Has anyone read the latest "Cat Who--" book? (60 Whiskers) What's your opinion? Do you think the author is still alive and writing them? If so, she must be in her nineties. Or...do you think the last several books have been written by writers using her name, like Carolyn Keene with the Nancy Drew mysteries?

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I guess I am spared the enui. I read what I suppose are the classics in the late 80s, early 90s. So noone mentioned the two cats that were in those books then, the one that attended that base of her tail or how they would hide in the bed ticking. My mom told me that the most recent was lackluster. I guess this happens...there is nothing worse than reading a longtime series where the author and I guess the diehardest fans care nothing more than to languish on this or that longterm character which does jack for the plot. Another post had it right, Americans need to toss out the old and true for the tired and new. Kind of similar to the America remakes of great Japanese horror films or a particular Swedish vampire film that this new piece of tripe "the Orphan" is a ripoff of.
I started out really liking the "Cat Who" series, but after reading several found that I was becoming bored with the relationship between Patty and Qwilleran. They seemed to be stuck in a time warp. I would have liked to see even a little bit of "spice" in their relationship.

Also, perhaps Lillian Braun ran out of people to kill off in their little town forty miles north of everywhere. Still, it was one of the first cozy series that I read, and probably responsible, in part, for the start of the Silver Sisters Mysteries. My sister Phyllice Bradner and I had such a good time reading and discussing the "Cat" books, that we decided to start our own series. Thanks to Jackie for reviewing the latest Silver Sisters Mystery, SEVEN DEADLY SAMOVARS, due out in September.

Morgan St. James
I, too, am saddened when a writer "burns out," or when any professional "burns out." There is truth to the statement, "All work and no play makes Jack [Jill?] a dull boy." I admire passionate people who are comfortable in their skins enough to take time off. That said, there is something to be said for being a member of "the unwashed masses"-- late hubby's favorite expression. He was a passionate man who lived and breathed his loves of flying, music, and sex (Moi) :-) Had he not suffered brain-damage with the last rear-ending, I know that he would still be flying and playing music, but life is not always fair. To end this cliche-filled blathering, I bought one of the newest in Braun's series, started it, and tossed placed it on my TBR shelf. I can leave it in the wild vialBookCrossing.com but hesitate...Give me authors of literary quality such as James Lee Burke. His RAIN GODS is wonderful, and as he said in an e.mail (He ALWAYS responds when I comment on his newest work.)"...I think it's my best."
I have no idea, but I'll tell you this: I love the series (as do my five felines), but why does Braun rush her endings? And I miss Qwilleran being in the newspaper business.
I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way. Last night, I finished reading "Went Up the Creek," and immediately jumped online and googled, "Is Lilian Jackson Braun dead?" There were just so many pieces of the book that I felt were a bit weird, and incoherent. For example, there was a scene where Qwill went to the Hotel Booze/Black Bear Cafe, which was described in this book as being "famous for their BEAR burgers." Ummm...they're famous for their Booze burgers, served with Thelma's thumbprint, if you really want to get technical about it.

There were a couple of other parts in the book that I thought were extremely strange - repeating information about certain towns - like Brrr. It was written about in the beginning, and then, (again, when Qwill goes to have his Booze burger), they repeated the same explanation for the name, albeit in shortened manner.

Reading this book really made me do a bit of a double-take/Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot with the latest books. Characters that have been written about lovingly for years suddenly barely exist (like Polly and Fran Brodie), while they just keep bringing in more and more new characters that aren't very interesting (Maggie Sprenkle and Doctor Abernathy and his wife, for example), yet have enormous roles the books, even though they're not actually essential to the plot.

I also think that Went up the Creek is the first Qwill book I can think of that didn't actually have an ending - it resolves by Brodie telling Qwill that the FBI know who the suspect is, and that they'll handle it. I think Braun's readers have come to anticipate a quick, yet resolved ending, and this just didn't cut it for me.

Again, glad to hear I'm not the only one questioning the identity of the author of Ms. Braun's latest books.
Lillian Jackson Braun is alive. She's 96 years old and lives in England
sorry but i sincerely doubt she lives in england...she's always lived in the US...do you have some kind of proof you can cite for this?

I replied to your comment, Roseanna (lovely name) yesterday, but was unable at that time to furnish the name of the city in North Carolina (my home state) where Lilian and Earl live.  I can do that now.  They live in Tryon, located somewhat north of Charlotte, N.C. (that might be SOUTH of Charlotte, will have to check out Map Quest.

It is almost a direct route from Tryon up to Oneida, New York where I now live and have for a lot of years, still am not used to the winters up here - we are loaded up with snow fall even as I speak.

Gosh !  your blog has been up a long time, just noticed October 15th,  2009 !  My contact with Earl was just last year.  I also talked with Blanche Gregory, Lilian's manager  (last year) who lives in NYC, near where I once worked when I lived down there for a short time.

There has been alot written about the varacity of the authorship of the last few editions and even more about the uncertainity of Ms Braun's continued existence on this mortal coyle. I have enjoyed her stories very much and have tried in vain to find out more about what is going on. The Polk County Library in NC had a tribute in her honor in 2005, they listed her as a "Honorary Resident Author." I have followed some facebook discussions in 2008, after some very disparaging comments by some readers on his facebook page, Earl Bettinger replied that she was experiencing some health challenges and asked that people give her some space. Since then, I have not been able to access Earl Bettinger's page. It sounded as if he was in the US. I would like to suggest that instead of bemoaning the loss of her talent or trying to establish where she is at present, we instead let her and her family know how much entertainment and joy we received from her writings. Here is the best I can do for an address. I have spoken with a Putnam rep and they say they have no updates or are unwilling to supply. Well-wishing fan mail would be a nice way to show support for some one who has entertained us with 29 volumes of work!

Lilian Jackson Braun
Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
c/o Putnam Publicity
375 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014

A devoted "Cat Who Fan" in Alberta, Canada
death records are a matter of public record, even if the person is famous...you can't pretend you aren't dead just to keep a popular set of books going...everyone knows "VC Andrews" is dead yet those books are still going strong....i can't believe we can't figure this out...
I know this is the wierdest set of circumstances I can think of. I wonder if Ms Braun is still alive but incapcitated. So she remains incommunicado but there would be no death records. That might be a possibility???
Found this post on a Google search for Lilian Jackson Braun. I have enjoyed reading her books up until the last few. I briefly read a few pieces on the Internet last year about the promised book that was to have published in 2009. I was curious to see how that evolved since the last time I looked and discovered this forum.

I think she continued writing during that period of time between the introduction of the series and the the 80's and began releasing the books annually after that long hiatus (having accumulated several). I believe she may well have finished the last several when she was much older and perhaps that is the reason for the deep decline in the quality and why she was able to continue releasing books even at such an advanced age. This could also explain why no one else can assume greater creative control over them and why the publisher is so tight-lipped on the subject.

I know I've seen grandparents change into very different people as they aged, particularly related to their point of view on some things, and don't think it is unrealistic to assume that's what we've seen here. I noticed long ago the stories seemed to be getting shorter, noting the generous margins, thick paper, and other details aimed at creating the appearance of more substance. I also noticed how advances in technology were slow to emerge in Qwilleran's world and even when they finally did arrive they seem to be awkwardly placed within the stories (like they may have been added later). This is another indicator to me the stories might have been written much earlier than when they were released into publication.

This is just my two cents worth (and worth every penny :-). I can't say I've painstakingly examined details but I have read and enjoyed this series and I do wish it could be continued in the hands of someone who has the creativity to develop it.


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