Cat Playing Cupid (Joe Grey Series #14)

Cat Playing Cupid (Joe Grey Series #14)

4.7 27
by Shirley Rousseau Murphy

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“Excellent….These Joe Grey mysteries will stay popular for many years to come.”

Tampa Tribune


Kirkus Reviews says that award-winning author Shirley Rousseau Murphy has “raised the stakes of the feline sleuth genre.” In Cat Playing Cupid, Murphy’s


“Excellent….These Joe Grey mysteries will stay popular for many years to come.”

Tampa Tribune


Kirkus Reviews says that award-winning author Shirley Rousseau Murphy has “raised the stakes of the feline sleuth genre.” In Cat Playing Cupid, Murphy’s fourteenth delightfully sophisticated whodunit to feature Joe Grey and his furry friends Dulcie and Kit, the feline P.I. is on a mission to stop a crime spree that endangers love on Valentine’s Day. The winner of seven straight Muse Medallions from the national Cat Writers Association, Murphy’s Joe Grey novels are the “cat’s meow”—as doggone good as Rita Mae Brown’s “Sneaky Pie, Carole Nelson Douglas’s “Midnight Louie,” and Lilian Jackson Braun’s The Cat Who...books.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Murphy's diverting 14th mystery to feature talking feline gumshoe Joe Grey (after 2008's Cat Deck the Halls) finds Joe a little annoyed by all the lovey-dovey stuff run rampant in Molena Point, Calif. A year earlier, Joe endured the explosive wedding of Max Harper, the town's chief of police. Then came the Valentine's Day nuptials of his human housemate, Clyde Damen. Joe welcomes the opportunity to swing into sleuth mode after a female skeleton wearing a bracelet engraved with a cat is uncovered at the ruins of an old estate by Joe's feral feline associates. When another skeleton is identified as that of Molena Point accountant Carson Chappell, who went missing in Oregon before his wedding almost 10 years earlier, Joe really has his work cut out for him. Murphy's gentle blend of fantasy and mystery includes revelations about her unusually verbal cat detectives sure to please series fans. (Feb.)

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Kirkus Reviews
The talking feline detectives of Molena Point catch a cold case. Feline shamus Joe Grey's housemate Clyde is wedding longtime love Ryan Flannery. The nuptials proceed on schedule, but the discovery of two skeletons in two states leads back to an unsolved case involving Ryan's father Mike and his sweetie Lindsey Wolf, who suspects the body found in Oregon is that of her fiance, vanished from a hiking trip just before they were to wed years ago. Meantime, Charlie Harper labors to interest her police chief husband Max in another body that the talking cats have discovered on the deserted Pamillon estate. The clowder of cats who live in the area have already gone through an upheaval when their fearsome leader is killed in an uprising after severely injuring Sage, the childhood friend of town-dwelling cat Kit. When Charlie takes Sage to the local vet, she discovers that the vet knows about the talking cats but has been keeping their secret. As the police try to identify the bodies, Joe and his friends search for clues that will prove Lindsey innocent of the death of her fiance and the wife of his partner, who disappeared at the same time. Murphy's feline-loving fans will enjoy the latest in her long-running series (Cat Deck the Halls, 2007, etc.). Newcomers and ailurophobes may find the story confusing, with too much sentiment and too little suspense.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Joe Grey Series , #14
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Read an Excerpt

Cat Playing Cupid

Chapter One

The newspaper clipping was yellowed and tearing at the folds, though it had been handled carefully over the years by the detectives who worked the case or who, during the preceding decade, had taken a fresh look at the cold file, reading the missing report on Carson Chappell, and making additional inquiries. Unable to come up with any new leads, each had committed the folder once again to limbo among the department's unresolved cases.

Bridegroom vanishes before wedding

Local resident Carson Chappell, senior partner of the accounting firm of Chappell & Gibbs, did not appear for his wedding on Sunday afternoon at Community Church and has not been heard from for nearly a week. His fiancée, Lindsey Wolf, also of Molena Point, told reporters she last saw Chappell five days earlier, when he set out alone on a camping trip into state park land east of the village . . .

