Cat Pay the Devil (Joe Grey Series #12)

( 14 )

Overview

"Wilma's in danger!

You think I'm going to sit here polishing my claws?"

When she first hears the news that convict Cage Jones has escaped from prison, Dulcie's fur stands on end. She knows he's after her human companion, Wilma, whom he blames for his stint in jail. She tries to enlist the help of her friend Joe Grey, but the tomcat's got his paws full investigating two local murders. It's only when Wilma disappears after an afternoon shopping trip—and Cage is found lurking at...

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Overview

"Wilma's in danger!

You think I'm going to sit here polishing my claws?"

When she first hears the news that convict Cage Jones has escaped from prison, Dulcie's fur stands on end. She knows he's after her human companion, Wilma, whom he blames for his stint in jail. She tries to enlist the help of her friend Joe Grey, but the tomcat's got his paws full investigating two local murders. It's only when Wilma disappears after an afternoon shopping trip—and Cage is found lurking at her house—that Joe realizes the two crimes might be more connected than he thought. Paw in hand with the unsuspecting cops, the fantastic felines must untangle Cage's devilish agenda and snare a killer if they ever want to curl up with their friend again and bring peace to their seaside village.

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Editorial Reviews

Salinas Californian
“[A] series of supense yarns that not only capture the feline “attitude” but offer a satisfying read.”
Romantic Times BOOKclub
“This is a must read for those who enjoy the feline side of sleuthing.”
Cats magazine
“Magical whimsy and deft writing.”
Armchair Detective
“Excellent reading...Not to be missed!”
praise for CAT FEAR NO EVIL Booklist
“[A]delightful mix of humans, sentient cats, mystery, and humor.”
praise for CAT LAUGHING LAST Booklist
“Round up the readers; they will be delighted.”
praise for CAT FEAR NO EVIL - Booklist
"Round up the readers; they will be delighted."
Romantic TimesBOOKclub
"This is a must read for those who enjoy the feline side of sleuthing."
Cats Magazine
"Magical whimsy and deft writing."
Publishers Weekly

Talking tomcat Joe Grey and his fellow feline sleuths, Dulcie and Kit, track an escaped convict in their engaging 12th adventure (after 2005's Cat Breaking Free). Just as the cats fear, Cage Jones kidnaps Dulcie's human housemate, a retired U.S. probation officer, Wilma Gertz, who testified in Cage's probation hearing to prevent his release. The crime rate rises in Molena Point, Calif., with the murder of several area women and the return of Cage's former partner-in-crime, Greeley Urzey—back to reclaim stolen ancient artifacts he and Cage believe Wilma took. As the cats go wild trying to save Wilma, their chatty, anthropomorphic shenanigans might raise eyebrows, but Murphy's surefire plotting makes this more than just another cute cat cozy. (Mar.)

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal

Something is very wrong in Molena Point, CA, and the cats sense it. Wilma, the ex-FBI agent who lives with Dulcie the cat, is not back from San Francisco, and it is unlike her to be late. Another worry is the women who are being murdered in their homes. Cats Joe, Grey, Dulcie, and Kit are frantic when Wilma's old partner, Mandell Bennett, is shot and Cage Jones, a convict who hates Wilma, escapes from custody. Murphy makes it easy to believe in cats that talk, think, and read better than many humans and solve mysteries as well. Slightly tongue in cheek, this is a great evening read. If you want to know the cats' history, read the difficult-to-find first book, The Catsworld Portal. These felines have more abilities than the animals in Rita Mae Brown's novels and are certainly more intelligent than those helping out in the Lilian Jackson Braun stories. Murphy lives in Carmel, CA, with two cats, of course. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ11/1/06.]


