The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, Paperback
3.5 out of 5 (4 ratings)


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 to cover the art beat for the Daily Fluxion leads down the path to murder.

A stabbing in an art gallery, vandalised paintings, a fatal fall from a scaffolding - this is not at all what Qwilleran expects when he turns his reporting talents to art.

But now Qwilleran and his newly found partner, Koko the brilliant Siamese, are in their element - sniffing out clues and confounding criminals intent on mayhem and murder.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9780747250340



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.

Review by

Done! This was an easy and quick read, during a plane trip to Barcelona, at lunch times and all alone in my hotel room... :)It was my first "cozy mystery" and now I understand the concept, there's no gory details about the murders, no autopsies or information about medical tests and stuff like that. It's more about the persons, how Qwilleran (and Koko, of course!) discover the truth. I liked Qwilleran a lot - except for that infatuation with Zoe, arghh - and *loved* Koko, there's so much things I recognize in my own cat. Unfortunately, mine can't read, backwards or otherwise ;o)I was expecting that the "bad guy" was someone more important in the story, but anyway, now I'm doomed as I've another 28 books to read!

Review by

I'm not sure what to make of this book. Its spawned several sequels which seem to be much loved, yet I found it in places stilted and, sadly, the book has not stood the test of time as well as other contemporary novels and so felt very dated in places. But Braun has created a interesting character in the feline protagonist Koko, who leaps off the page, but I'm just not sure about Koko's human companions who don't feel real. I will read the other two books in the series in my library which will hopefully help me decide if this is a series for me.

Review by

Short and Sweet.Jim Qwillian of the silly name, is an ex-newspaper man recently moved to an unnamed new town (possibly immidiately following a divorce this like much of his background isn't clear). He is inteviewed for and decides to join The Fluxion a local newspaper with a name almost as silly as his. And despite being a crime/investigative reporter in his early life, is given the job of feature writer in the art section. Not as Art Critic for that post is already filled by an abrasive recluse but as general lifestyle coloumnist. An opportunity to meet,chat and profile the various artists and gallery owners in this small town, somewhere in America. When the local gallery owner turns up dead, Jim's investigative senses start twitching and he soon comes across some clues.This is not in any sense high literature. Unlike Agatha Chrisite of Conan Doyle it will not be passed onto future generations as the pinacle of a genre, indeed it already feels dated, and in places stilted. But it is plesant read, cosilly enjoyable for a few hours. Jim's calm personallity hides any of the messier details of crimes, and the various women manage not to extrude hystrionics in his presance. There is little description, and all the characters apart from Jim are thin or very thin, and even Jim's occasionaly musings are hardly deep or meaningful. However as the clues and the body count mounts, we are gently guided through an enjoyable if somewhat obvious puzzle. Oh and there's a cat. Probably cute. If you like cats.

Review by

It is a period piece with journalists using typewriters, but then again it was written in the 1960s. Jim Qwilleran has moved to a smaller town and is trying to find a job in journalism while trying to avoid drinking and and working on living as cheaply as he can. As he has burnt bridges he's assigned to the art beat interviewing artists while another man, , Mountclements, criticises art itself. When murder breaks out in the art world he is drawn in and finds that a backwards reading cat can lead him to some answers.It's almost the definition of cosy mystery and it's not a bad read. I've read some later ones and you can see where the story came from. Interesting to see how things will develop and it is a very influential story.