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Cat Spitting Mad

Cover of Cat Spitting Mad

Cat Spitting Mad

Joe Grey Series, Book 6
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Hell hath no fury like a feline enraged. Though Joe Greyand Dulcie are merely housecats, they each have astrong sense of justice -- to complement their uncannyability to read, speak, and use the telephone. And they'refurious that Max Harper, police chief of Molena Pointand preferred target for Joe's harmless pranks, has beenaccused of a gruesome double murder.

The fleet-footed sleuthing duo is intent upon restoringan old friend's good name. But finding the missing littlegirl who was sole witness to the crime won't be easy -- especially with a hungry cougar on the prowl, a cat-killeron the loose ... and the kittenish antics of Joe and Dulcie'splayful new "ward" causing big trouble that could takemore than nine lives to survive.

Hell hath no fury like a feline enraged. Though Joe Greyand Dulcie are merely housecats, they each have astrong sense of justice -- to complement their uncannyability to read, speak, and use the telephone. And they'refurious that Max Harper, police chief of Molena Pointand preferred target for Joe's harmless pranks, has beenaccused of a gruesome double murder.

The fleet-footed sleuthing duo is intent upon restoringan old friend's good name. But finding the missing littlegirl who was sole witness to the crime won't be easy -- especially with a hungry cougar on the prowl, a cat-killeron the loose ... and the kittenish antics of Joe and Dulcie'splayful new "ward" causing big trouble that could takemore than nine lives to survive.

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Excerpts-
  • Chapter One

    It was the tortoiseshell kit who found the bodies, blundering onto the murder scene as she barged into every disaster, all four paws reaching for trouble. She was prowling high up the hills in the pine forest when she heard the screams and came running, frightened and curious -- and was nearly trampled by the killer's horse as the rider raced away. Churning hooves sent rocks flying. The kit ran from him, tumbling and dodging.

    But when the rider had vanished into the gray foggy woods, the curious kit returned to the path, grimacing at the smell of blood.

    Two women lay sprawled across the bridle trail. Both were blond, both wore pants and boots. Neither moved. Their throats had been slashed; their blood was soaking into the earth. Backing away, the kit looked and looked, her terror cold and complete, her heart pounding.

    She spun and ran again, a small black-and-brown streak bursting away alone through the darkening evening, scared nearly out of her fur.

    This was late Saturday afternoon. The kit had vanished from Dulcie's house on the previous Wednesday, her fluffy tortoiseshell pantaloons waggling as she slid under the plastic flap of Dulcie's cat door and trotted away through the garden beneath a light rain, escaping for what the two older cats thought would be a little ramble of a few hours before supper. Dulcie and Joe, curled up by the fire, hadn't bothered to follow her -- they were tired of chasing after the kit.

    "She'll have to take care of herself," Dulcie said, rolling over to gaze into the fire. But as the sky darkened not only with evening but with rain, Dulcie glanced worriedly toward the kitchen and her cat door.

    Wilma, Dulcie's human housemate, passing through the room, looked down at the cats, frowning, her silver hair bright in the lamplight. "She'll be all right. It isn't raining hard."

    "Not yet, it isn't," Dulcie said dourly. "It's going to pour. I can smell it." A human could never sort out such subleties as a change in the scent of the rain. She loved Wilma, but one had to make allowances.

    "She won't go up into the hills tonight," Wilma said. "Not with a roast in the oven. Not that little glutton."

    "Growing kitten," Joe Grey said, rolling onto his back. "Tom between insatiable wanderlust and insatiable appetite." But he, too, glanced toward the cat door.

    In the firelight, Joe's sleek gray coat gleamed like polished pewter. His white nose and chest and paws shone brighter than the porcelain coffee cup Wilma was carrying to the kitchen. His yellow eyes remained fixed on the cat door.

    Wilma sat down on the couch beside them, stroking Dulcie. "You two never want to admit that you worry about her. I could go look for her -- circle a few blocks before dinner."

    Dulcie shrugged. "You want to crawl under bushes and run the rooftops?"

    "Not really." Wilma tucked a strand of her long white hair into her coral barrette. "She'll be back any minute," she said doubtfully.

    "Too bad if she misses supper," Dulcie said crossly. "The roast lamb smells lovely."

    Wilma stroked Dulcie's tabby ears, the two exchanging a look of perfect understanding.

    Ever since Joe and Dulcie discovered they could speak the human language, read the morning paper, and converse with their respective housemates, Dulcie and Wilma had had a far easier relationship than did Joe Grey and his bachelor human. Joe and Clyde were always at odds. Two stubborn males in one household. All that testosterone, Dulcie thought, translated into hardheaded opinions and hot tempers.

    The advent of the two cats' sudden metamorphosis from ordinary cats (well, almost-they had after all always been unusually good-looking and bright, she thought smugly) into speaking, sentient felines had..

About the Author-
  • Shirley Rousseau Murphy writes the popular Joe Grey mystery series and is a noted children's book author who has received five Dixie Council of Authors and Journalists Awards. She lives in Carmel, a village which inspires the charm for Molena Point

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 1, 2001
    Debonair detective Joe Grey lives and sleuths along northern California's rugged coast, in the quaint--but dangerous--village of Molena Point. In this sixth of Murphy's books named for Joe, passions rise and two women exsanguinate on a mountain riding trail, their throats slashed, while their mounts run free in an ecstasy of fear. Dashing, silver-haired Joe has enough trouble just getting along with his housemate, crusty car mechanic Clyde Damen. But add bloody murder and the kidnapping of a terrified teenager, and Joe gets cat spitting mad! When Clyde's best friend, police chief Max Harper, is named top suspect and suspended from his job, Joe goes ballistic. Aided by his friends Dulcie and Kit, Joe stalks the killer in the dark niches of the crumbling Pamillon Estate--site of a potentially profitable land venture--where a wild cougar also lurks. Up the coast in San Francisco, gorgeous Kate Osborne has cause to worry when a murderer escapes from prison and comes after her. In addition to humans, someone is killing the cats of San Francisco. Speaking of cats: fans of Joe Grey recognize that he (and Dulcie and Kit) are felines themselves, though capable of communicating with select humans. Cat lovers will cuddle right up to Joe and his pals, but the story has plenty of murder and mayhem for those who like to take their detective fiction straight up. (Jan. 8) FYI: This series has won the Cat Writers Association Muse medallion for three consecutive years.

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Cat Spitting Mad
Cat Spitting Mad
Joe Grey Series, Book 6
Shirley Rousseau Murphy
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