Sleuthing feline Joe Grey’s back in this find-the-victim mystery.
When Detective Juana Davis gets a phone call from an anonymous source tipping her off about a suspected murder, she doesn’t ask a lot of questions. She’s heard this voice before, and she knows that questions won’t get her anywhere. So she trustingly follows the source’s tip to a suburban backyard pool, where she finds no body but mysterious traces of blood. So begins the latest adventure of cat detective Joe Grey, her anonymous tipster. Readers may remember Joe (Cat Playing Cupid, 2009, etc.) as the cat who talks not only with his feline companions but also with a few lucky humans. While Murphy’s frequent exposition of the rules of kitty conversation acts as a continuing plague, her premise, a mystery that withholds the identities of both the victim and the perp, is intriguing. Joe knows the pair must be one of four husband/wife sets in the neighborhood, but which is it? He, Dulcie, Kit and their human friends Clyde and Ryan must band together to lead Detective Davis through the clues before the mystery man strikes back at the cat detectives. One thing’s for sure: Whatever sinister baddie is behind this homicide hates cats—the most egregious sin Murphy can imagine.
Readers new to Murphy’s fanciful and highly anthropomorphized mental world of cats might best approach this installment as a dialogue-free zone.