Synopses & Reviews
Beware of the cat striking back . . .
On a lovely moonlit night, Joe Grey is minding his own business, carrying a gift of mice to a litter of kittens, when he stumbles upon a murder scene. Behind an empty house lies a swimming pool, its bottom covered with mud. There is also blood, the smell of human death, and drag marks. But there is no victim. Without a body, it's a crime that will be hard to prove.
With stubborn feline curiosity, Joe Grey sets out to investigate. As he, Dulcie, and Kit follow the killer's trail among four houses whose owners are on vacation, they discover that more murder has been planned for the small, close-knit neighborhood. They uncover evidence of conflict among the residents and multiple signs of breaking-and-entering, although nothing valuable seems to be missing.
With the help of two local ferals, the cats find the victim's hidden grave and learn of the violence that is yet to come. As they set out to alert the law, they discover the perfect way to thwart the killer—through that person's unnatural but powerful fear of cats.
Thus unfolds the next installment in Shirley Rousseau Murphy's beguiling series about the gray tomcat P.I., his feline friends, and human companions, as, skirting danger, they unravel events shaped by human frailty and by the darkest feline imaginings from the killer's past.
"In Murphy's magical 15th mystery to feature tomcat Joe Grey (after Feb. 2009's Cat Playing Cupid), an anonymous tip leads Det. Juana Davis of the Molina Point, Calif., PD to an empty swimming pool, where she finds trace evidence of a murder but no corpse. When Sage, a feral feline, catches the canny killer in the act of placing the victim in a ditch dug in the garage floor of a house being remodeled, the cat-hating sociopath throws a hammer at Sage. Sage survives to report what he's witnessed to his cat pals who live with humans, including Joe. With so many smart four-footed sleuths on his trail, the killer is doomed. As in recent entries in this popular series, the cat detectives receive more face time than their two-footed cohorts, like Molina Point's often bumbling if well-intentioned police chief, Max Harper, who gets on the stick only late in the game. Mystery fans who prefer people in action will have to look elsewhere." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
“Joe continues to be one of the most entrancing (and effective) detectives in modern cozy mysteries.” Booklist
“Magical.” Publishers Weekly
“[The] premise, a mystery that withholds the identities of both the victim and the perp, is intriguing.” Kirkus Reviews
“Murphys series is top-notch...a real treat.”
The acclaimed mystery writer whom Kirkus Reviews praises for having “raised the stakes of the feline sleuth genre,” Shirley Rousseau Murphy brings back cat detectives Joe Grey, Dulcie, and Kit in Cat Striking Back. Arguably the most unusual sleuth in contemporary crime fiction, Joe Grey is at his curious best when he pads across evidence of a heinous crime but with no victim in sight. Cat Striking Back is a treat for readers of Lillian Jackson Braun, Rita Mae Brown, and Carole Nelson Douglas—for cat people and anyone who loves a good whodunit—a bravura display of the mastery that has won Murphy an unprecedented seven straight Muse Medallions from the national Cat Writers Association.
About the Author
In addition to her popular Joe Grey mystery series for adults, for which she has received ten national Cat Writers' Association Awards for best novel of the year, Shirley Rousseau Murphy is a noted children's book author who has received five Council of Authors and Journalists Awards. She and her husband live in Carmel, California, where they serve as full-time household help to two demanding feline ladies.