Book Review: Cat Chase the Moon

Shirley Rousseau Murphy has another chapter in her series featuring the fearless feline detective Joe Grey, “Cat Chase the Moon.” (William Morrow, 273 pages)

Cats are said to have nine lives, but when Joe Grey interrupts a man trying to bury a savagely-beaten woman, the feline protection adds a life to the pathetic victim.

Sadly, the woman, Maurita, is reluctant to testify against the man who nearly killed her. Not even the aid of Buffin, Joe Grey and Dulcie’s healing kitten can help her as she tries to flee her attacker.

But this is not the only crime that has marred the beauty of the idyllic coastal village of Molena Point, California. The area has seen a number of robberies, including a fatal mugging of a local restaurant owner as he was en route to make a bank deposit.

While it may seem an insignificant matter to the local police, there is one minor crime which, nonetheless, ties the malevolence together, in the form of the catnapping of Courtney, the calico kitten with psychic powers who is the daughter of Joe Grey and Dulcie.

Shirley Rousseau Murphy writes a tender mystery as comforting as a gentle cat’s purring. Through her character Joe Grey, she expounds on her philosophy of personalism which celebrates the individual through the eyes of this precocious feline who sees a society unraveling as it travels to “more crime, more fear, less joy.”

At its root, it is a world without friends and family. In this solitary world, the computer reigns supreme.

This is Shirley Rousseau Murphy’s most poignant story which ends with one family discovering a lost daughter and another saying good-bye to a beloved child.

And for the reader, this tale can be an occasion of a treasure found, if he should choose, or to put it more accurately, be chosen, as a protector of the many felines which live in our animal shelters.

Great adventures await the person adopted by a shelter cat!