Title: The Cat Who Could Read Backwards
Author: Lilian Jackson Braun
Narrator: George Guidall
Rating (Story): ★★☆☆☆
Although I started listening to the Cat Who series with The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern, The Cat Who Could Read Backwards is actually the first in this series of cozy mysteries. The narration was just as good as in the other book. Sadly, I couldn’t say the same for the story itself.
First, I think the story is beginning to show its age in an entirely unacceptable way, as we deal with a woman the book somewhat subtly indicates is a lesbian and than very un-subtly names “Butchy”. The plot than goes on to paint her as a possible murder suspect; a highly unattractive and masculine woman; and someone who’s motives and actions are not very nice even if she isn’t the killer. I was kind of appalled. The second problem had more to do with the plot itself. Specifically, that there wasn’t one. The main character basically sits back and lets events unfold until at the end he stumbles on (literally) a character we have never met before and who turns out to be the bad guy. Talk about unsatisfying! And our main characters doesn’t even captures this bad guy, oh no. His cat does instead! Now, the cat tripping the bad guy is a plot device I’m ok with once in a mystery featuring a cat. But that happened in the other book too and twice is just too much. I don’t think I’ll be going on with this series.
6 responses to “Soundbites: The Cat Who Could Read Backwards”
i think this was published in 1965. ALL of the books have the cat/s “helping” solve the mystery. Try one more, The Cat Who Played Post Office, and if you still feel the same, give up. There are plenty of other cat cozies out there.
I think I might try one more, especially since the later book was better. Perhaps they improve as they go 🙂 Thanks for the recommendation!
I read a few of Braun’s books years ago and quit after 2 or 3 of them.
I think I might try one more, but unless it’s better than the latest, that will be it for me too.
Just read them for what they are & skip the lit crit. “Cat Who …” series is murder mystery equivalent of Harlequin romances – or just skip the genre if you don’t enjoy it. 🙂
Yeah, I might have to just be done with them. I honestly don’t mind the cat helping solve the mystery, perhaps by finding something or directing attention to the evidence, but the capturing the bad guy thing (twice!) was just too much for me 🙂