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    Review of CAT BREAKING FREE by Shirley Rousseau Murphy (see her website)


    HarperCollins, December 2005

    Joe Grey and the other talking cats of Molena Point, California, are suspicious when beautiful Chichi moves next door to Joe's person and starts making moves on him. Chichi had stolen five hundred dollars from him earlier--was she interested in stealing more now? Or did she have some other motive--one connected with the obsessive way she watched the Molena Point shops, taking notes on who left when, and what guards were available? Joe's life gets a lot more complicated when he learns that someone is trapping wild cats--specifically the wild cats that made up the pack (clowder) that Kit, one of the three Molena Point talking cats, had once belonged to.

    The Molena Point police are used to getting tips from unnamed informants who seem to observe things no human could observe, but this time, it's the cats who might need help from the cops, rather than the other way around. Because the thieves planning a major crime spree in Molena Point are the same criminals who are capturing sapient cats, planning on selling them for some television show or Hollywood movie. And they aren't going to limit themselves to just wild cats--Joe, Dulcie, and the Kit are targets as well.

    Author Shirley Rousseau Murphy (see more reviews of novels by Murphy) delivers another of her charming talking-cats stories. Despite Chichi's interference, the romantic lives of the human characters are settling down. Charlie is newly married to Chief of Police Max Harper, and Clyde is dating Ryan. The lives of the cats are in more of a disarray. The Kit longs for the wildness of her youth, despite the attraction that human love offers--along with the human food she craves. Joe Gray and Dulcie feel a responsibility for the wild sapient cats who have been captured, and of course, the need to learn what secrets Chichi is hiding.

    Fans of this series will enjoy CAT BREAKING FREE. I don't recommend starting with this book if you're new to the series, though. Too much of the enjoyment comes from seeing how characters you've grown to love are adjusting to the happiness in their lives.

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 5/17/06

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