Finally! The last Joe Grey mystery! (Well, the last one in the series so far…)
The book before this one ended with the promise of new feline characters, but none of them were even alluded to in Cat Deck the Halls and I was pretty disappointed about it. Shirley Rousseau Murphy’s cat characters are much more interesting than her human ones.
Beside that disappointment, the book wasn’t bad. Still not the best written material I’ve read, but definitely an enjoyable cozy. Kit continues to develop into a formidable sleuth, and Murphy keeps tabs on the younger character’s development as well – Lori and Dillan seem to be growing up nicely.
I’m still waiting for Max Harper (the police chief) to figure out who his snitches are – I had hoped that this might be the book in which he does. Whatever else Murphy does with her series, she’s still got that card to play. At some point, Max has to figure it out, and when he does, there’s sure to be a very interesting scene. I suspect I’ll keep reading any new Joe Grey books at least until that happens. In the meantime, another character is in the know, and I was pleased with that development.
Now that I’ve caught up with the series, I feel like I can make broader comments on it. I would recommend it for anybody who loves cats and enjoys cozies (murder mysteries in which the murders aren’t graphic… think PG-13). The easy style of writing would make the books suitable for kids who are more advanced readers – maybe kids who love animals but aren’t quite ready for Brian Jaques Redwall series. They’re not bad books for adults – they are intended for adults, I believe – but I think young adults would enjoy them as well.
I still say that the author has a really neat idea here. I’m a sucker for animals, and talking animals are even more appealing. (Dean Koontz’s book Watchers is an old favorite solely because I’m so enchanted by the idea of a golden retriever with human level intelligence.) Still, I hope that she gets around to writing a Joe Grey book (or a book in the Joe Grey universe) for a higher reading level.