The Cat Who #1: Could Read Backwards by Lillian Jackson BraunMystery
This is the book that started it all. It's not as good as some of the later titles, but I still loved it.
Jim Qwilleran is an old newspaper fogey who needs a job. The only one available at a local newspaper is for an art correspondent. Qwilleran thinks beggars can't be choosers and how different could it be than reporting on real news? Qwill used to be a big-time news reporter and it's a little unclear why the step down from grace; apparently, he had a drinking problem that ruined his career and now he's just trying to start over. This is definitely a main character with so much more to discover.
Qwill's infamous mustache is twitching as soon as he hits the art scene. He find galleries full of ugly art and fake art critics. It isn't long before all these clues turn up a murder and Qwill is right in the business, where he belongs. Qwill rents a room from a snobbish art critic and fellow newspaperman. There's something that Qwill likes about him, even thought everyone else hates him, and it's more than just the man's cat. When the art critic also ends up dead, Qwill decides to inherit the cat, a cat who wants his owner's murderer found.
Our first introduction to Koko already begs the question...who is in charge here? Just who is the real detective and who is the pet? Heck, who is the real main character--man or beast? This is a reread for me, but a series I have enjoyed so much I've decided to do them again, in order this time. The book doesn't read as if it's over thirty years old--it's fun and relevant even today. And, I'm not a cat lover so don't think you have to be one to like these books. You don't. You just have to like mysteries.