The file contained a dozen such articles clipped from central California papers, as well as the detective's original interview with the would-be bride, his case notes, random notes by the various officers who had later studied the case, and several human-interest pieces published over the intervening years. The fact that a well-known accountant and financial adviser had disappeared, and that any prospective bridegroom would go off camping, alone, a week before his wedding, certainly provided reporters with ample questions around which to weave a story.

The most recent clipping in the file, however, did not mention Carson Chappell. It was dated just this previous week, ten years after Chappell's disappearance,and had been cut from the San Francisco Chronicle. This was the article that currently interested Detective Dallas Garza as he sat at his desk talking on the phone with Lindsey Wolf, the clipping lying on the desk before him:

Remains of hiker found in seaside tree house

The skeleton of a man was discovered last evening in a makeshift tree house shelter on the central Oregon coast by a group of Boy Scouts on a weekend camping trip. The victim had apparently died from gunshot wounds, and two bullets were recovered by sheriff's deputies. The heavily wooded acreage is on private land and is a new campsite for the Scouts' yearly outings. The body had been disturbed by small animals and possibly a bobcat, but enough of the bones remain for possible identification. Neither the Oregon Bureau of Investigation, Oregon sheriffs' departments, nor Oregon police have outstanding missing reports of hikers in that area. "All past missing cases have been resolved," said OBI agent Henley Mills when interviewed at the scene.

This three-pronged congruence of players and events...the sudden availability of someone to work the department's cold files, the discovery of this body though it was not likely related, and the phone call from Lindsey Wolf...held Garza's interest. He sat staring at the article as he spoke with Lindsey; she had faxed it to him just a few moments earlier, and then had followed up with the call.

He knew Lindsey casually, she had dated his brother-in-law several years back, starting some months after Chappell disappeared. That was nearly nine years ago. Now, Dallas wondered if he'd been smart to include her file among the cold cases he'd given Mike to work, wondered if it was wise to stir up that old and painful relationship.

But Mike had seemed okay with it, as if he was completely over Lindsey...and Dallas wondered, for a moment, amused at himself, if he hesitated to put Mike on the case because of his own sudden surge of interest. Lindsey Wolf was the kind of woman who too easily stirred a man's blood, a tall, lovely, creamy-skinned woman in her forties, quiet and self-assured.

He'd already seen the article she'd sent him, he had read it over breakfast a couple of hours before her fax arrived. Now, when he'd asked Lindsey on the phone if she had information on the Oregon body, she'd said, "Not information, no. But I have questions, Detective Garza. Are you familiar with the disappearance of Carson Chappell some ten years ago?"

"I know the case. I wasn't with the department then, but I've read the cold file."

"I'm on my way up to the city on business...I'm an accountant, as you may remember. I worked for Carson until just before he . . . Before our planned wedding. We're into tax season now, and I can't put that off. I'd like to call you as soon as I return, make an appointment to come in. I have no information on the dead man in Oregon. But I think . . . I have such a strong feeling that that body in Oregon could be Carson. I can't get past that idea. I know that seems far-fetched and unlikely, when he was supposed to be up on the state park land, here. That's what he told me, but . . ." She paused, her voice breaking. Then, "I need to talk with you about it, I need to talk with someone."

"Call me when you get back," Dallas said. "You can try me on the weekend if you like, but I may be hard to reach."

"Your niece is getting married this weekend?"

"She is," Dallas said, knowing there had been no announcement in the paper. "I guess you've talked with Ryan?" Ryan and Clyde, wanting a low-key wedding without a lot of village interest, had given no notice to the local paper; they meant to send in a brief mention when they returned from their honeymoon.

"It's a small village," Lindsey said easily. "I think I heard the news at Jolly's Deli. Isn't he doing the catering?"

"I believe he is," Dallas said. "Call me when you get back, I'd like to hear your thoughts on the Oregon case."

Hanging up, he sat quietly, his square face and dark eyes solemn, wondering exactly how Lindsey Wolf had felt when Chappell didn't show for the wedding. Angry. Cheated. Mad enough to . . . What? Then his thoughts turned to his niece's wedding, and he smiled. That would be a far different matter; there was no chance that Ryan or Clyde would back out.

