There’s a bad new cat in sleepy little Molena Point: a renegade tom with a penchant for robbery, a scorn for his fellow felines, and a disdain for human laws. And he’s masterminding a crime spree that’s quickly escalating toward murder most foul. Dulcie and Joe Grey both know the score - they’ve seen Azrael in action. But how can they expose the criminal without letting ordinary, untrustworthy humans in on the secret that certain select cats can think - and talk? Cats like them…
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This one started out a little slow - lots of description that at the time didn't make sense and seemed extraneous. After the first hour or so though, things started happening, and the story became the appealing tale I really enjoy. Not quite so many twists and turns as the earlier books, but enough misdirects to make the final solution a surprise. Good listening!
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This fourth entry in the Joe Grey series is a mystery featuring amateur sleuths Joe Grey and Dulcie, two sentient cats who are more than best friends. I think this entry has a line going through it about love, or lack of love, and the various kinds of love. Joe Grey and Dulcie are very much in love and spend as much of their time together as possible. They love to investigate crimes. They must do so carefully since they don’t want to reveal their special abilities of speech and reading. Sound too far gone and unbelievable? Not so in Mrs. Murphy’s skilled hands or in Susan Boyce’s proficient narration.
Wilma’s niece Charlie’s new Clean it, Fix it business was doing well. Under the cats’ silent supervision, she had two employees to whom she was delegating the cleaning and minor repairs – Mavity and Pearl Ann -- while Charlie did the heavier fixing. Both are working at an investment guru’s place who works by computer at home. Pearl Ann just loves what he does with the little bit of money she’s given him to invest, until later when she discovers what he’s actually done with it.
When Mavity disappears, no one knows why or where. The town searches for her until finally a woman is found unconscious in the back seat of her car which has apparently hit a lamp post. Mavity’s worst wound came from a screw driver hitting her, not the car accident, and she has temporarily lost her memory. She is taken to the hospital where she is quickly identified. Afterward Wilma takes Mavity into her home to help her regain her memory. Dulcie comforts Mavity and gathers clues.
Mavity’s brother Greely is in town on a visit, only he has rented a store room as the only place he could find to rent and get drunk. He has an all black cat named Azrael who is evil. He and the other cats do not get along and actually enter several fights. Azrael is also sentient and cruel. He enjoys scaring Dulcie. He actually jumps to attack Mavity, but Dulcie jumps to stop him, and they fight until he runs off.
One action that makes this story explode is made by the investor. He had his doubts about Pearl Ann. Via Dulcie and Joe Grey, we know that Pearl Ann had entered his home with the key she had to clean with, and spent many hours on his computer. He supposedly leaves his home for a short trip, but he hides his car a few blocks away and returns home quietly to find Pearl Ann working on his computer. What follows is rather nasty!
When we finally reach the end when humans and cats all share a picnic, we again visit family ties and how family interacts with each other and outsiders. A few humans leave Molena Point with the possibility of return one day. Molena Point is the better for it.