More by Shirley Rousseau Murphy

The cats who saved Christmas . . .

The charming seaside village of Molena Point, California, leads one to expect a quiet traditional Christmas surrounded by family and friends—but not this holiday season. Instead of singing carols and climbing into Christmas trees, Joe Grey, feline P.I., is faced with his most difficult case yet—and that's saying a lot for a wily tomcat who for years has been solving crimes the police can't even crack.

At midnight in the deserted gardens of the shopping plaza, a stranger lies dead beneath the village Christmas tree; the only witness to the shooting is a little child. But when the police arrive, summoned by an anonymous phone call of feline origin, both the body and the child have disappeared. As police scramble for leads, the grey tomcat, his tabby lady, and their tortoiseshell pal, Kit, launch their own unique investigation.

Together Joe Grey, Dulcie, and Kit face their most heartbreaking case yet as they care for the child who may be the killer's next target. Trying to sort out perplexing clues amidst the happiness of the season, they shadow a cast of colorful characters. But neither the police nor their unknown feline assistants are aware that they might have stumbled over the murderer and never known it, until an electrifying final scene when the killer's identity is revealed.

For years Shirley Rousseau Murphy has written tales that have delighted readers and critics alike. With her lyrical prose and fast-paced plotting, Murphy has created another delightfully absorbing trip to a magical place populated by unforgettable characters whom readers have come to think of as friends.

Awaiting the birth of his first kittens, feline P. I. Joe Grey, his companion Dulcie, and their furry sleuthing pals must unmask a killer preying on some of the most vulnerable citizens in the charming California coastal community of Molena Point.

For Joe Grey and Dulcie, life is a bittersweet mix of endings and beginnings. While they joyfully await their first litter, they are also sad for their friend, the old yellow cat Misto, whose time on earth is drawing to an end. But Misto tells them an exciting future awaits: among the litter will be a little calico returned from the distant past who will be born with the same ancient markings, and the adventurous spirit of Joe Grey.

While the proud parents await the birth of their babies, their humans have their hands full with projects of their own. Kate Osborne has bought the old Pamillon estate and Ryan Flannery is building a new cat shelter as part of their volunteer rescue project. The criminals are busy, too. The Molena Point PD has stepped up patrols to apprehend a mugger attacking the local elderly. The case becomes a homicide when one of the victims dies, leaving everyone in the town—including Joe and Grey and his furry sleuthing companions—on edge, just when the kittens are about to arrive. When Dulcie gives birth, her little calico is just as Misto predicted, as if she has come back to the world from mythic ancient times.

But the celebrations will have to wait. A murderer is on the loose—and neither young nor old is safe until the culprit is found.

Feline P. I. Joe Grey and his friends pounce on three investigations that may connect to one larger mystery—including one case that is very personal—in this hair-raising installment in Shirley Rousseau Murphy’s beloved, award-winning series.

Joe Grey and his partner, Dulcie, are frantic when Courtney, their pretty teen-kitten goes missing. Aided by their two- and four-legged friends, they hit the streets of Molina Point in search of their calico girl. Has Joe Grey and Dulcie’s only daughter been lured away by someone and stolen? Is she lying somewhere hurt, or worse?

Courtney has no idea that everyone is desperately looking for her. Locked in an upstairs apartment above the local antiques shop, she’s enjoying her first solo adventure. When she first met Ulrich Seaver, the shop’s owner, Courtney was frightened. But the human has coddled and pampered her, winning her trust. Sheltered by her parents, her brothers, and her kind human companions, the innocent Courtney is unaware of how deceptive strangers can be. She doesn’t know that Ulrich is hiding a dangerous secret that could threaten her and everyone in this charming California coastal village.

With his focus on finding Courtney, Joe Grey has neglected his detective work with the Molina Point Police Department. Before his daughter disappeared, Joe found a viciously beaten woman lying near the beach. Now the police investigation has stalled, and the clever feline worries his human colleagues may have missed a vital clue. Joe is also concerned about a family of newcomers whose domestic battles are disturbing the town’s tranquility. Loud and abrasive, the Luthers’ angry arguing, shouting, and swearing in the early hours of the night have neighbors on edge and the cops on alert. One of the couple’s late-night shouting matches masked the sounds of a burglary, and now a criminal is on the loose.

Though the crimes are as crisscrossed as the strands of a ball of yarn, Joe Grey’s cat senses tell him they may somehow be linked. It’s up to the fleet-footed feline and his crime-solving coterie to untangle the mysteries before it’s too late.

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