Lilian Jackson Braun Books in Order (The Cat Who series)

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All of the Lilian Jackson Braun’s Books in Order!

Who is Lilian Jackson Braun?

Lilian Jackson Braun (1931 – 2011) was an American journalist and author of 30 novels featuring James Mackintosh Qwilleran (Qwill), a journalist and recovering alcoholic, who successively adopts two Siamese cats, with one of them may be having special abilities helping Qwilleran to solve mysteries.

She wrote the first three novels in the 1960s, then interrupted the series for 18 years. She resumed it after her husband encouraged her to return to writing after she retired from The Detroit Free Press in 1984.

before resuming it in 1986, and finding this time success. Starting with the fifth novel, most of the stories are set in the fictitious small town of Pickax located in Moose County “400 miles north of everywhere.” — a place inspired by Bad Axe, Michigan, where Braun resided with her husband until the mid-1980s.

Braun was an admitted technophobe. She wrote all of her books in longhand and then typed them herself. She was also very protective of her private life, and very little was known about her. She lived in Tryon, North Carolina, with her (second) husband of 32 years, Earl Bettinger, and their two cats.

How to read Lilian Jackson Braun’s Books in Order?

The Cat Who Could Read Backwards - Lilian Jackson Braun Books in Order The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern - Lilian Jackson Braun Books in Order The Cat Who Turned on and Off - Lilian Jackson Braun Books in Order

  1. The Cat Who Could Read Backwards (1966) – The world of modern art is a mystery to many. But for Jim Qwilleran, it turns into a mystery of another sort when his assignment for The Daily Fluxion leads down the path to murder. A stabbing in an art gallery, vandalized paintings, a fatal fall from a scaffolding-this is not at all what Qwilleran expects when he turns his reporter talents to art. But Qwilleran and his newly found partner, Koko the brilliant Siamese cat, are in their element-sniffing out clues and confounding criminals intent on mayhem and murder.
  2. The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern (1967) – Jim Qwilleran isn’t exactly overwhelmed by his new assignment for the Daily Fluxion. Interior design has never been one of his specialties and now he’s supposed to turn out an entire magazine on the subject every week! But the first issue of Gracious Abodes is barely off the presses when Qwilleran finds himself back on more familiar territory-the exclusive residence featured on the cover has been burglarized and the lady of the house found dead. Now Qwilleran and his brilliant Siamese cat, Koko, have their respective moustache and whiskers twitching. And when Koko starts pawing clues in the dictionary and sniffing designer furniture, Qwilleran finds himself doing a feature on a very clever murder…
  3. The Cat Who Turned on and Off (1968) – When Qwilleran decides to do a feature story on Junktown, he gets more than he bargained for. Not the dope den he anticipated, Junktown is a haven for antique dealers and collectors-as strange a lot as the crafty reporter has ever encountered. When a mysterious fall ends the career-and the life-of one of Junktown’s leading citizens, Qwilleran is convinced it was no accident. But, as usual, it takes Koko to prove he’s right.

The Cat Who Saw Red - Lilian Jackson Braun Books in Order The Cat Who Played Brahms - Lilian Jackson Braun Books in Order The Cat Who Played Post Office - Lilian Jackson Braun Books in Order

  1. The Cat Who Saw Red (1986) – Something is amiss at Maus Haus. Not just the mystery of an unsolved “suicide” which hangs over the old mansion, but something ominous in the present-day residence. When Qwilleran moves in to work on his new gastronomical assignment, strange things begin to happen. First it’s a scream in the night, then a vanishing houseboy. But when his old girlfriend disappears, something has to be done. Qwilleran, Koko and Yum Yum set out to solve the mystery-and find a murderer!
  2. The Cat Who Played Brahms (1987) – Is it just a case of summertime blues or a full-blown career crisis? Newspaper reporter Jim Qwilleran isn’t sure, but he’s hoping a few days in the country will help him sort out his life. With cats Koko and Yum Yum for company, he heads for a cabin owned by a longtime family friend named Aunt Fanny. But from the moment he arrives, things turn strange. Eerie footsteps cross the roof at midnight. The townsfolk become oddly secretive. And then, while fishing, Qwilleran hooks on to a murder mystery. Soon Qwilleran enters into a game of cat and mouse with the killer, while Koko develops a sudden and uncanny fondness for classical music…
  3. The Cat Who Played Post Office (1987) – Inheriting unexpected millions has left reporter Jim Qwilleran looking like the cat who swallowed the canary. While his two Siamese cats, Koko and Yum Yum, adjust to being fat cats in an enormous mansion, Qwill samples the lifestyles of the rich and famous by hiring a staff of eccentric servants. A missing housemaid and a shocking murder soon show Qwilleran the unsavory side of the upper crust. But it’s Koko’s purr-fect propensity for finding clues amid the caviar and champagne that gives Qwill pause to evaluate the most unlikely suspects-before his taste for the good life turns into his last meal…

