Cat Striking Back: A Joe Grey Mystery Hardcover – Oct 19 2009
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“Magical.” (Publishers Weekly)
“[The] premise, a mystery that withholds the identities of both the victim and the perp, is intriguing.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Joe continues to be one of the most entrancing (and effective) detectives in modern cozy mysteries.” (Booklist)
From the Back Cover
"Why is it, Joe, that you are always the one to find the body?"
On a lovely moonlit night, while carrying a gift of mice to a litter of kittens, Joe Grey stumbles upon a murder scene. Behind an empty house, in an empty swimming pool, there's blood, the smell of human death, and drag marks. But there's no victim—and it's hard to prove a crime without a corpse.
Driven by stubborn feline curiosity, Joe Grey sets out to investigate. With Dulcie and Kit following him along a killer's trail, Joe discovers evidence of conflict among the residents of this seemingly peaceful neighborhood—multiple signs of breaking-and-entering, with nothing of value stolen. And they find something far worse: hints of violence yet to come . . . and more planned murder.
With the help of two local ferals, Joe, Kit, and Dulcie must now thwart a killer using the most unorthodox means at their disposal: a criminal's unnatural yet powerful fear of cats.--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition. See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Joe is padding through Molena Point toting a four course meal for a nursing mother cat when his sharp senses detect a smell that stopped him, " smell that made his fur bristle." It was the awful odor of blood and human death. He follows this to an abandoned property and an empty swimming pool. The pool's bottom is covered in muddy slime but it's also clear that something, something large has been dragged across one end of the pool. Joe is able to follow a trail that leads to where what he believes to be a body is dragged, tire marks indicate the body was put in a car and taken away.
He calls the police, and then after taking food to the hungry mother cat returns to the scene only to find that in such a brief period someone has hosed down the area removing the evidence he had seen. Who and why?
No sooner had Joe made his report and hardly had time to ponder the strange goings-on when houses in the neighborhood are broken into. Strange robberies if that is what they are as nothing seems have been taken. Four houses that have been entered are vacant as the owners are on vacation.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
He's taking some live mice to a mother cat who can't go hunting and who needs MEAT while she's nursing, according to Dulcie, Joe's companion. As he's carrying the mice he smells blood and sees evidence of a body being dragged in the bottom of an abandoned pool. He delivers the mice, calls the police, returns to the scene, and finds that it has been cleaned up. Someone has returned and hosed down around the pool and in the pool to smooth up the dirt in it. However, the policewoman who comes notices that the hose is dripping, the walk is only partly wet, and looks for evidence. She finds blood spots!
Through the book you follow the murderer as he disposes of the body, (a wild talking cat, Sage, sees him burying it in a drain that is going to be concreted in) and thinks he's safe. He leaves and robs four houses whose owners are in vacation. You learn that he and his wife, the dead woman, make a practice of moving into a nice neighborhood for a couple of years, befriend all the neighbors, exchange house keys to feed pets, wait until the neighbors are on vacation, rob them and their own house of valuables, and leave on a trip they've told everyone about. He is an asthmatic and has left his inhaler somewhere. When he goes back looking for it he sees the cat who watched him bury his wife, panics, and throws a hammer through the window at Sage.
Sage, the wild cat, had talked to one of the 'city' cats and told her what he had seen. It gets reported to Ryan, the contractor who is doing the remodeling, and she digs up the concrete which has just been poured, calls the police before they dig for the body and find it.
The cats, Joe, Dulcie, and Kit, follow through on everything. Their prowess doesn't fail them.
The book is fun to read, and the mystery of who got killed and who did the killing is kept a secret until late in the book. I'm always waiting for the next book in this series.
CAT STRIKING BACK, the newest in the long running Joe Grey mystery series, combines fantasy and mystery with a feline tom cat sleuth able to talk, not only to other cats but humans as well. Not only does the reader enter into his thoughts directly from the cat but the interaction with humans adds a wonderful sense of humor to this mystery. The author alternates point of view so that the reader is taken into the thoughts of the other cats in this mystery. Kit's interactions with the feral cats, Tansy and Sage, are particularly moving. The author is clearly at her best when narrating through the eyes of cats. Each cat has his own identity and voice. Each draws the reader into the world the author creates. If you love cats, Shirley Rousseau Murphy's mysteries are a must! Tom Cat Joe Grey and his bit of swagger is downright cool. Kit's story pulls on the heartstrings. Even the feral cats and their world is presented with a richness and multi-dimensionality.
Newcomers to the series, like myself, who are unfamiliar to the series might find the shifting points of view a bit distracting in the beginning, although this becomes less of an issue as one continues to read and becomes familiar with the voices of the different cats, voices which the author clearly distinguishes. Nevertheless, whether you start here or earlier, CAT STRIKING BACK will leave a reader wanting more Joe Grey mysteries! CAT STRIKING BACK is not just another cat mystery. If you love cats and are looking for something unique to add to your reading list, the voices of Shirley Rousseau Murphy's cats are fresh and exciting. If you are looking for a mystery with a unique edge, the ending here was certainly unexpected and refreshing as well.
Courtesy of Book Illuminations
I love this series. Molena Point, a fictional small town on the Monterey Peninsula in Northern California, is a lovely setting. The regular characters, both human and feline, are likable and intelligent. Even the dogs, who, unlike the talking cats, have no otherworldly talents, are wonderful characters. The plotting is always strong and complex.
It's a good idea to read this series in order, as the characters go through many changes. In this book, longtime bachelor Clyde Damen has married Ryan Flannery, and the couple are embarking on new ventures. Charlie, who is married to Police Chief Max Harper, is contemplating selling her housecleaning and repair business to concentrate on her art. I've found this series to be very re-readable, and have lately been enjoying the earlier books for the second time. It's a special delight, however, when Ms. Murphy comes out with a brand-new book to be savored for the first time.