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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Audio Book Review: Cat Bearing Gifts by Shirley Rousseau

This a nice cozy mystery - good for mystery lovers and purrrrfect for cat lovers.
Cat Bearing Gifts: A Joe Grey Mystery, Book 18
by Shirley Rousseau Murphy (Author), 
Susan Boyce (Narrator)

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 8 hours and 51 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: AudioGO
  • Release Date: November 20, 2012
Genre: Cozy Mystery
My Rating 4.0 of 5.0

A car crash, a missing treasure, a dead thief, and a suspicious blond divorcée have feline P.I. Joe Grey and his four-legged cohorts clawing for justice in this lively new entry in the beloved, award-winning series.
Kate Osborne, a divorcée, reappears with a fortune and a strange story about how she obtained it. Meanwhile, a terrible car crash involves tortoiseshell Kit and her elderly housemates, Lucinda and Pedric Greenlaw. The accident is terrifying enough, but then two mysterious men steal the car - and the secret treasure hidden inside its doors. When one of the thieves ends up dead, Joe must discover if the events are connected - and why. With the investigation in trouble, will they find the killer...or be left chasing their tails?

Kit, a small tortoiseshell cat, is one of five feline friends living with their people in Molina Point, CA. Her humans are Pedric and Lucinda Greenwald who have been given a small fortune by their friend, Kate. The Greenwalds and Kit are returning from San Francisco in a fairly new Lincoln town car with the treasure hidden in the door panels.  An accident occurs with a rock slide when a tracker trailer and pick-up truck jostle down the cliff road and bump them into the rocks.

The two men in the pick-up, Vic and Birely, are drifters and low level thieves.  They attack the elderly couple and steal the car. Birely happens to have a connection to the property of another of the cats’ human friends, Emmy Lou.  Vic and Birely have been secretly camping out in a stone building behind the house that Emmy Lou inherited from Birely’s murdered sister. Birely felt deprived of his inheritance and he is sure there is money hidden on the property.

Other friends are pulled in to rescue Kit and the Greenwalds. The cats are angry at the injuries suffered by Pedric and Lucinda and soon they are suspicious of the behavior of the men sneaking around Emmy Lou’s house. It is fun to listen as the cats are smuggled into the hospitals. The cats have all the pieces of the puzzle if only they can get the information together and to their humans to take action.

The story is told in third person, often from the view of the cats with many first person cat thoughts interspersed, creating a fun perspective. The reader/listener also gets to follow the thoughts and actions of criminals so we know what is going on and are waiting for the cats and humans to catch the bad guys before worse things happen. Since the author reveals the actions of the criminals as the story proceeds this is not so much a mystery to solve but for the reader to watch it being solved.  Joe Grey, the apparent star of the series, only plays a small role in solving this mystery.

I enjoyed the coincidences that tied all the characters together. I had a little trouble at first sorting out the cats and their connections but once I outlined them it was easy to follow the group of friends -- human and feline. There is also a relationship upheaval  between Kit and her true love, the red tom cat, Pan, that adds to the story. I enjoyed the mystery and the interactions.  I would listen to more from the series if I find time. This one works out fine as a stand alone.

Audio notes: I enjoyed the easy narration style. It fit well with the cozy genre of the story. It was fun to share the different cat and human attributes through their voices. I think the audio enhanced the story for me.

This is an example of cute humor from one of the cats.
He was sure she thought the old place was as empty as a clean-licked tuna can.  Disc 7.
I received this to review for AudioGo through AudioBook Jukebox.
This story is set in California for 2013 Where Are You Reading. This is also a new author for me.

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