Encyclopedia Of Detroit

Braun, Lilian Jackson

Born in 1913, Lilian Jackson Braun is the well-known author of The Cat Who... mystery novels.  She has written nearly 30 books in the series, all which involve a former newspaper reporter and his two Siamese cats.  Although the books’ setting is fictitious, Braun is believed to have modeled the country and culture after Bad Axe, Michigan, where she and her husband lived until the mid-1980s.

Braun began writing as a teenager, and her sports poetry was often featured in the Detroit News.  She was the “Good Living” editor for the Detroit Free Press for almost 30 years.  Her first mystery novels, The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern and The Cat Who Turned On and Off, were published to critical acclaim between 1966 and 1968.  After a long hiatus, Braun began writing additional books in the series in the 1980s. 

Braun describes her books as “classic mysteries.”  She has two Siamese cats and lives with them and her husband, Earl Bettinger, in North Carolina