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Cat on the Edge

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Cat on the Edge

Joe Grey Series, Book 1
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It's been quite a week for Joe Grey. First the large, powerfulfeline discovers that, through some strange, inexplicable phenomenon, he now has the ability to understand human language. Then he...
It's been quite a week for Joe Grey. First the large, powerfulfeline discovers that, through some strange, inexplicable phenomenon, he now has the ability to understand human language. Then he...
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Description-
  • It's been quite a week for Joe Grey. First the large, powerfulfeline discovers that, through some strange, inexplicable phenomenon, he now has the ability to understand human language. Then he discovers he can speak it as well! It's a nightmare for a cat who'd prefer to sleep the day away carefree, but Joe can handle it. That is, until he has the misfortune to witness a murder in the alley behind Jolly's Deli -- and worse, to be seen witnessing it. With all of his nine lives suddenly at risk, Joe's got no choice but to get to the bottom of the heinous crime -- because his mouse-hunting days are over for good unless he can help bring a killer to justice.

Excerpts-
  • Chapter One

    The murder of Samuel Beckwhite in the alley behind Jolly's Delicatessen was observed by no human witness. Only 4t the gray tomcat saw Beckwhite fall, the big man's heavy body crumpling, his round, close-trimmed head crushed from the blow of a shiny steel wrench. At the bright swing of the weapon and the thud of breaking bone, the cat stiffened with alarm and backed deeper into the shadows, a sleek silver ripple in the dark.

    The attack on Beckwhite came without warning. The two men entered the brick-paved alley, walking side by side beneath the dim light of a decorative lamp affixed to the brick wall beside the window of a small shop. The men were talking softly, in a friendly manner. The cat looked up at them carelessly from beside the concealed garbage can, where he was feasting on smoked salmon. The men exchanged no harsh word; Joe caught no scent of anger or distress before the smaller man struck Beckwhite.

    Though the evening sky was already dark, the shops along the alley were still open, their doors softly lit by the two wrought-iron wall sconces, one at either end of the short lane. The stained glass door of the tiny tearoom reflected the lamplight in round, gleaming patterns of blue and red. The narrow, leaded glass doors leading to the antique shop and the art gallery glinted with interior lights warped into circular designs against the darkness. The closed door to the bistro presented a solid blue face, but there were lights within behind its small, leaded windows, and the easy beat of a forties love song could be heard. The golf shop lights reflected out around the edges of its half-closed shutters, and the shopkeeper could be glimpsed deep within, toting up figures, preparing to close up and go home. The soft thud of the wrench could not have reached him; he did not look up. There was no sound from the alley to alert anyone to the murder which had just occurred within that peaceful lane.

    Between each pair of shop doors stood a large ceramic pot planted with a flowering oleander tree. The pink-and-white blossoms shone waxen in the dim light. All Molena Point's alleys were small, inviting oases designed to welcome both villagers and tourists. At the near end of the lane, where the tomcat was eating, one ordinary, unremarkable wooden door shut away the kitchen of the delicatessen. The busy front door was around the cornet The trellis, and the sweet-scented jasmine vine which climbed it, concealed behind its lower foliage the delicatessen's two garbage cans, and now concealed, as well, the astonished cat.

    Here in the alley, Jolly's employees received deliveries and brought out their discreetly wrapped trash to discard, carefully saving back the nicest delicacies, which they put down on soggy paper plates for the village cats.

    The cats of Molena Point were not strays -- most were blessed with comfortable homes -- but every cat in the village knew Jolly's and partook greedily of its rich offerings of leftover broiled chicken, pastrami, a spoonful of salmon salad from an abandoned plate, a sliver of brie or Camembert, or the scraps from a roast beef sandwich from which mustard must be scraped away with a fastidious paw. Joe ate well at home, sharing his master's supper, but Jolly's menu ran more to his tastes and less to fried onions, fried potatoes, and hamburger, and he had only to chase off an occasional contender. He had, at this time in his life, no aversion to eating after humans. And he liked George jolly; the soft, round old man in his white clothes and white apron would come out sometimes and watch the cats eating, and smile and talk to them. If George jolly had been in the alley at that moment, the murder very likely would not have occurred....

About the Author-
  • In addition to her popular Joe Grey mystery series for adults, for which she has received eleven national Cat Writers' Association awards for best novel of the year, Shirley Rousseau Murphy is a noted children's book author who has received five Council of Authors and Journalists awards. Two of her children's books were written in collaboration with her husband, Pat.

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    HarperCollins
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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Joe Grey Series, Book 1
Shirley Rousseau Murphy
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Shirley Rousseau Murphy
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