—Jo Ann Vicarel Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
The feisty feline sleuths of Molena Point, Calif., must rescue their human friends from brutal kidnappers. An unusual heat wave is not the most urgent subject of conversation among cats Joe Grey, Dulcie and Kit. Hearing that Cage Jones has escaped from jail, they fear for Dulcie's housemate, retired federal officer Wilma Getz. Dulcie's fears are realized when Wilma's old partner is shot and Wilma disappears from a shopping mall. Luckily, Joe and his friends find that the feral felines living in the hills have a few members with the gift of gab who observed Wilma dragged to a cabin where Cage and his buddy are trying to learn the whereabouts of a stash they think she stole. The cats also saw the kidnapping of Wilma's niece Charlie, the wife of police Captain Max Harper. Frantic to pick up clues that will lead to Wilma and Charlie, the animals search the house of the buddy's sister. At length, Wilma escapes; the feral felines rescue Charlie; and a brave but frightened Cotton leaves the feral band to tell the town cats what he has seen, paving the way for a party that brings together humans and cats. The 12th tale in the series (Cat Breaking Free, 2005, etc.) may be a tough slog for readers who aren't already familiar with the established characters. Aspiring fans of talking felines might well want to start at the beginning. Agent: Martha Millard/Martha Millard Literary Agency
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060578138
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/1/2008
  • Series: Joe Grey Series , #12
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 349,093
  • Product dimensions: 6.74 (w) x 4.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

In addition to her popular Joe Grey mystery series for adults, for which she has received eleven 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. Two of her children's books were written in collaboration with her husband, Pat.

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Read an Excerpt

Cat Pay the Devil

A Joe Grey Mystery
By Shirley Murphy

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2007 Shirley Murphy
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780060578107

Chapter One

At the edge of the sea, the small village, even among the shadows of its lush oaks and pines, seemed smothered by the unseasonal summer heat that had baked into every stairway and crevice and shop wall. The rising coastal temperatures, mixed with high humidity from the sullen Pacific, produced a sweltering steam bath that had lasted through all of July, and was not typical for the central California coast. The scent of hot pinesap was mixed sharply with the salty stink of iodine at low tide. And from the narrow streets, the scent of suntan oil rose unpleasantly to the three cats where they sprawled on a cottage rooftop, in the ineffectual shade of a stone chimney, indolently washing their paws—avoiding the crush of tourists' feet and the scorching sidewalks, which felt like a giant griddle; if a cat stood for a moment on the concrete, he'd come away with blistered paws—Joe Grey's white paws felt blistered. The gray tomcat sprawled, limp, across the shingles, his white belly turned up to the nonexistent breeze as he tried to imagine cool sea winds.

Near Joe, the long-haired tortoiseshell lifted her head occasionally to lick one mottled black-and-brown paw. Kit had the longest coat of the three, so she was sure she suffered themost. Only dark tabby Dulcie was up and moving, irritably pacing. Joe watched her, convinced she was fretting for no reason.

But you couldn't tell Dulcie anything; she'd worked herself into a state over her housemate and nothing he could say seemed to help.

Below them on the narrow streets, the din of strangers' voices- reached them, and the shrill laughter of a group of children. Tourists wandered by the dozens, dressed in shorts and sandals, lapping up ice cream and slipping into small shops looking for a breath of cooler air; the restaurant patios were crowded with visitors enjoying iced drinks, their leashed dogs panting beneath the tables. Strangers stared in through the windows of shaded cottages that were tucked among bright gardens, into shadowed sitting rooms and bedrooms that looked cool and inviting. Lazily- Joe rose to peer over at a pair of loud-voiced, sweating joggers heading for the beach to run on the damp sand, as if they might catch up to an ocean breeze.

With a soft hush of paws, Dulcie came to stand beside him at the edge of the roof, silent and frowning, looking not at the busy streets below but up at the round hills that rose above the village—hills burnt dry now, humping against the sky as brown as grazing beasts.

They could see nothing moving there, no human hiking the dusty trails, no rider on horseback; the deer and small wild creatures would be asleep in the shade, if they could find any shade. Even among the ruins hidden among the highest slopes, the feral cats would be holed up in cool caverns beneath the fallen walls. For a long time Dulcie stood looking in that direction, her peach-tinted ears sharply forward, her head tilted in a puzzled frown.

"What?" Joe said, watching her.

"I don't know." She turned to look at him, her green eyes wide and perplexed. "I feel like . . . As if they're thinking of us." She blinked and lashed her tail. "As if Willow is thinking of us, as if she knows how I feel." She narrowed her green eyes at him, but then she rubbed against his shoulder, brushing her whiskers against his. "I guess that makes no sense; maybe it's the heat."

Joe didn't answer. He knew she was upset—and females were prone to fancies. Who knew what two females together, even at such a distance, could conjure between them? Maybe both Dulcie and the pale calico had that fey quality humans found so mysterious in the feline. Maybe their wild, feral friend, with her unusual talents of perception and speech that matched their own, maybe she did indeed sense that Dulcie was worried and fretting. Who knew what Willow was capable of?

