Wednesday, January 18, 2012

CAT PLAYING CUPID by Shirley Rousseau Murphy

Publisher: Avon
Date published: December 29, 2009
ISBN: 978-0061123986
Cozy Mystery
Mass Market Paperback
Reviewed by Gina
Obtained Via publisher

Joe Grey’s human housemate, Clyde, has finally tied the knot with Ryan Flannery. Joe couldn’t be more pleased with Clyde’s choice. After all, Ryan figured out Joe, as well as his lady Dulcie and their friend Kit’s secret all by herself. And she’s signed on to keep their secret. As Ryan and Clyde embark on their honeymoon, the talkative felines stumble on a body buried on the old Pamillion estate. Since the Molena Point Police chief, Max, has been giving the cats long hard looks as needed pieces of crimes are committed, they need to come up with a way to lead the police to a body they’ve discovered hidden on the grounds. Before they can figure out how to do just that a cold case suddenly warms up with what everyone thought was a jilted bride returning to Molena Point. Not that Lindsey Wolf was treated poorly when her fiancĂ© disappeared. It’s just that she’s back in town asking about a body found in a remote hiking area of Oregon. Adding to the mix are the missing bride groom’s former business partner and Lindsey’s sister, Ryder. The cats are left wondering if the body at the Pamillion estate has any connection to the body in Oregon and if the two bodies have any connection to Lindsey’s missing groom. With Joe Grey on the case the answers will quickly unfold.

In this, the 14th book of Shirley Rousseau Murphy’s Joe Grey Mystery series Joe is at the top of his game. Did I mention Joe is a cat? A talking cat. And he’s not the only one. Beside Joe, his lady Dulcie and their friend Kit also speak and I just love the cats. Each is unique and has his or her own voice. Ms. Murphy certainly captures a cat’s behaviors and quirks and brings them to life in the pages of her books.

CAT PLAYING CUPID was a little off for me compared to the other books. It seemed like Ms. Murphy started the story, decided on a different approach, but didn’t take out her original beginning which left the story disjointed. There were other parts of the story that back tracked but it wasn’t clear that it was the same scene from a different person’s perspective. It left me wondering if I’d read it, lost my place and read it again rather than the different characters were relating their stories. The other issue that comes up for me is one I’ve seen in any number of fiction writers—911 calls are routed to the local PSAP (public safety answering point), they don’t go to the area code the phone is from. It’s like the Hollywoodism of having to wait 48 hours to file a missing person’s report. It becomes a piece of disinformation that the reading public will buy into.

That said, I’m hoping to see more of Sage and Willow in future books. I enjoy the journey of the entire feral band but those two, along with Joe, Dulcie and Kit have just won my heart. Fortunately for readers, in creating this special breed of cats Ms. Murphy has given them long lives with which to entertain their readers.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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