The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare - Lilian Jackson Braun Books in Order The Cat Who Sniffed Glue - Lilian Jackson Braun Books in Order The Cat Who Went Underground - Lilian Jackson Braun Books in Order

  1. The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare (1988) – 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…
  2. The Cat Who Sniffed Glue (1988) – Having inherited millions, Jim Qwilleran and his two feline companions, Koko and Yum Yum, are preparing to settle down into a life of purrfect luxury in Pickax. That is, until the son of a rich banker and his wife are found murdered. To the police it looks like a robbery gone awry. But then Koko develops an odd appetite for glue. Qwill doesn’t spot the clue until his beloved Siamese’s taste for paste tangles them in a web of love, danger, and their stickiest case yet!
  3. The Cat Who Went Underground (1989) – The trio’s vacation in Moose County starts out ominously with the disappearance of a handyman hired to patch up Qwilleran’s cabin. But the felines really start throwing catfits when they come across a dead body or two…

The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts - Lilian Jackson Braun Books in Order The Cat Who Lived High - Lilian Jackson Braun Books in Order The Cat Who Knew A Cardinal - Lilian Jackson Braun Books in Order

  1. The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts (1990) – When Mrs. Cobb heard unearthly noises in the antique-filled farmhouse, she called Jim Qwilleran for help. But he was too late. It looked as if his kindly ex-housekeeper had been frightened to death-but by whom? Or what? Now Qwilleran’s moved into the historic farmhouse with his two cat companions-and Koko the Siamese is spooked. Is it a figment of feline imagination-or the clue to a murder in Moose County? And does Qwilleran have a ghost of a chance of solving this haunting mystery?
  2. The Cat Who Lived High (1990) – The colorful Casablanca apartment building is in danger of demolition-but not if Jim Qwilleran can help it. He’s determined to restore the building to its original grandeur. So he moves in with Koko and Yum Yum-and discovers that the Casablanca is steeped in history…and mystery. In Qwill’s very apartment, a glamorous art dealer met an untimely fate, and the veteran journalist and his crime-solving cats are about to reach new heights in detection as the evidence builds up…and the Casablanca threatens to crumble down around them!
  3. The Cat Who Knew A Cardinal (1991) – All the world’s a stage-and now Jim Qwilleran’s apple orchard has become the stage for a real-life murder scene. The much-disliked director of the Pickax Theatre Club’s Shakespeare production, Hilary VanBrook, has been found dead after the closing-night cast party. With the help of his super-smart Siamese, Qwill must cast a suspicious eye on all the players-especially the ones pussyfooting around behind the scenes…

The Cat Who Moved A Mountain - Lilian Jackson Braun Books in Order The Cat Who Wasn't There - Lilian Jackson Braun Books in Order The Cat Who Went Into the Closet - Lilian Jackson Braun Books in Order

  1. The Cat Who Moved A Mountain (1992) – Qwill’s on top of the world when he rents a house on Big Potato Mountain. The owner, J.J. Hawkinfield, brought real estate development to the once-peaceful Potatoes. But Hawkinfield paid a steep price for his enterprise: He was pushed off a cliff by an angry mountain dweller. Qwilleran, however, suspects the man is innocent-and Koko’s antics have him convinced something’s wrong. He may be making a mountain out of a molehill…but he’s determined to find the truth. Even if it means jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire!
  2. The Cat Who Wasn’t There (1992) – Qwill’s on his way to Scotland-and on his way to solving another purr-plexing mystery. But this time, Koko’s nowhere near the scene of the crime. He and Yum Yum are back in Pickax, being coddled by a catsitter…but Koko won’t sit still once Qwill’s traveling party returns-minus one member. He’s behaving oddly, and Qwill knows what that means: Koko may have been miles away from the murder scene-but he’s just a whisker away from cracking the case!
  3. The Cat Who Went Into the Closet (1993) – Qwill’s moved into the old Gage mansion-and the cats are on a treasure hunt. The house’s fifty closets are crammed with several generations of junk, and while Qwill investigates two recent deaths-those of the mansion’s former occupant and a local potato farmer-Koko investigates the contents of the closets. Qwill and the cats wind up unearthing some surprising skeletons-and bringing long-buried secrets to light…

