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Cat's Claw [Hardcover]

Alex Matthews
1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 2000
Every street has its resident cat lady, but psychotherapist sleuth Cassidy McCabes neighbor is more reclusive than most. She never speaks to her neighbors, never has visitors, never raises the blinds. Cats surround the house, and Cassidy decides to find a home for the strays when she suddenly finds herself in the midst of a murder investigation with her as the next target. In Cats Claw, the fifth book in the series, Alex Matthews delivers another relentless page-turner while also exploring the delicate psychological qualities that allow people to interact with the world around them.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The suspenseful and heart-wrenching fifth Cassidy McCabe mystery finds the likable Chicago therapist and her reporter husband, Zach, going their separate ways with their own cases--and nearly breaking up as a result. Twice one night a worried Cassidy checks up on her reclusive, cat-loving neighbor, Olivia Mallory. The first time a nervous Olivia gives her the brush-off. Cassidy later returns to discover a drunken ex-convict in the living room and Olivia in the basement, shot to death. The police arrest the ex-con, who was Olivia's prison pen pal. Convinced the man is innocent, Cassidy decides she must find the real murderer. When she locates Olivia's private papers, she realizes just how many people her spiteful neighbor had threatened and injured. Undaunted, she jumps in to question the woman's attorney, an illegal alien gardener, a cat-hating neighbor, Olivia's estranged daughter and loony aunt and a larcenous employer. Meanwhile, Zach, adopting the persona of JC, a hard-nosed, unlovable addict, has gone undercover to flush out two cops who are major players in the Chicago drug trade. Zach's inability to shake his persona at home and off duty threatens their marriage. Husband and wife must come to terms with their own frailties before Cassidy can bring her investigation to a triumphant close. (May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Matthews hits her stride in this exciting addition to the Cassidy McCabe series. Here, the Chicago psychotherapist chides herself about her husband, an intense investigative reporter who must impersonate an unlikable wannabe drug dealer in order to expose a pair of dirty cops. But the real problem is Olivia, her reclusive, feral cat-feeding neighbor, whose odd and/or offensive habits provide her with many enemies and an ex-con acquaintance. When someone kills Olivia and police wrongly blame the ex-con, Cassidy looks for the real murderer. Infectious prose, concurrent his-and-her plots, and a spunky little like-to-help grandma place this at the top of the list.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Cat's flaw Nov. 15 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book is seriously flawed in several ways. It aims to be cute, with a lot of stuff about cats. It's a much faster read if you skip over the cat stuff and Cassidy's interior monologue, which rarely adds anything to the storyline. The interior monologue is printed in italics, which makes it a lot easier to skip. The primary flaw is that Cassidy McCabe decides to investigate a murder, even though a man found sleeping on the victim's sofa with the murder weapon beside him has confessed to the killing. (And he's already done time for killing somebody else in a fit of anger.) But Cassidy is convinced "he couldn't have done it." At the end she has to get herself in the obligatory dangerous situation. In short, nothing in the book works very well.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Boring and tedious July 29 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
As a psychologist, I was frustrated with this author and her unrealistic portrayal of the work of a psychotherapist. This was my first and last read of this disappointing series.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.3 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ok, I'm a sap for Cassidy and Cats Feb. 2 2001
By C. Penn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Cassidy McCabe returns in the fifth book of this series, proving that they only get better. For those who have followed the cats and love life of this extraordinary therapist who solves crimes on the side, Cassidy's back and better than ever. If you've not yet met this spunky, peanut-butter cup munching sleuth, don't wait another minute. CAT'S CLAW is definitely the cat's meow.
When Starshine adopted Cassidy McCabe, she inevitably changed her human's view of felines. The cat imparted the gift of love that her human reciprocated and eventually expanded to include concern for other felines as well. Consequently, when Cassidy's "cat-lady" neighbor is murdered, not only does Cassidy once again undertake to solve the murder, but also finds herself responsible for three housecats and nine feral cats. The reclusive Olivia never raises her blinds nor chats with neighbors. So when Cassidy decided to be neighborly in honor of their common concern for cats, Olivia bordered between suspicion and pleasure.
For the first time in twelve years, Cassidy notices that the blinds have been raised across the street. When she investigates, Olivia assures Cassidy that she is fine. But later that evening Cassidy returns to her neighbor's home, to find Olivia dead at the foot of her own stairs with a strange "mountain man," an ex-con, passed out on the couch. Convinced that the mountain man didn't kill Olivia, Cassidy feels compelled to discover Olivia's secrets and the reason for her death.
Meanwhile, Cassidy's husband Zach continues his undercover work as a reporter, disguised as a drug-dealing thug in an effort to prove the dirty dealings of cops. However, the obligatory undercover personality seems to take over, pushing the gentle and loving husband aside, leaving Cassidy with a dangerous, rude imposter. So while Zach's personality disintegrates into that of a hoodlum, Cassidy finds herself busy with Olivia's cats and ex-con friend. Convinced that the man didn't murder Olivia, Cassidy will go to any length to find the real killer while the police accept a bogus confession.
Matthews has an awesome talent for not only weaving excellent tales, but also memorable subplots. I want Cassidy's grandma for my own, complete with her array of wigs and saucy attitude, although I can do without her nagging mother. And to tell how much I love Starshine would require confessing that I have an orange and white kitten named just for this literary feline. Indeed, CAT'S CLAW is very highly recommended.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suspensive, Moving May 22 2000
By Dee Lambert - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I imagine many of us have a strange house in our neighborhood that puzzles us. Cassie also finds herself wondering about the house next door which always has its blinds down. The inhabitant is reclusive and reluctant to let anyone inside. Cassie, perseveres and eventually finds out more than she wanted to know. This is the first book of the series where Cassie is married, and she finds herself having to make some major decisions. Who knows what we would do if faced with the same dilemma? Cat's Claw provides some serious food-for-thought as well as being a first-rate mystery. Also, it's hard to resist falling deeper in love with Cassie's engaging feline. It's the type of book that the person who enjoys relationships (both human and animal) will really love.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting mystery series May 7 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
"Cat's Claw" is the fifth Cassidy McCabe Mystery. In Ms. Matthews' latest whodunit therapist Cassidy McCabe is getting acquainted with her cat loving, hypersensitive, timid neighbor, Olivia, when something goes deadly wrong. Personally speaking, Olivia lucked out in getting Cassidy as one of her neighbors instead of being completely surrounded by superior fuddy duds. Cassidy feels compassion for Olivia and her feral (untamed) cats so when a tragedy occurs it's the ever brave, kind-hearted, levelheaded Cassidy who tries to solve it. Also in the storyline, Zach, Cassidy's husband goes undercover as a different person in his latest reporter assignment. It makes his character a bit unlikable in this mystery. I admired the fact that the author has him apologizing to his wife and son for his moments of being a lousy husband and father. This is something only a real man can do. The characters come across as realistic; they aren't politically correct, perfectionists; they are normal. In fact, Alex Matthews' characters seemed more in touch with reality than most. I like it that Cassidy doesn't waste my time trying to hide behind a tough exterior. She thinks things out and deals with them. As far as solving the mystery, I was pretty sure I knew the murderer, but the false leads gave me doubts till the end.
Brenda @ MyShelf.Com
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best in this terrific series April 6 2000
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Hotshot investigative reporter Zach Moran currently is working undercover to expose two dirty cops, allegedly selling illegal drugs on the night club circuit. Zach pretends he is a sleazy wannabe dealer seeking a connection to begin his new operation. His performance in this role is so good, his wife Cassidy worries that her husband's undercover persona is taking over their private life. Although she desperately wants to trust her spouse, she cannot believe Zach will resist the temptations now available to him.

