Readers and reviewers alike have consistently praised multiple-award-winning author Shirley Rousseau Murphy for her absorbing plots, her charming, lyrical prose, and most of all, her delightful and highly realistic feline sleuths - the wily tomcat Joe Grey, his best pal Dulcie, and their tattercoat friend Kit. Now Murphy has created her most compelling novel to date: the murder of a much-beloved actress and the havoc it uncovers in an unsuspecting town.
The appealing small village of Molena Point, California, offers a cozy refuge from the harsher realities of life and serves as a restful retreat for film star Patty Rose, who has retired among its oaks and cottages. Buying an inn where travelers' pets, too, are made welcome, Patty settles down to enjoy her golden years. But as the town gathers to honor her and to celebrate her old films, Patty is brutally murdered - and only a tortoiseshell cat named Kit hears the three shots fired.
Leaping from the window of the penthouse suite that Kit shares with her adopted humans and scrambling down a flowering vine, Kit is the first to discover Patty's dead body sprawled on the inn's dark back stairs. Glimpsing the killer, she sets out to track him. But soon, as sirens scream and the police arrive, so do Kit's feline pals, Joe Grey and Dulcie.
Finding only Kit's scent and sure that she's headed for trouble, Joe and Dulcie follow her. But Dulcie must also put aside her own secret - a runaway young girl she's been helping to hide in the local library. She won't learn until later that the child may be, in a grisly and convoluted scenario, connected to Patty's murder. This, along with the discovery of hidden graves, a kidnapping, and the secrets of a dying woman, deal the cats a full set of clues that soon have them clawing out the truth.