Joe Grey Mystery Book 3
Written by Shirley Rousseau Murphy, Narrated by Susan Boyce
Unabridged Audiobook, Listening Length: 9 hours and 8 minutes
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Audible.com Release Date: January 23, 2013
Winner of the Cat Writers' Association's 1998 Muse Medallion and President's Best-of-the-Best Awards!
In Shirley Rousseau Murphy’s third Joe Grey and Dulcie book, we find our human friends Wilma still happy at the library, Clyde fixing cars. Wilma’s niece Charlie has been evicted and is overflowing with work for her fix it/clean it business with not enough employees to do the jobs, making her day longer and longer.
They are also watching their felines, Joe Grey, owned by bachelor Clyde Damon, and Dulcie, owned by Wilma Getz, beginning to follow a new investigation. The new skills of speech and sentience they acquired not even a year before enables them to participate in various crime investigations without revealing themselves. We are privy to their private conversations and suppositions regarding a plain, old woman who is successfully cat-burgling a variety of homes, most times when the owners are home. We hear the burglar’s thoughts that she doesn’t need the items she steals nor the money she gets fencing the items; she does it all for the thrill. She’s already burgled towns south, so who is she?
Joe is tracking the cat burglar when Clyde brings up his participation in the Pet-a-Pet program at the local senior home. Two afternoons a week a dozen or so pets gather with their owners and provide some pet therapy for residents of Casa Capri. After much disagreement, Clyde finds out that it is Dulcie and Wilma who already participate that push Joe to join them. At the first visit a very young teenager named Dillon brings up her attempts to visit her friend Jane who was a resident in the home but then apparently had a stroke which necessitated her move to the medical wing where no visitors are allowed. However, with no family, Dillon says she should be allowed to visit or at least to have a letter delivered. The answer was always no.
Then one day an obscure cousin of Jane’s is in town and wants to visit. The nurses bring belongings and quilts and things you’d find in a typical room into the room Jane used to live in but which has remained empty. Best foot forward in the appearances to the families. During this visit, Dillon is at Casa Capri and sees a laptop writing desk put into “Jane’s” closet. Dillon recognizes that and sneaks into the room when they remove the patient (is it even Jane?) to take back to the medical wing. Inside the desk Dillon finds a doll which Jane had made. She takes the doll and then gives it to another resident who is also asking about Jane. They could feel a lump under the doll’s dress which is a ragged line of stitching, not Jane’s beautiful work. Inside the doll under those sloppy stitches is a note from Jane to her friend confirming their fears; Jane had been moved against her will and essentially held prisoner in the medical wing.
A local dog shows up at his home with a human finger that came from an historic grave in the Spanish Cemetery next to Casa Capri. This evidence hits Max Harper’s desk when the local paper runs a story on the cat burglar and how she had stolen from 15 homes yet remains free. Wilma and Dillon visit Captain Harper with the news about Jane, the doll, and the letter. Max becomes suspicious of them all especially since they were all so physically close.
Narrator Susan Boyce does a great job of reading this book. She brings the emotions off the page; i.e., Dillon’s worry over her friend Jane is strong and evident. She adds an urgency to find Jane and other missing patients, especially with the finger that was dug up so nearby. My jaw fell open when we learned who the cat burglar was. I cheered when the culprits were caught. Hearing the events take place helps to add to the emotions on the pages and make them more palpable.