When someone kills the Moran's next door neighbor Olive, Cassidy decides to start her own investigation because she fears the police have arrested the wrong person. The prime suspect is a former con who Cassidy believes deeply cared for the shy Olivia and who would never harm her. Cassidy soon learns that her deceased neighbor kept files on people she felt mistreated her. As Cassidy searches for the truth that she feels is contained inside the files, the killer remains ready to strike at anyone that comes close to uncovering his identity.

In CAT'S CLAW, Alex Matthews demonstrates her ability to cross genre lines by combining an exciting mystery with a terrific relationship drama. The combination will appeal to a mainstream audience. The two protagonists are believable because of their obvious love for one another even when they argue. They have grown from previous tales in this series and thus remain fresh and interesting. Animal lovers will salute Ms. Matthews for her well-written subplot on the plight of feral cats. In the final analysis what makes the McCabe series work is Ms. Matthews ability to allow her characters to evolve without changing their inner essence. Readers will eagerly await the next episode in this exciting and lively mystery series

Harriet Klausner
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cassidy McCabe's Back on the Case April 5 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
In this fifth novel featuring psychotherapist Cassidy McCabe, murder again hits close to home. After wondering for years about her reclusive neighbor, who feeds a colony of feral cats, Cassidy begins to make some in-roads into making the cat woman's acquaintance. When the front room blinds go up for the first time, Cassidy takes it for a signal, and goes to investigate. When the neighbor says all is well, Cassidy doesn't quite believe her, but leaves her alone. Later that night she finds her murdered. Who has killed the cat woman? Her recently released prison penpal? The neighbor who hated the cats? Her demanding aunt? The adult daughter who just come to town to meet her birth mother? Or one of the many on whom she has kept secret files? Cassidy's husband can't play his usual role as sounding board, as he's undercover trying to break a police corruption scandal for his newspaper, and is letting the persona he's created for the job consume him. Even her trustee feline Starshine is snubbing Cassidy, thinking she's spending too much time with the ferals. Fortunately, her grandmother's there to lend a hand. Will solving this murder be the death of Cassidy? If she survives, will her marriage?
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