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 read the last book as soon as it arrived in the mail (from a pre-publication request I had at Amazon). Like the other "Cat Who" books before it, I had looked forward to it for the year since the prior book. I realized that, probably due to the author's advancing age and limitations, the book would no doubt have thick pages, wide margins and large print--more of a long short story than a novel.

BUT--this book was just dreadful. Did this poor lady write this? Or did the publisher/editor just slam out whatever they could come up with in order to eke out one more sales spike from what has been a lucrative series? It reminded me of the mishmosh a producer once made of a 007 movie called "Casino Royale," where there was no real plot, all sorts of incoherent characters, many different actors playing 0007, and just nothing there. In this book, none of the much-loved and well-developed characters showed up--only strange oddities bearing the names of the prior characters but none of their personalities or behavior patterns. It was a massacre of the characters and even the home of the protagonist, which was itself a major "character." It left nothing to look forward to in a next book (was that deliberate?) and a literary depression that clouds any further enjoyment of the series. How do we enjoy rereading about characters and places when we know they have such a dismal future?

Now Amazon shows a new "book" but only in the form of a yet-unpublished audio book. It was set supposedly for 02-19-2009 and it is now April 2009 and it is still pending. Has anyone heard anything about this?
I too have been a big Cat Who... fan for a number of years - and have been sadly disappointed with the last few books. I understand getting rid of characters to give it new life, but in the last few books she's gotten rid of some of my favorite characters.
I loved Elizabeth. And her relationship with Derek.
Polly could be annoying, but I enjoyed the relationship between her and Qwill. As someone else stated in another post, I found her moving at the drop of the hat to be totally unbelievable.
Elizabeth and Derek will be missed, I'm not so sure about Polly. I still hold out hopes for Quill and Fran Brodie and some Klingenshoen heirs!!! Well .... maybe? Qwill strikes me as still having a fountain of youth within him, I find Polly self-centered, self-serving and having an "old" soul. Whilst Qwill continued to think of Polly during his daily routine buying gifts, tokens, etc., Polly only rambled off generic postcard greetings in response to Qwill's request for news from abroad.

By having Polly exit, it makes room for exciting and new things to happen in Qwill's life. I say, good bye and good luck to Polly. I just wish the series could have continued, even if with a new author. I hold no false hope that Ms. J-B will complete her story. We have to take the series as is.
Since I am 73, I rather dislike Polly's exit--rather like tossing away an old comfortable pair of slippers. It seems that Americans favor the new over the old--always searching for Utopia
Few comfortable relationships would make good novels, I expect. In real life, of course, I would sympathize with Qwill for losing this one.
I agree entirely with your point of view.

I had a longterm exciting relationship with my hubby for nearly 35 years--not always comfortable. However, his life would make a dandy book as he embraced every day. First hubby and I did not share the same core values, but two children resulted so it was worth the 12 1/2 years
I suggest another point of view. Perhaps it is Polly who is discarding the old for the new. She was given an opportunity she only dreamed about and decided if she didn't take it now, it would never come around again. Qwill had strung her along for several years, thinking he could pacify his conscience with gifts. If he is willing to let her walk away, maybe he didn't love her in the first place...
it really bothered me that there was no mention of a funeral or memorial...moose county loves their funerals and how many cars are in the processional....the book didn't even MENTION derek....just "she died"...and the next book had a mention of mourning...but no mention of derek--did he inherit her money? who knows because he's forgotton...."bananas" was just dreadful...i think it's the worst of the recent ones (all bad) but it just leaves loose ends and feels rushed...at the end she goes through 6 months of time in a few paragraphs...it's like it's an outline without any substance!
Yes, I too question the no memorial, no funeral processions and where's Derek? I think someone dropped the ball, bombshell, banana and missed the boat. It may not necessarily be Ms. J-Braun though. It doesn't sound like her writing style. Where the heck is the publisher in all of this ??
The publisher is laughing all the way to the bank! :- ) (too close to the truth).
Yup. You are probably right and they are probably laughing right back at us and our comments on this site :)
After joining Crime Space, I began searching for authors I like and found these posts about The Cat Who... I must agree that each of the last four books got worse and worse. Lilian wrote very creatively about what she knew, but times have changed and she fell a bit behind. This is perfectly understandable and could be compensated by a capable research assistant whose job is to help a writer with details they might not be familiar with. Let's face it, would the richest man in the - what was it? - Northeast Central United States? - really not have a computer yet? A cell phone to call for help when he falls off his bike? Would he still be hanging around Moose County and not even take Polly along on a very cool vacation, as in just the two of them?

While I concede their relationship became increasingly boring and predictable, I didn't think it would end quite as it did. Nor did I expect the barn to burn down. Are we to believe that with all his apparent wealth, Qwill had no fire suppression system installed? It would be fun to see a new book, but I doubt Lilian - or anyone else, for that matter - could now pick up after the debacle of the last book, and make a new story line work.

Lilian was just so creative. When you read those first few books and think about what she made up; Mountbatten and Koko, little Yum Yum, Zwinger Street and Junktown and Mrs. Cobb, and all the place names and folklore attached to Pickax and Moose County, not to mention the constant literary references and tantalizing food descriptions. The Cat Who books are real classics, regardless of being a tad dated. What a shame that the one which will most likely be the last of the series, belongs in Koko and Yum Yum's turkey roaster.


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