The Cat Who Came to Breakfast - Lilian Jackson Braun Books in Order The Cat Who Blew the Whistle - Lilian Jackson Braun Books in Order The Cat Who Said Cheese - Lilian Jackson Braun Books in Order

  1. The Cat Who Came to Breakfast (1994) – Qwilleran and the cats are visiting an island known by many names. Qwill has always called it Breakfast Island, but to the taciturn natives, it’s Providence Island. To the rich summer resident, it’s Grand Island-and to the developers and tourists who are turning this once-peaceful place into a circus, it’s Pear Island. But when some odd “accidents” occur, including a fatal boat explosion, Qwill suspects sabotage and sets out to investigate-because murder by any other name is just as deadly…
  2. The Cat Who Blew the Whistle (1995) – Floyd Trevelyan’s historic steam locomotive, newly restored, is the newest attraction in Moose County. But the excitement is eclipsed by shock when Trevelyan disappears-along with millions of investors’ dollars. Puzzled and suspicious, Qwill’s trying to make a connection between the missing millionaire and a recent murder at a nearby railroad tavern. Now, with the help of his cats, Koko and Yum Yum, he’s about to prove that the police are on the wrong track.
  3. The Cat Who Said Cheese (1996) – With the Great Food Explo approaching, there’s a lot of scrumptious activity in Moose County. Residents can’t wait for the restaurant openings, the cheese-tasting, and the bake-off, among other festivities. But there’s nothing as tasty as a morsel of gossip, so when a mysterious woman moves into the New Pickax Hotel, the locals-including Qwill-indulge in lots of speculation. But then a bomb explodes in her room, killing the hotel housekeeper-and now Qwill and his kitty sidekicks, Koko and Yum Yum, must put aside the fun and figure out who cooked up this murderous recipe…

The Cat Who Tailed A Thief - Lilian Jackson Braun Books in Order The Cat Who Sang for the Birds - Lilian Jackson Braun Books in Order The Cat Who Saw Stars - Lilian Jackson Braun Books in Order

  1. The Cat Who Tailed A Thief (1997) – There’s been a rash of petty thievery in Pickax-ever since banker Willard Carmichael and his flashy young wife, Danielle, moved in. But now Willard’s been killed in a mugging Down Below…or so it seems. Qwill’s suspicious, especially when Willard’s house-restoration project in Pickax falls into the hands of Danielle’s cousin-whose rich new wife then dies on her honeymoon! The clues are confounding. But with Koko’s help, Qwill intends to catch a thief-and a killer…
  2. The Cat Who Sang for the Birds (1998) – As early spring comes to Moose County, Jim Qwilleran is looking forward to the peaceful beauty of nature’s rebirth. What he gets instead is a chorus of noisy birds that constantly wakes him from a sound sleep-especially when Koko insists on joining in with his own feline version of birdcalling. But soon Qwill is wondering whether Koko is trying to say more than just “tweet tweet,” because a series of strange events-starting with an act of vandalism and culminating in a mysterious chain of death and disappearance-has Pickax in a similar uproar. It seems that this spring, a cat’s fancy may turn to crime solving…
  3. The Cat Who Saw Stars (1998) – UFOs in Mooseville? Rumors abound that a missing backpacker has been abducted, and it looks like Jim Qwilleran’s sedate summer may be interrupted by an investigation-with the help of his own little aliens, Koko and Yum Yum. And when the backpacker’s body turns up-and transplanted Floridian Owen Bowen is found dead soon afterward-the search for intelligent life turns into a hunt for a murderer…

The Cat Who Robbed A Bank - Lilian Jackson Braun Books in Order The Cat Who Smelled A Rat - Lilian Jackson Braun Books in Order The Cat Who Went Up The Creek - Lilian Jackson Braun Books in Order

  1. The Cat Who Robbed A Bank (2000) – As the Highland Games approach, Jim Qwilleran and the citizens of Pickax, Michigan, prepare to celebrate their Scottish heritage with such evens as bagpipe skirling and tossing the caber. But the traditional revelry is marred by troublesome rumors when a visiting jewelery dealer, renowned for his romantic streak (and his mysterious cash-only policy), is found dead in his hotel room. His assistant is missing-and soon, the winner of the caber-tossing content disappears as well.
  2. The Cat Who Smelled A Rat (2000) – The way Jim Qwilleran sees it, there’s nothing worse than being left high and dry. But that’s exactly where he’s been ever since a record-breaking drought hit Moose County. He’s bedraggled. Beleaguered. And, following a rash of fires at local historic mine sites, deeply bewildered. Some blame the blazes on bad weather conditions, but Qwill’s thinking arson. And when a mysterious explosion is followed by a blood-chilling murder, he starts seriously praying for snow-and answers. Good thing Koko can smell trouble a mile away…
  3. The Cat Who Went Up The Creek (2002) – Jim Qwilleran is enjoying his stay at the Nutcracker Inn in Black Creek. His two Siamese, Koko and Yum Yum, don’t seem quite as pleased with the accommodations…though Koko does enjoy keeping a keen eye on the squirrels and other local wildlife. Then, while Koko’s eagerly watching some jumping trout, he spots something else: a body floating downstream. When it’s revealed that the victim was a guest at the inn-and had nuggets of gold hidden in his shoes-Qwill dives into the case. And if he and the cats don’t solve it soon, they’re going to be up the creek without a paddle…

