Cat Pay the Devil (Joe Grey Series #12)

Cat Pay the Devil (Joe Grey Series #12)

by Shirley Rousseau Murphy


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Award-winning author Shirley Rousseau Murphy once again gives eager readers memorable and charming characters, both feline and human, in a skillful and sophisticated story that magically transcends the mystery genre. Tomcat Joe Grey, his feline companion, Dulcie, and their timid but tough-as-nails tattercoat friend Kit will "leave fans purring with pleasure," wrote Publishers Weekly. In this twelfth intricate and enchanting novel, the crafty feline trio faces perhaps their most feared enemy: two of their closest human friends are kidnapped and may not live to see freedom.

Molena Point, California, nestled quietly on the Pacific coast miles below San Francisco, is not a place where most escaped federal prisoners would hole up. But Cage Jones has a reason. Facing another prison term, he escapes from jail hot for revenge against the Molena Point resident who turned state’s witness against him and who, he’s certain, has stolen his hidden cache - a fortune for which he has not served time, and does not intend to. When local headlines tell Dulcie that Cage has escaped, the tabby is cold with fear for her housemate, Wilma. Joe Grey, puzzling over two brutal local murders, doesn’t pay attention until Wilma’s house is vandalized and Dulcie finds Cage Jones on the premises, but not Wilma. While cops swarm on to the scene, Joe and his human housemate take off on a wild search for Wilma - and Dulcie and Kit foolishly go into Jones’s hideout.

When the three indomitable felines, paw-in-hand with the unsuspecting cops - and with special powers known by only a few select humans - help untangle Jones’s agenda and the brutal murders, the devil-tinged scenario leaves a lasting fear among the cats. In one of Shirley Rousseau Murphy’s most suspenseful and unforgettable books to date - a whimsical and imaginative trip into the hidden lives of felines - the cats, and a band of feral friends, help bring peace to the small seaside village.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060578107
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/20/2007
Series: Joe Grey Series , #12
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Shirley Rousseau Murphy is the author of twenty mysteries in the Joe Grey series, for which she has won the Cat Writers’ Association Muse Medallion nine years running, and has received ten national Cat Writers’ Association Awards for best novel of the year. She is also a noted children’s book author, and has received five Council of Authors and Journalists Awards. She lives in Carmel, California, where she serves as full-time household help to two demanding feline ladies.

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.


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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Cat Pay the Devil (Joe Grey Series #12) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoy all of the books in the series
nookbookfanColorado More than 1 year ago
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 :)
McDr More than 1 year ago
I have all the Shirley Rousseau Murphy (Joe Grey mysteries) Love them & look forward to the next.
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stoneyEL More than 1 year ago
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
MarquetteMinstrel More than 1 year ago
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.
Tarquin More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I have most of her books and find them fun and very refreshing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
harstan More than 1 year ago
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