Cat to the Dogs is the latest entry in Shirley Rousseau Murphy's acclaimed, uniquely charming mystery series featuring a pair of cats who discovered one day that they have the amazing ability to read, speak, and solve crimes.
"For your information," said Joe Grey, "if that wreck turns out to be a murder, I'm the one who put the cops onto it. Me. The cat you are booting out into the cold for no reason!"
Joe Grey kicked out of the house? Ever since the earthquake, things have been going from bad to worse in Molena Point.
There was the car "accident on Hellhag Hill, which looked--well--fishy, to Joe's night-wise eyes. And there was the suspicious but not unwelcome death of the town philanderer, Shamas Greenlaw. Soon the little coastal California town was filled with greedy relatives and Shamas's brazen young mistress, all looking to share the widow's grief--and her rumored gold.
Every earthquake has its aftershocks, and now even Dulcie, the library cat, is getting weird. She's going to the dogs, literally. She's taken to mothering two orphaned pups discovered at the scene of the crash.
And worst of all, there's Clyde, Joe's erratic but lovable human. He thinks cats should stay out of police work (as if humans could handle it on their own!), and to make his point, he's locking Joe and Dulcie out of the house when Officer Harper come over to play poker.
Clyde is afraid the two will give away their secret--that a few select cats can not only talk, but read--and even use the telephone. (Where does Harper think those anonymous tips are coming from after all?) But Joe is not about to give up the chase. Not until the "ghost" of Hellhag Hill is tracked down and brought to justice.
Mice are nice, but what cat can resist the chance to stalk a real killer?
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Shirley Rousseau Murphy is the author of twenty mysteries in the Joe Grey series, for which she has won the Cat Writers’ Association Muse Medallion nine years running, and has received ten national Cat Writers’ Association Awards for best novel of the year. She is also a noted children’s book author, and has received five Council of Authors and Journalists Awards. She lives in Carmel, California, where she serves as full-time household help to two demanding feline ladies.From Kirkus Reviews:
Sleuthing cats Joe Grey and Dulcie (Cat in the Dark, 1999, etc.) are living at Molena Point, California, Joe with repairman Clyde Damen and Dulcie with librarian Wilma Getz. Theyre able to talk to each other and to their respective hosts, read the paper, and use the phone, among other things. At the moment, Dulcie is spying on the house next door, where widow Lucinda Greenlawwhose chronically unfaithful husband, Shamasdrowned two weeks before, is fending off the mostly rapacious Greenlaw relatives gathered in a nearby trailer park waiting for the funeral. Meanwhile, Joe is enjoying an early morning hunt in Hellhag Canyon when a skidding car from the road above comes hurtling down the cliff. Exploring the wreck, Joe finds the driver dead and a brake line obviously cut through. Back home, Joe does his best to keep Sheriff Max Harper alert to the murder possibilities, especially when its discovered the victim was a part of Shamass lucrative but mysterious business operations. It seems Shamass nephews Dirken and Newlon and cousin Sam Fulman were also part of those operations. Complications escalate with the appearance of Shamass last mistress, Cara Ray Crisp, and again with Newlons murder. It takes Joe and Dulcie, helped this time by a tiny, nameless feral cat, to bring the killer to justice. Only feline worshipers will enjoy Murphy's endless spins into cat adoration. But even ailurophobes will acknowledge that clever plotting and lyrical prose offer top entertainment. -- Copyright ©2000, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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