The Cat, The Devil, and Lee Fontana

The Cat, The Devil, and Lee Fontana

2.8 8
by Shirley Rousseau Murphy, Pat J. J. Murphy

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To the devil, the span of a human life is as brief as spit on the wind. But the challenge of playing with flawed humans, like a cat toying with a mouse, is endlessly amusing. If the devil loses a wager, though, he will harass a person's descendants until he eventually gets his due. Which is why he's tormenting Lee Fontana.

The night before Lee, a train

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To the devil, the span of a human life is as brief as spit on the wind. But the challenge of playing with flawed humans, like a cat toying with a mouse, is endlessly amusing. If the devil loses a wager, though, he will harass a person's descendants until he eventually gets his due. Which is why he's tormenting Lee Fontana.

The night before Lee, a train robber, is paroled from jail, Satan terrifies and tempts the thief with the promise of one more successful heist. Struggling to live an honest life working on a farm in Southern California with old friends, opportunities to get rich quick seem to appear at every turn and the temptation becomes too much to bear. But Lee has a secret ally looking out for him. The prison cat Misto, a yellow-tabby ghost, will tail the ex-con on his dangerous mission—an adventure that will leave a long legacy for everyone's favorite sleuthing cat, Joe Grey, and his pals in the charming California coastal town of Molina Point.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Fans of Murphy's long-running mystery series featuring talking tomcat Joe Grey (Cat Bearing Gifts, etc.) will welcome this offbeat prequel, a supernatural thriller written with her husband, Pat. An initial author's note, which refers to an "interval" between the earthly lives of a yellow tomcat named Misto, serves as a useful stage-setter. In his spirit form, Misto "sees more clearly through time and space and observes more sharply the temptations of evil that haunt" Lee Fontana, a bank robber paroled from prison in 1947. The authors don't mess around. The devil himself is the force whispering in Fontana's ear, hoping to add Fontana to his ranks of lost souls. Misto, who knew Fontana as a child, is determined to protect him from Satan. Newcomers should be prepared for some heavy-handed plotting. Agent: Martha Millard, Martha Millard Literary. (Feb.)
IronMountain Daily News
“Feline fans will enjoy reading “The Cat, the Devil, and Lee Fontana” and will await the next incarnation of this heavenly cat.”

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.70(w) x 11.20(h) x 1.70(d)

Meet 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.

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The Cat, The Devil and Lee Fontana 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
This is a novel that’s most definitely an attention-getter. From the title, to the cover, to the amazing plot and characters, this literary duo captures the imagination and provides a perfect one-day read. We begin with a different cat than the one usually written about by Murphy. For those who know her famous feline, Joe Grey, you will be more than happy to meet yet another kitty who brings mystery, aid and a bit of the supernatural along for good measure. Meet Misto, a prison cat. Although it has gone to its heavenly reward, the cat is still floating about in the prison keeping track of things; sometimes you see him, sometimes you don’t. Said cat is, as all felines are, a Guardian of the Underworld, so the animal definitely knows when something’s fishy. Which brings us to the next character in the title. The Devil happens to be after Lee Fontana, who will be set free from prison the very next day. It seems Lee’s grandfather once humiliated Satan many years ago, leaving the ‘bad guy’ honor-bound to get his revenge by harassing Lee until he owns his soul. The Devil is nobody’s fool; he believes if someone has just a tiny bit of evil inside them, than they will do what he wants and he will score the ultimate win. However, Misto begins working his magic, getting into Lee’s mind with thoughts of right and good. Lee has been a criminal all his life, but as soon as he begins to listen to evil and becomes tempted to do something rash, the cat is there to talk him out of it. After parole, when Lee gets out of prison, Satan scares him and claims that if he does just one more robbery, he will be kept in the lap of luxury for the rest of his life. So, who will win? Cat or Satan? Well, the upside is that Misto leaves the prison behind and travels with Lee on an adventure the reader will never forget; an adventure that will also remind many fans of Joe Grey and his pals in California. A wonderfully written book, readers will love the whole story of this yellow tabby-cat ghost who is, by far, the brains of the outfit. Quill says: Everyone who reads Murphy’s feline sleuths will be delighted by this definite ‘must read.’
Amber1cat More than 1 year ago
I have read all of Shirley Rousseau Murphy's Joe Grey mysteries, and I was looking forward to this new book even though it technically is not part of the same series. I did enjoy reading the book, but I still prefer the Joe Grey books. This one was hard to get into initially but picked up when the second storyline picked up. I did not like how the book ends in a cliff hanger. Since the author usually only publishes one book a year,it will take quite a while to see how the story resolves. None of the prior books ensded unresolved.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A fascinating story about Lee Fontana and his battle with evil. He's helped along by Misto (who's appeared in Murphy's Joe Grey series. Here in a flashback segment (and between lives) we follow Misto as he tries to thwart the Devil, who is after Fontana. Touches of the supernatural keep things interesting. Fontana, too, is a character to remember: an ex-con who shows his vulnerable, human side. We root for him all the way. Am eager to read the next book to learn the 'rest of the story'!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Her cat detective stories were enchanting and presented a view of life through feline eyes that displayed remarkable understanding of the bond between man and cat. This novel was so far away from what I had expected that I was actually wanting it to end long before it did. To make matters worse the book ended with the story unfinished... It is a two-parter. No resolution. Everything left hanging indefinetly. I really cannot recommend this book to anyone.
CMNCN More than 1 year ago
If you think this book is about Joe and Dulcy - it has nothing to do with them. It's a take off  of one of the least interesting characters in the series, Mae and her brother Lee the criminal. It was all I could do to get  through it. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read the entire Joe Grey series and enjoyed the book as well except for the ending which we will all have to wait for in the next book. I am wondering though if anyone else noticed what seem to be timeline errors.For instance Fallon buys a 1945 Mustang in 1947 I don't think there was a mustang model car before 1964. Also Morgan twice refers to using paper towels to clean up which I don't think were yet available in 1947. Lastly, Lee and a man are talking in line at the post office and Lee uses the phrase "that's a bummer" which I don't think was slang used in 1947. If I am misinformed perhaps someone can fill in the facts for me I'm most eager to read other opinions.
AllieKatMO More than 1 year ago
This was all right, but the ending left one up in the air, though now there is a sequel which will give us the ending. Please go back to the cat mysteries, they are much, much better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago