The beautiful, serene village of Molena Point, California is the type of place where people go to get away from the harsher realities of life - which is what attracted classic film star Patty Rose to buy the village inn and settle down to enjoy her golden years. But as the town gathers to celebrate and honor the beautiful, aging actress with a festival of her old films, Patty is brutally murdered - to the horror and shock of this peaceful burg.
A gentle tortoiseshell cat, Kit, has been enjoying a retreat to the animal-loving actress’ inn, where she’s spending time with her feline friends - Dulcie and the slick tomcat sleuth Joe Grey. But her relaxation is cut short when she hears the gunshots that end Patty’s life and sees her dead body sprawled on the inn’s front steps. She glimpses the killer racing into the parking garage and soon follows his trail.
Joe and Dulcie must now follow the naïve Kit’s trail and keep her from getting into serious trouble. To complicate matters, Joe discovers that Dulcie has been hiding a runaway child - one of the lucky humans that these special cats choose to talk to - who has now been kidnapped, likely by the same man who killed their famous friend. When the shocking discovery of hidden graves raises the stakes even further, the inquisitive feline trio will have to work quickly to claw out the truth and end the nightmare that has the devastated community reeling.
“A skilled YA author, Murphy handles such sensitive issues as child endangerment and death well…Established fans will welcome back all their old friends, both feline and human.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Fans of the series will welcome this new episode, which maintains the expected suspense and investigative skills of the cats.” (Booklist)
“The somber plot is leavened by the author’s affection for her characters and their rewarding small-town lives.” (Kirkus Reviews)
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An Absorbing Story - Joe Grey at his best
This is a mystery thriller, well told by a good narrator. It's a good listen for Joe Grey fans with plenty going on, humour, tension, adventure, and at times it was very moving. There is much to absorb the reader, from the reckless adventure of tortoiseshell Kit to the hide and seek of a runaway, and the mystery of missing children.
It was not a start at Point A and end at Point Z mystery, several times it looks in other directions giving us pause for thought. it covers a tough subject (the murder of children) with compassion.
There is just the subtlest hint of characterisation in the narrator's voice when a character speaks. I like this, just small changes that add a touch of colour without tripping up or impeding the story.
I like Susan's 'Dulcie' she gives her the gentleness, humour and intelligence as the Dulcie in my imagination.
The end, yes I know it sounds strange, but after the tension, hope and happiness of events that have gone before, there is a quiet happiness and resolution for three small figures....
For Joe Grey fans, this is one of the best yet, the narration is good, the story vivid and colourful. There is so much here to absorb the listener I will return to it again.
- Ms. Marjorie Dawson