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Cat Shout for Joy: A Joe Grey Mystery    by Shirley Rousseau Murphy order for
Cat Shout for Joy
by Shirley Rousseau Murphy
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2016 (2016)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

This latest edition in the long running Joe Grey mystery series featuring a group of cats who have the gift of speech holds some surprises for those who have followed Joe Grey, Dulcie and the rest of the group of sentient felines who call Molena Point their home.

In this caper Joe and his friends will once again assist the local police in solving a case that involves a series of random brutal attacks on local seniors. As the investigation unfolds it becomes obvious that there is much more going on here and the crimes are masking a series of killings seeking revenge for something that happened in San Francisco.

While the detective work the cats engage in is at the heart of the novel, what is going on in the lives of all the characters (humans and cats) is also of importance. Misto, one of the older cats, makes his exit after a long life and Dulcie, Joe's lady, is expecting the duo's first litter of kittens.

The author also gives her readers a glimpse of the cat Netherworld she has mentioned in previous novels and two characters, Kit and Pan, return from a brief excursion to this shadowy place deep within the Earth.

Given the nature of the series, it primarily appeals to those who appreciate or own cats. There are just a few successful mystery series that feature talking animals and some of them are a little too cutesy for the average reader. The author gives her cats enough genuine feline attitude that people who love cats and those who don't will appreciate the authentic feel of the animals' action and dialogue.

The only downside here that may even bother some of Murphy's steadfast fans is the fact that she seems to be moving more towards working the cat Netherworld into her series and that may be a bit too fanciful for many readers' tastes.

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