This latest Joe Grey mystery recaptures some of the solid and suspenseful plotting that marked the early novels in the series. There’s plenty of action in the feline sleuth’s latest adventure which unfolds on multiple levels during the Christmas holidays.
Molina Point, the home of Joe Grey, his two lady companions and human friends, has been experiencing some violent and vicious home invasions that have the village’s inhabitants up in arms. With the police unable to stop the break-ins, some of the citizens are demanding Chief Harper’s head.
If that’s not serious enough, on a second front a new resident, Maudie Toola has moved into town and brought her “troubles” from Southern California with her.
Maudie’s son and daughter-in-law were gunned down right before her eyes in a mysterious attack that left the elderly woman with custody of her young grandson.
Hoping to find a little peace and quiet in her old home town, Maudie and Benny have settled into a cute little cottage . Unfortunately, their troubles have accompanied them northward and Maudie is now hiding a gun in her pocket to repel the invader she knows is stalking her and the child.
Although they have assisted the police in the past solving thorny cases, Joe, Dulcie and Kit are pretty much at a loss in this situation and aren’t able to make any “snitch” calls giving the authorities the information they need to apprehend the miscreants.
A new character, a well travelled, old cat named Misto appears in the village and is able to help Joe and his ladies break the mysterious home invasion case.
At the same time, the problems facing Maudie reach the boiling point when her grandson is kidnapped. Of course, the village cats aided by Misto, play a pivotal role in making sure nothing terrible happens to the child.
Now at 16 titles, this series, featuring sentient cats with plenty of attitude, has been a hit with a broad audience including, of course, confirmed cat lovers who see traits of their own pets in the main feline characters.
The last couple of titles have been a bit uneven plot wise with detours into the world of a clowder of wild cats that roam in the hills above Molina Point. Also, the developing relationships of the humans who flesh out the series have taken up quite a few pages recently.
In “Cat Coming Home” the author resurrects the type of focused and well paced storyline that keeps you reading even if you would rather turn out the lights and go to bed.
Not only is this a homecoming for Misto, that, when he was quite young, lived in the coastal village, but Shirley Rousseau Murphy has returned to her literary roots as well! Welcome home!
Cats can't come home again . . . or can they?
Escaping Los Angeles and the ugly memories of her son's recent murder, Maudie Toola returns to her childhood home of Molena Point, bringing her orphaned grandson, whom she must now raise, with her. Mourning for her son, she's not looking forward to the holidays but feels she must make them positive for the child.
But Maudie is unaware that the killer has followed her, nor does she know that the small seaside village is dealing with a series of brutal assaults. A team of criminals is stalking single women, hiding their attacks behind spectacular break-ins to divert the cops. And this time there's not even a phone call from the four-footed snitch to give the cops a lead.
Meanwhile, a new tomcat appears on the scene, a wise and elderly wanderer who bears an important message from a state prisoner for the chief of police. But this cat has a personal agenda too—as does Maudie, who harbors her own secret about her son's killer. As the lonely prison cat provides the link between the mysteries, Joe Grey and his pals, in turn, help him find a surprising new home, a safe retreat in time for the holidays.
With a story both enchanting and suspenseful, Shirley Rousseau Murphy shows once again why her trio of feline sleuths are so beloved by her fans, and why the Joe Grey mysteries should be at the top of every cat lover's Christmas list.