Cat Shining Bright: A Joe Grey Mystery by Shirley Rousseau Murphy

Reviewed by Suzanne Odom

Cat Shining BrightHaving never read one of Shirley Rousseau Murphy’s bestselling Joe Grey mysteries before, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. It turns out I was pleasantly surprised by her 20th book in the series. Joe Grey is one of several talking cats in this series of books. That’s right, talking cats! What an interesting concept for a book series. Joe Grey and his feline friends help the local police solve crimes, and only a handful of humans know that they have the ability of speech.

In this book, Joe Grey and his mate Dulcie have become parents to three active and curious kittens, named Striker, Buffin, and Courtney. Will the kittens be able to talk too? Only time will tell if they have this special gift.

Car thieves begin to target the town, and soon Joe Grey, his feline friends Kit and Pan, and the kittens are in the thick of it, assisting their humans in the investigation. Most of those humans are involved in law enforcement, so it’s not the first time the cats have helped solve a crime. It is the first time, Dulcie has not been able to help Joe Grey, since she must stay home and take care of the kittens. She longs to be able to help, but must wait until the kittens are grown.

More mysteries surface as Dulcie’s housemate’s past begins to show up unexpectedly and a stranger is seen lurking outside Wilma’s house. Wilma was once a parole officer and this person looks a lot like a murderer she knew in decades past. Then, a popular beautician is murdered along with a client and the cats must protect their kittens as well as bring the killer to justice.

Will these intertwining mysteries be solved by Joe Grey and the other speaking cats? Will the secret of the talking cats be learned by someone else? Having never read a Joe Grey mystery before, I realize that I should have begun with the first book. I will definitely go back and read the other 19 books in this series. Overall, a great read with an intriguing storyline especially for cat lovers like me.