book review

"The Cat Who Had 14 Tales" by Lilian Jackson Braun - Book Review

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Rating: 4/5 stars


The Cat Who Had 14 Tales (#30 in Cat Who..) written by Lilian Jackson Braun, owner of two Siamese cats, is a compilation of fourteen short stories surrounding fourteen different problems the highlighted felines aided in solving. These varied problems range from finding a burglar to finding a murderer, or perhaps even being an accidental killer. 

The Cat Who Had 14 Tales clearly points out the felines' intelligence throughout the stories stating every once in a while things such as "'two of the kittens are very smart'" and "'do you know cats are mind readers?'".  The author succeeded in fulfilling the "show don't tell" statement as she explains how each feline thought about every bad situation and how they reacted, all of which certainly proved cats to be extremely clever rather than simply saying they were intelligent . 

Lilian Jackson Braun also gave each character well-defined personalities, although there wasn't much space for character development. Giving each character in every one of fourteen stories well thought out personalities is really impressive, considering that half of the personalities were cats, and the rest were minor characters. For example, in The Sin of Madame Phloi, one of the short stories in the book, there were two cats: Madame Phloi and her son Thapthim; both had completely opposite personalities. Madame Phloi was shown to be a very classy and elegant cat who cared very much for her appearance, whereas Thapthim  was a happy-go-lucky kitten who trusted anyone and anything. 

Another plus to these stories was that there was the occasional plot twist that will literally make you gasp after you've read it. By plot twist, I do not mean that the reader expects something to happen but when the time comes, something completely out of the blue pops up. I mean the reader has no clue to even expect anything to happen, which I personally found very entertaining. 

What really attracted me to this book was the very first sentence: "Phu Phat knew, at an early age, that humans are an inferior breed". To me, this was a really great way to start off a book dedicated to cats. 


The Cat Who Had 14 Tales is a very easy and relaxing book to read despite the occasional murder. I recommend this book to any one who is looking for a straight forward and quick yet suspenseful read.

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