Lilian Jackson Braun, 97, who wrote 29 books in the

The Cat Who. . .

mystery series, died Saturday in Landrum, S.C.

Ms. Braun almost quit writing after the third book was published because popular tastes had changed so much. She took an 18-year hiatus between The Cat Who Turned On and Off and The Cat Who Saw Red, published in 1986. She resumed because her husband, Earl Bettinger, encouraged her to return to writing after she retired in 1984 from the Detroit Free Press, where she worked for 30 years.

The Cat Who . . . books began with The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, published in 1966. They ended when Ms. Braun retired from writing in 2007 after the publication of The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers. - AP