven into the book. It is definitely a "light" read. Character: The cats are very memorable, and Qwilleran is a fun character. If the reader is alrea A Quick Review of The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare by Lilian Jackson Braun Rating: Five Stars Genre: Cozy Mystery Date Published: 1988 Series: The Cat Who Series #7 General: This book is a cute cozy mystery about a man who has a psychic cat that helps him solve mysteries. Plot: The pace is slower than normal mysteries and has a lot of small-town aspects interwoven into the book. It is definitely a "light" read. Character: The cats are very memorable, and Qwilleran is a fun character. If the reader is already familiar with the series, the quirky people in Pickax continue to be an interesting aspect to the series. Who should read this book: Cat-lovers, cozy-mystery lovers, people looking for something "light" to read Who shouldn't read this book: People who want a fast-paced thriller and people who hate cats will not like this book. Conclusion: This is one of the better Cat Who books. It is probably one of my favorites out of the series.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Laura-Anne Wright

    I found this to be a charming little mystery. My only complaint is I have no idea why Qwill is a millionaire and why he is living in Pickax. I guess I will have to go back and read the others in this very long running series. I love the quirky characters and Koko and Yum Yum although I think there should be more of the cats and less of Polly or Hixie as they were very irritating characters. Also I was a little put out by how nonplussed Qwill was when his friend Harry was killed, I mean Qwill dra I found this to be a charming little mystery. My only complaint is I have no idea why Qwill is a millionaire and why he is living in Pickax. I guess I will have to go back and read the others in this very long running series. I love the quirky characters and Koko and Yum Yum although I think there should be more of the cats and less of Polly or Hixie as they were very irritating characters. Also I was a little put out by how nonplussed Qwill was when his friend Harry was killed, I mean Qwill dragged him from London to wherever Pickax is and then didn't seem to care that the guy got killed. Overall, I enjoyed the book and will probably go and pick up the first title in the series and start there.

  20. 5 out of 5

    ✨ Gramy ✨

    . I like the main character in this series and his hometown characteristics. It's fun to tag along and experience his quirky lifestyle. I don't care for cats, but his don't demand too much attention. Happily reviewing these adventures.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Violet

    Shakespeare performed by cats: To meow or not to meow, dumb question, feed me now. Loved it. Shakespeare performed by cats: To meow or not to meow, dumb question, feed me now. Loved it.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mosh

    This is a fun little tale, although it jumps around so much, with so many red herrings, that it's difficult to figure out exactly what the mystery is, let alone whodunit. But it has cats and Shakespeare; all it needs now is Vader and bacon.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Amy Miller

    I LOVED this series! I’ve read them all and rate them all a 5. If you like quirky mysteries this is one you should cover. Jim Qwilleran is my kind of detective ... add in a couple of clever cats & what you have is involved, funny and interesting. I LOVED this series! I’ve read them all and rate them all a 5. If you like quirky mysteries this is one you should cover. Jim Qwilleran is my kind of detective ... add in a couple of clever cats & what you have is involved, funny and interesting.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Grepke

    Score another one for the crime solving trio! This one was the oddest of the series so far, but wonderful none the less. Relationships, snow, music and plays are just the tips of the iceberg. And it concludes with a ending I didn't see coming.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    Yes I am really into this series right now. Each book has a great new mystery to be solved by two highly intelligent cats and their inquisitive owner

  26. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Miller

    I love the Cat Who series. Good, entertaining, light reading.

  27. 4 out of 5

    itchy

    koko trying to (view spoiler)[lick the ceramic glaze off the china plate (hide spoiler)] is by far the funniest thing to happen koko trying to (view spoiler)[lick the ceramic glaze off the china plate (hide spoiler)] is by far the funniest thing to happen

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kjirsten

    Wouldn’t classify as a mystery — although multiple “mysteries” are set up throughout, the plot didn’t advance until quite suddenly within the last two pages. The resolution is...weird. The cat hinting at mystical knowledge of danger through Shakespeare titles vague at best. Thoroughly unsatisfying read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    When the Koko speaks through the bard, one better listen. Loved the Shakespeare references and the characters. When Lillian is in the zone this series is so enjoyable.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Brenda H

    4 stars. review to come

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