November 27, 2011 · 8:11 am
Cat Telling Tales: A Joe Grey Mystery by Shirley Rousseau Murphy (William Morrow, $19.99, 384 pages)
Just in time for the holidays, this Joe Grey mystery dishes up a warm serving of human kindness. Of course there’s plenty of evil and mayhem for the team of kitties and their humans to get their teeth into. There are human victims in the mix, old and young, dead and alive. (Please see the prior review of Cat Coming Home on this site for background on the story line. The review, “Dead Man’s Curve”, was posted on November 17, 2010.)
As with prior books in this series, Cat Telling Tales provides an opportunity to champion the victims of crime. Rather than a specific victim, in this tale the focus is on the pets that have been dumped by folks made homeless by the economic meltdown in recent years. Author Murphy provides ample evidence of how pets are abandoned and what can be done to put their lives back together. She champions the townsfolk who take the time and make the effort to gather the resources to give the abandoned pets a fresh start. Readers who love cats, and dogs for that matter, can use the ideas presented for fundraisers in their own communities or join their local organizations that are the counterparts to ones referenced in the book. (Please see the links and contact information below for the organizations supported by this site.)
Not all the victims in this tale were guiltless; however, in the hierarchy of crime murder takes the top spot. The body count adds up to three this time around. Joe Grey, Dulcie and Kit are joined by Misto who was introduced in the aforementioned book as the older yellow tom cat. As is her style, Ms. Murphy enriches her cast with yet another newcomer. Yes, he’s fascinating and he does catch Kit’s attention. Some things don’t change.
A review copy was provided by the publisher. Cat Telling Tales was released on November 22, 2011.
Happy Tails Pet Sanctuary – Sacramento, CA
http://www.happytails.org/ E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: (916) 556-1155
Sacramento SPCA – Sacramento County
http://www.sspca.org/ Telephone: (916) 383-7387
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Tagged as A Joe Grey Mystery, abandoned pets, animal rescue, animals, book series, California, Cat Coming Home, cats, charity fundraisers, Christmas gift, crime novel, crime victims, crimes, Dead Man's Curve, dogs, Dulcie the cat, economic meltdown, Elk Grove, evil, feline protagonists, fiction, Happy Tails, hardbound release, Harper Large Print, Harper Luxe, holiday story, homeless animals, homeless people, human kindness, If You Could Read My Mind, Joe Grey, Joseph's Reviews, Kindle Edition, Kit the cat, mayhem, Misto the cat, mystery, new books, new character, Nook Book, novels, November book releases, recommended books, Ruta Arellano, Sacramento, Sacramento County, Sacramento SPCA, SSPCA, tom cat, William Morrow, Wm. Morrow
November 26, 2011 · 11:47 am
A review of Cat Telling Tales: A Joe Grey Mystery by Shirley Rousseau Murphy.
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Tagged as A Joe Grey Mystery, animals, book review, Cat Coming Home, Cat Telling Tales, cats, Christmas tale, crime novel, Dulcie, fiction, hardbound release, holiday story, Joseph's Reviews, Kit the cat, new book releases, pets, William Morrow
November 17, 2010 · 5:42 pm
Cat Coming Home by Shirley Rousseau Murphy (William Morrow; $19.99; 354 pages)
This latest Joe Grey mystery oozes with picturesque Carmel charm. Shirley Rousseau Murphy extolls the architectural beauty of her coastal hometown in the thinly veiled story location, Molina Point. The plot revolves around Joe, Dulcie and Kit – three cats who speak to their pet parents and sometimes unsuspecting people. The characters in the mystery that the cats solve are a grandma named Maudie, her six-year-old grandson Benny and, of course, the evil doers. It’s not fair to describe the villains as their identities are the key to the mystery. Keep in mind that appearances can be very deceiving!
The story opens with a ghastly double murder that devastates a perfectly lovely family. Benny’s dad, his new wife, her two children, Benny and his grandma are driving up a mountain road on their way to an Easter weekend of relaxation at Lake Arrowhead when a vehicle pulls up alongside them and shoots the dad and stepmom. Chaos follows as their car tumbles off the road and everyone is tossed about. After being rescued, Maudie becomes so distraught that she decides to leave her home in Los Angeles, bringing Benny with her to Molina Point, her childhood home.
Joe Grey and his buddies become part of the story when a series of home invasion crimes occur in Molina Point not long after Maudie and Benny arrive in town. Added to the intrigue is the presence of an older yellow tom cat that lurks nearby and seems to have something important in mind. Kit is fascinated by this stranger and makes it her business to find out what he’s doing in town. Kit’s need for a focus in her life seems to be a continuing thread in these books.
The home invasions are targeted at ladies who are home alone. They are being viciously attacked by intruders, the interiors of their homes are trashed, but not much is stolen. One of the home invasions happens on Maddie’s block. To make matters worse, Molina Point’s dedicated chief of police, Max Harper, is being singled out in the local newspaper for failing to bring the crime wave to a halt. As usual, the cats are quick-witted and fleet of foot as they race around town just a paw or two behind the villains.
Whether the setting for a mystery novel is a big city or a small town, human frailties are usually at the core of the story. This tale (or tail) is no exception. Author Murphy does a wonderful job of developing her characters and providing insight into human nature and feline nature as well. She refrains from rehashing the premise of her Joe Grey series which allows for more action and intrigue.
This review was written by Ruta Arellano. This book was purchased for the reviewer.
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Tagged as A Joe Grey Mystery, animals, architectural beauty, California, Carmel, cat book, Cat Coming Home, Cat Deck the Halls, cat detectives, Cat Playing Cupid, cat sleuths, Cat Striking Back, cats, charm, Christmas Eve, crime, Dead Man's Curve, deceiving appearances, Dulcie the cat, Easter, evil doers, felines, Harper Collins, heartwarming story, holiday mystery, home invasions, human frailties, human nature, Jan and Dean, Joe Grey, Joseph's Reviews, Kindle Edition, Kit the cat, Lake Arrowhead, Los Angeles, Max Harper, Molena Point, murders, mystery novel, orphan, recommended books, Ruta Arellano, satisfying tale, Shirley Rousseau Murphy, stray cat, tails, tales, talking cats, the Toola twosome, thinly veiled, tomcat, villains, William Morrow, Yuletide cheer