Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cat Telling Tales-Shirley Rousseau Murphy

Cat Telling Tales

Shirley Rousseau Murphy

Morrow, Nov 22 2011, $19.99

ISBN: 9780061806926

The housing bubble implosion has had a negative impact on Molena Point, California as many residents, who lost their homes, abandoned their pets who have no skills living on the streets. Several caring people and special cats try to help the starving animals. For instance, Dr. Firetti, his pal Misto and Joe Grey save two domesticated cats of Emmylou Warren who let them go when she moved into her car.

A fire at the cabin of Emmylou’s neighbor leaves elderly drunk Hesmerra Young dead and her grandson Billy homeless. As Billy and his cats relocate to the Harper spread, Detective Garza investigates the murder of Hesmerra who died from wood alcohol poisoning. Joe, his human pets Ryan and Clyde, and others learn that realtor Eric Kraft gave alcohol to Hesmerra. Eric’s ex wife Debbie arrives from Eugene, Oregon with their two kids (four years old Tessa and eleven years old Vinnie. The trio moves in with Ryan instead of with her estranged mom or sister while claiming to be broke. Joe and his feline sleuths soon learn the woman has money when her abandoned cat Pan arrives while they also find several murder suspects tied to a real estate scam.

The latest Joe Grey anthropomorphic whodunit (see Cat Stroking Home and Cat Coming Back) is a fabulous entry even with the investigation starting later than usual. The story line focuses on the clever mystery but also provides a deep spotlight on the impact on animals and people when families leave behind pets as they are forced from their homes. The former makes for an enjoyable feline detective thriller; while the latter affirms why Shirley Rousseau Murphy has won Cat Writers Association Awards.

Harriet Klausner

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