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Cat Fear No Evil: A Joe Grey Mystery    by Shirley Rousseau Murphy Amazon.com order for
Cat Fear No Evil
by Shirley Rousseau Murphy
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2004 (2004)
Hardcover, Paperback

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Shirley Rousseau Murphy, six-time winner of the Cat Writers' Association Muse Medallion, presents the ninth in her Joe Grey Mystery series, Cat Fear No Evil. The feline sleuths (Joe Grey, Dulcie and Kit) not only gather clues and solve crimes, but also talk and read and do almost anything else a human can do except walk upright and have opposing thumbs. If this is beyond the realm of possibility for you, give in to fantasy for the course of one book. I had no problem with the cats' abilities (but then I write tales of a talking dog).

A crime spree has broken out in the small village of Molena Point, California. Single items of great value have disappeared from homes, with no sign of forced entry. To the consternation of the three felines, the notorious yellow-eyed black cat who terrorized Joe and Dulcie years ago has returned. Is he up to no good? Probably. Things go from bad to worse. There are several deaths seemingly accidental. Seemingly. Oh, yes, there are humans in this story. Friends, each with their own problems and lives, but united in that they know about the cats' unusual abilities. I would like to know the pair of eighty-year-old newly-weds better. The groom has a bit of a shady past that makes him very interesting. Their story was obviously in one of the previous episodes.

The scene shifts to San Francisco. One of the missing items of value stolen in Molena Point is a 1927 restored Packard Roadster. My friend drives a restored 1956 Packard Patrician and so I was very interested to see the culmination of the theft of the Roadster. And if recovered, how carefully that gem would be handled. All in all, Cat Fear No Evil is a fun read. Though slow at times, it doesn't drag. The action moves at a satisfying pace. So give in to fantasy. Enjoy this feline series, but be warned you may never look at your pet in the same way again.

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