The Cat Who Brought Down The House - Lilian Jackson Braun Books in Order The Cat Who Talked Turkey - Lilian Jackson Braun Books in Order The Cat Who Went Bananas - Lilian Jackson Braun Books in Order

  1. The Cat Who Brought Down The House (2003) – Retiring in Pickax, actress Thelma Thackeray has decided to start a film club and organize a fundraiser revue, starring Koko the cat. But Thelma’s celebrated arrival takes an unpleasant turn when the strange circumstances of her twin brother’s recent death seem suspicious to Jim Qwilleran. Qwill needs a helping paw in this case. But will Koko deign to take time from his stage debut?
  2. The Cat Who Talked Turkey (2004) – The good people of Moose County are in a fever of excitement. It’s almost time for the gala groundbreaking for the Pickax bookstore-and the town of Brrr is preparing for its bicentennial celebration. All the festivities, however, are spoiled by the discovery of a man’s body on James Qwilleran’s property. Could it be the work of the killer who used the same MO in northern Michigan? To solve the case, Qwill and his feline pals, Koko and Yum Yum, will have to prick up their ears to find the thankless killer…
  3. The Cat Who Went Bananas (2004) – James Qwilleran and his talented team of feline sleuths, Koko and Yum Yum, investigate the supposedly accidental death of a cast member on the eve of the Theatre Club’s performance of Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest.”

The Cat Who Dropped a Bombshell - Lilian Jackson Braun Books in Order The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers - Lilian Jackson Braun Books in Order

  1. The Cat Who Dropped a Bombshell (2006) – The town of Pickax is buzzing with excitement: its residents are about to celebrate the 150th anniversary of its founding. But in the midst of all the preparations, Qwill has to take time out to entertain aspiring architect Harvey Ledfield-and deal with Koko’s strange new habit. Because the Siamese star has started dropping from balconies and landing in the oddest of places, including on Harvey’s head! And now that Harvey’s aunt and uncle have mysteriously gone missing, Qwill better brush up on his paw language before Pickax is hit with a bombshell…
  2. The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers (2007) – Times are a-changin’ in Pickax, giving Jim Qwilleran some newsworthy notes for the “Qwill Pen.” A new senior center is in the works-as well as a frisky production of Cats. And a local mansion is being converted into a charitable museum. Good thing there’s lots to keep Qwill busy because Polly Duncan is off to Paris, temporarily leaving him without his lady companion. But when a mysterious death from a bee sting leaves everyone but Koko the Siamese in a state of confusion, the kitty with sixty whiskers will need to stop pussyfooting around and let Qwill in on the deadly secret…

Collection of short Stories

All those collections of short stories are stand-alone and can be read at any moment, but it’s always better to have a little bit of background.

The Cat Who Had 14 Tales - Lilian Jackson Braun Books in Order Short and Tall Tales - Lilian Jackson Braun Books in Order The Private Life of the Cat Who - Lilian Jackson Braun Books in Order

  • The Cat Who Had 14 Tales (1988) – fourteen short stories about kitties who just can’t keep their whiskers out of trouble…
  • Qwilleran’s Short and Tall Tales (2002) – also called Short & Tall Tales: Moose County Legends Collected by James Mackintosh Qwilleran. A companion to Lilian Jackson Braun’s Cat Who series, this volume reveals the offbeat “history” of Moose County.
  • The Private Life of the Cat Who… (2003) – A collection of short stories starring Koko and Yum Yum-the fantastic feline duo from the bestselling Cat Who series.

If you like Lilian Jackson Braun, you may also want to see our Hamish MacBeth reading order, or our guide to Rita Mae Brown’s series. Don’t hesitate to follow us on Twitter or Facebook to discover more book series.

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One Comment

  1. I love‘The Cat Who’ mystery’s. I have read them all from my local library but not all in order. Would love to read them all again. My Daughter bought me the first one as was not in any of the local libraries.Having reread through it again would love to read the rest in order this time. X

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