But Dulcie was worrying over nothing, as far as Joe could see. Dulcie's human housemate had gone off before, for the weekend, driving up the coast to the city, and Dulcie had never fretted as she did now.

Now, Dulcie thought she had reason, and Joe looked at her intently. "Prisoners have escaped from jail before, Dulcie. That, and the fact that Wilma is later than she promised, does not add up to disaster. You're building a mountain out of pebbles."

Dulcie turned, hissing at him. "Cage Jones better keep away from her. Wilma's done with supervising him and too many bad-ass convicts like him, done with the kind of stress they dumped on her for twenty years. She doesn't need any more ugly tangles and ugly people messing up her life."

But despite what either Dulcie or Joe thought, tangles were building, complications that would indeed snare Dulcie's housemate. The scenario had started two months earlier on the East Coast, when an old man entered the continental U.S. When Greeley Urzey stepped off that plane, he set in motion events that would weave themselves into Wilma Getz's destiny as surely as a cat's paw will snarl a skein of yarn.

The old man's flight from Central America entered the States officially at Miami, where passengers would connect with other flights after lining up to go through customs inspection. Deplaning, Greeley smiled, sure of himself and cocky. He'd slip through customs clean as a whistle, as he always did, not an ounce of contraband on him, this time, for the feds to find. Even if he'd had anything tucked away, he'd have waltzed right on through slick as a greased porker, always had, always would, he'd never yet got caught. And, he thought, smiling, there were better ways to bring what he wanted into the States.

He'd gotten most of it through over a period of years, tucked in among household furnishings in them big metal overseas containers. Them feds couldn't search everything.



Continues...

Excerpted from Cat Pay the Devil by Shirley Murphy Copyright © 2007 by Shirley Murphy. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 14 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 15 of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    For fans of the series

    In Molena Point, California, Dulcie tells her two feline pals Joe Grey and Kit that she is worried about her housemate retired federal officer Wilma Getz, who just vanished without a word from a shopping mall. Joe Grey thinks his friend is being an inane female as her human companion has left home before, but three days have passed and Dulcie is panicking that something bad happened to Wilma especially since Cage Jones escaped from prison, a place he went to because of Wilma¿s testimony in court. When someone shoots Wilma's former partner Mandell Bennnett and local resident Linda Tucker is killed, though he cannot see a link, Joe Grey believes that Dulcie is right and Wilma is in trouble. The cat trio follows Wilma¿s trail to the nearby hills where undomesticated cats reside and learn that someone abducted her and her niece Charlie, the wife of police Captain Max Harper. Assuming Cage and an associate have more than revenge in mind, the cats begin a rescue attempt before Dulcie¿s housemate and her relative are killed. --- Fans of the series will take great delight as the fearsome felines search for and try to rescue one of their human housemates from an avenging killer with an extra unknown (to the cats) agenda. The story line is action-packed as the personified cats discuss the case in English amidst themselves, some wild felines, and a few humans. Though newcomers may have difficulty listening to the animals chatter in human tongue as that is a key premise from the start, long time fans will welcome the latest feline amateur sleuthing. --- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 26, 2013

    LOVE THIS SERIES! A Must Read

    I love this series. You have to start with the first book so you will know why these cats are special. I keep asking my cat to talk to me - I know he can he looks just like Joe Grey :)

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  • Posted August 22, 2013

    The Best Series!

    Cat Pay the Devil (Joe Grey Series #12) Another winner!

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  • Posted August 15, 2012

    I have all the Shirley Rousseau Murphy (Joe Grey mysteries) Love

    I have all the Shirley Rousseau Murphy (Joe Grey mysteries) Love them
    & look forward to the next.

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  • Posted August 24, 2009

    cats are onderful

    i enjoyed the book. the cats tlked as if they are alive. The story keeps your intersert it is hard to put the book down

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  • Posted May 30, 2009

    Meow Meow

    A fun read for a blue or rainy day. So many of the characters appeared in previous books and it is a pleasure to revisit them. Joe Grey and Dulcie are up to their paws in trouble and barely get their humans home safely.

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  • Posted March 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    joe grey

    I loved this book! I have most of her books and find them fun and very refreshing.

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