I was going to limit this discussion to Feline Detective novels because there are several very popular series featuring cats, but I am also a major science fiction and fantasy fan, and one of the  most charming books in my collection is Uhura's Song, a "Trek" spin-off by the late Janet Kagan about a race of human-sized cats with their own sophisticated culture and technology.

Thee three cat-detective series that I can think of right now are:

1. "The Cat Who..." series by Lilian Jackson Braun.  In the first book, The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, Newspaperman James Qwilleran "inherits" a Siamese cat named Kao Ko Kung, or Koko who apparently has some for of ESP, and points Qwilleran to the killer of Koko's former human. 

2. The Mrs. Murphy series by Rita Mae and Sneaky Pie Brown.  (I suspect that the current "author" is Sneaky Pie #2 since the original one was adopted as a kitten in 1984)  In this series all the animals communicate with each other, but not with humans; they are often frustrated by this inability, and also with humans' poor senses of smell and hearing.  They actively snoop, share information with each other, and try to get the main human, Mary Minor Haristeen (usually called "Harry" because as a child she spent so much time with her cats, dogs, and horses, that sshe was usually covered with animal hair), to find out "whodunit" without getting herself killed.  The "Top Cat" is Mrs. Murphy.  The first book is titled "Wish You Were Here" because the murder victim receives a postcard with a picture of a famous graveyard or a tomb, with "Wish you were here" written on the back, before the actual murder is committed.  More recent books in the series have semi-cute titles that have nothing to do with the plots.

3 The "Joe Grey" Mysteries by Shirley Rousseau Murphy. Some of the cats in these stories can talk, read, and use telephones.  The author has based their talent on Celtic myths about shape-changers and other fantasies. Joe Grey is a smart-mouthed tomcat who lives with a bachelor and his other (non-speaking) dogs and cats in a town that sounds very much like Carmel, California. He doesn't know why or how he suddenly became able to speak after he grew up, but he makes the most of it.

All of these series are entertaining, and that's the main reason I read anything...for fun.

And now I want to go outside and watch the eclipse! (With a makeshift pinhole camera.)

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Wow! They sound like lovely people. It's always so nice to hear the people to respect and admire are also good people. Thank you for sharing (sorry for the late response, totally missed this).

There's something wrong with AN's e-mail notifications.  I just received a  gi-normous list of notices that turned out to be mostly posts dated May 20....so far.  I haven't looked at all of them yet.

About the Heinleins: everything I have ever heard or read about them, from people who actually knew them...lit'rary critics don't count... say what kind, generous, hospitable people they were.  One of the best books is Requiem, a collection of essays and speeches by his friends and colleagues; even people who disagreed with him politically loved him for his generosity and helpfulness.

I have one friend whose parents were friends of RAH from his pre-WW2 days when he lived in Hollywood, so she grew up as a frequent visitor to his home, and stayed friends to his last breath.  We both wish that Virginia hadn't moved to Florida after she was widowed.

He was a gentleman AND a scholar (and, briefly, an officer, too).  And he always said that Ginny was much smarter than he was (but I think she regretted the Florida move, too. She made some rather salty remarks about the humidity...). 

Yeah, I just got the same huge bundle myself.

Thank you for the story! :) 

One year on my birthday (I think it was 1986), the phone rang and my wife picked it up. I heard her say, "May I tell him who's calling?" Then she called to me, "Steve, it's Robert Heinlein." I went to the phone, thinking, "Yeah, who is it REALLY?", and there was RAH singing, "Happy birthday to you." Turns out he'd entered my birthday in his computer and was just checking it that day, so he decided to call and wish me happy birthday. I think I called him "Sir" about 75 times in the course of a 5 minute conversation.

I had dedicated my novel And Not Make Dreams Your Master to him and Ginny and sent him a copy, and the next time I saw him at a convention he made it clear he'd read it, and had some specific comments about it. He even recognized the source for my title.

Needless to say, I was floating after both encounters.

Ha! Adorable. :) What an experience.

O, Wow!  Yes, I do understand the "floating" phenomenon (lucky you!)

I'm still a little up in the air after seeing "Billy Elliot, The Musical" on April 28.

I will now hunt for your book(s?)...  I need something "new" to read.

Some of my books may still be available at a used book store near you. New copies (ebook & paperback) are at my own Parsina Press. For fellow atheists, I particularly recommend Polly! and Assault on the Gods.

</blatant plug>

Wow how awesome Stephen!

I forgot to mention the "Dixie Hemingway" series by Blaize Clement.  The first title is Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter.  Heh!  You know I had to pick up anything with "cat sitter" in the title!

The novels are set in Siesta Key, across a channel from Sarasota ...  Interesting characters, but Dixie's personal life sometimes gets on my last nerve.

So do the too cute titles that all these series seem to fall into.  Thank whatever that didn't happen  with Dick Francis' mysteries.

Warrior Cats is a really good series of books - anyone here read any of them?




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