Crazy Cat Lady Author Lilian Jackson Braun Dead At 97

The world has lost a wonderful crazy cat lady. Lilian Jackson Braun's series of mystery novels included titles like The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers, The Cat Who Played Brahms, The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare, The Cat Who Sniffed Glue, and, of course, The Cat Who Smelled a Rat.

According to her obituary, while some critics thought the books — which had very little sex or violence — were charming, others criticized the simple plots and formulaic writing. But:

For cat lovers, those set pieces offered dependable pleasures. In book after book, readers could luxuriate in tenderly described scenes of cats purring, cats grooming, cats eating - [protagonist Jim Qwilleran] fed them high-end fare like lobster and crabmeat - cats frolicking and, of course, cats sleeping.

At opportune moments, Qwilleran's cats throw up clues, as when they pull highly significant books down from shelves. They also throw up hairballs, as cats are wont to do.

Lilian Jackson Braun, ‘Cat Who' Writer, Dies at 97 [NY Times]