Cat Playing Cupid. Copyright © by Shirley Murphy. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Shirley Rousseau Murphy writes the popular Joe Grey mystery series and is a noted children’s book author who has received five Dixie Council of Authors and Journalists Awards. She lives in Carmel, a village which inspires the charm for Molena Point

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Cat Playing Cupid 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Reepicheep More than 1 year ago
"Cat Playing Cupid" is the newest Joe Grey Mystery by Shirley Rousseau Murphy. Joe Gray is a feline detective, along with his lady Dulcie and their friend Kit. Joe, Dulcie and Kit share an unusual talent...they can all speak to humans. They provide undercover information to the Molena Point police department as their mystery informants. The new book lives up to all the expectations from the previous books. Joe's human Clyde gets married to Ryan Flannery in this book and there are mysteries abound. Great book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey so whats your name and story?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This entire series is excellent.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Entertaining, warm and witty. The characters come to life to the point it was difficult putting the book down. Also good to know that catitude lives on!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got 'hooked' on the Joe Grey stories several years ago when a friend loaned me one of hers to read. However, some of them were a little gory for my taste, but the last several ones have been really interesting. I love little Kit and think Joe and Dulcie are wonderful! Their human housemates are awesome people who truly love these cats and care about them. I find myself looking at my Shadow and wishing she could talk to me sometimes. This particular book, Cat Playing Cupid, is the best story ever in the Joe Grey series, and I'm now looking forward to the next one.
TheBauers More than 1 year ago
Can't wait to read more of this author's work...I lost myself in the reading of this entertaining novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RAS55 More than 1 year ago
Your heart just breaks for Kit and her choices. As always, I want to talk to my cats and have them answer me so I can understand them. Another Joe Grey mystery. I'm ready for the next one.
Skyhorse More than 1 year ago
I love this series. This is another winner from a truly entertaining author. Joe Grey et al are always welcomed in my home and their adventures are always to be looked forward to.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was not an intriguing as her earlier books. The story did not have as much suspense as I was expecting. If I didn'tlike the characters so much, I probably would not have finished this book.
Mywyvern More than 1 year ago
Ms Murphy has done it again. The only downside to her books is that they don't come out often enough. Joe Grey, Dulcie and Kit have outdone themselves once more. What a fun bunch of characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. Really enjoyed it. Murphy is a great writer and keeps you in suspense!
tcNY More than 1 year ago
i'm a cat person and i love this author she captures the cat persona in her characters
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Totally enjoyed Cat Playing Cupid.
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harstan More than 1 year ago
In Molina Point, California live three special cats: Joe Grey, Dulcie and Kit. Each can talk to humans and understand human speech. The trio seems to get involved in every murder that ahs happened recently in the village. So it is no shocker when they learn from a feral feline that a human body is buried in the ruins of the Pamilion Estate. They delay their usual investigation until Joe¿s friend Clyde marries Ryan and is out of the way on his honeymoon.

Another corpse is found in a treehouse in Oregon lying there for years. Lindsey Wolfe returns to Molina Point goes to the cops claiming the victim is her fiancé Carson Chappell. When the cats investigate the grave, they find a book that discuses their unique skills; they want the book destroyed before anyone who finds it reveals their secret. Lindsey¿s sister brings anonymously to the police incriminating evidence that point towards her being the killer. Her lover Ray Gibbs, who was Carson¿s partner, drops off something incriminating to the steps of the police station. Joe Grey begins an inquiry into them with Dulcie helping him while Kit considers whether she loves injured Sagel enough to go feral with him and leave her two pals behind.

Though on opposite coats, the Molina Point felines will remind readers of The Cat Who tales by the Brown duet. The body found at the estate is linked to the other corpse, but how and why remain a mystery that Joe Grey is determined to solve. The three talking cats are adorable even grumpy acerbic Joe Grey while fans of the series learn more about their backgrounds. Shirley Rousseau Murphy has written a purrfectly delightful anthropomorphism feline whodunit.

Harriet Klausner