Excerpt from The Cat Who Robbed A Bank by Lilian Jackson Braun, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Cat Who Robbed A Bank

by Lilian Jackson Braun

The Cat Who Robbed A Bank
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jan 2000, 242 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2001, 242 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Pioneer blood had made the natives into a race of determined individualists, as a glance at the map would confirm. There were places like Squunk Corners, Little Hope, Sawdust City, Chipmunk, and Ugley Gardens. Qwilleran belonged in this environment. He spelled his name with a QW, lived in a barn with two cats, sported an enormous pepper-and-salt moustache, and rode a recumbent bicycle which required him to pedal with feet elevated.

There were other characteristics in his favor. Being tall and well -built, he had a distinct aura of authority. Being a journalist, he had trained himself to listen. Strangers felt they could confide in him, air their dreams, relate their woes. He always listened sympathetically.

One of Qwilleran's quirks was his desire for privacy. He needed solitude for thinking, writing, and reading, and his converted barn was effectively secluded. Though within the city limits and not far from Main Street, it had acreage. It had once been a strip farm extending from Main Street to Trevelyan Road, which was a half-mile to the east. Paving was unknown in those days.

Now Main Street divided into northbound and southbound traffic lanes, called Park Circle. Around the rim were two churches, the courthouse, a majestic old public library, and the original Klingenschoen mansion, now functioning as a small theatre for stage productions. To the rear of the mansion was a four-stall carriage house with servants' quarters upstairs. From there a rustic wagon trail wound its way through evergreen woods, ending in a barnyard.

The hundred-year-old apple barn rose like an ancient castle-octagonal in design, four stories high, with a fieldstone foundation and siding of weathered shingles. Odd-shaped windows had been cut in the walls, reflecting the angled timbers that framed the interior.

The property to the east had been a thriving orchard until a mysterious blight struck the trees. Now it was reforested, and wild gardens attracted birds and butterflies.

On the last day of August Qwilleran walked down the old orchard lane to pick up his mail and newspaper on Trevelyan Road. On the site where the old farmhouse had burned down there was now a rustic contemporary building housing the Pickax Art Center. County residents attended classes there, viewed exhibitions, and-in some cases-rented studios. As Qwilleran passed it, he counted the cars in the parking lot. It looked as if they were having a good day.

The highway marked the city limits. Beyond it was farmland. He waved to a farmer chugging down the road on a tractor and the driver of a farm truck traveling in the opposite direction. His rural mailbox and a newspaper sleeve were mounted on posts alongside the pavement. There were few letters in the box; his fan mail went to the newspaper office, and official business and junk mail went to the law firm that represented the Klingenschoen Foundation.

A boy carrying a grocery sack was running toward him from the direction of the McBee farm. "Mr. Q! Mr. Q!" he shouted. It was the ten-year-old Culvert McBee. "I brought you something!"

Qwilleran hoped it was not turnips or parsnips from the McBee kitchen garden. "That's very good of you, Culvert."

The chubby boy was breathing hard after running. "I made something for you . . . I took a summer class . . . over there." He jerked his head toward the art center and then handed over the sack.

"What is it?"

"Look inside."

Qwilleran was dubious about knickknacks made for him by fond readers, and he peered into the sack with no great expectations. What he saw was a pad of paper stapled on a small board. The top sheet was computer-printed with the well-known saying Thirty Days Hath September.

"It's a calendar," Culvert explained. "Every day you tear off a page and read what it says."

The second page had the date (September 1) and the day (Tuesday) and a brief saying: Let sleeping dogs lie.

The Cat Who Robbed a Bank, by Lilian Jackson Braun, Lillian Jackson Braun. © January 10, 2000 , Lilian Jackson Braun, Lillian Jackson Braun used by permission.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: A Great Reckoning
    A Great Reckoning
    by Louise Penny
    Canadian author Louise Penny is back with her twelfth entry in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache ...
  • Book Jacket: Homegoing
    Homegoing
    by Yaa Gyasi
    It's all very well to challenge people to be the masters of their own destiny, but when you&#...
  • Book Jacket: When Breath Becomes Air
    When Breath Becomes Air
    by Paul Kalanithi
    When Breath Becomes Air is the autobiography of Paul Kalanithi, written in the time period between ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Who Said...

Children are not the people of tomorrow, but people today.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay:
$400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.