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Cat on the Edge (Joe Grey #1)

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  1,090 ratings  ·  106 reviews
It's been quite a week for Joe Grey. First the large, powerfulfeline discovers that, through some strange, inexplicable phenomenon, he now has the ability to understand human language. Then he discovers he can speak it as well! It's a nightmare for a cat who'd prefer to sleep the day away carefree, but Joe can handle it. That is, until he has the misfortune to witness a mu ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published January 1st 1996)
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Joe Grey is a big old tomcat that likes nothing better than to sleep the day away in a patch of sunlight, carouse a little, tease his furry housemates, cuddle with his owner and, hunt at night. On one particular night he witnesses a murder and for some unknown reason the assailant is very insistent to leave no witnesses. Not even a cat! Shortly after that strange things start happening … Joel discovers he suddenly has the ability to fully understand human speech … and he can read … and, unbeliev ...more
I'm not usually a big fan of books that require a good deal of suspension of belief, but I found Joe Gray , the cat, to be an exception to that reasoning within this book. I thoroughly enjoyed the 'unbelief', the complete knowledge of cat behaviors, and an interesting and believable mystery.

Joe Gray has lived a purrrrrfectly splendid life after coming to live with Clyde, who found him almost dead on the streets of Molena Point. Then one day, Joe realized that he could talk and read like a human
Lisa Kay
★★★★☆ This was a really weird book that went off on tangents occasionally. Nevertheless, I couldn't stop reading it a little bit every night, if only to find out where it was leading.
Sarah Sammis
I hope the second book is better. I liked The Catsworld Portal but this book just bugged me. The author spends 80% of the book lovingly describing what it must be like to be a cat. There are multiple redundant scenes about what cats eat, how cats hunt, how cats groom themselves. Then there is the character who flip flops between being a cat and a human. One could do a drinking game based around each and every time she changes form. I'm just hoping now that the world has been established that the ...more
You know what was great about this book? It was like other talking animal books. This cat was a cat to the core... not some sophisticated animal hybrid, but a to the bones grumpy tom cat.
Imagine you're cat suddenly talking to you one day, and having really nothing special to say but how he would really like some tuna, or he'll scratch your couch, and hey "Are you having another girl over tonight? That was fun last time" The cat is suddenly no longer cute and cuddly... he's like a fat guy with n
Shelley Kresan
Are you able to not take yourself seriously and suspend belief in order to just have a fun read with a bowl of popcorn and maybe a cat or three on your lap? Try it. I tried to explain this book to my husband and he laughed and said, "Whatever dear."

Okay, note to self: Never try to explain anything that is fiction to that man. Doubly so if the book is fantasy, metaphysical or about animals. The man doesn't even like Watership Down.

Shirley Murphy seems to be able to understand the essence of what
Couldn't get through this book about cats who witness a murder and who can also talk and read. When another character becomes I cat, I gave up! (and I even like cats).
Jul 06, 2014 Cheryl marked it as library-wishlist  ·  review of another edition
Ironically, other reviews, particularly Sammi's:, that *complain* about too much cat's inner life and too much world-building and not enough mystery, make me *want* to read this. I love to learn what other people think about critters' points-of-view, I love world-building, and I can't abide mysteries....

I'm considering this because I just enjoyed Silver Woven In My Hair, a lovely 'tween fairy tale.
Cat on the Edge had some rough edges. I liked it well enough to get the second book in the series to see if the writing improves. I have not written a novel myself, but to me this one felt like the author had a good idea and a plot but that it needed a few more re-writes to fill in the outline and smooth out the flow. I do think the story captured a lot of what it might be like to be a cat, and even a cat who mysteriously became able to speak aloud in English, like a human. However, I found the ...more
Marguerite Vlielander
The Joe Grey’s mysteries.

From a friend I got my first ‘Joe Grey Mystery’. I will be thankful to her forever. The lovely books from Shirley Rousseau Murphy became my most favorite Cat Detectives. I adore them. They are so wonderful!

Joe Grey is a beautiful and very intelligent tomcat, but he can be very stubborn when he sets his mind to it. There is trouble in the little village Molena Point where Joe, his mate Dulcie, Kit and their people live. The humans, who should be on the case don’t seem to
Robert Palmer
A tomcat named Joe witnessed a murder,the killer spotted the cat and tried to catch him. What the hell did the killer think? Did he think the cat would be able to pick him out of a lineup? Maybe testify against him at the trial? However I kept on reading.It wasn't very many more pages,when the cat started talking and soon made a phone call to his owner,Clyde. At this point I had enough, I felt that the author had crossed a line , a line that I couldn't follow. On page 56 I put the book down fore ...more
This book really separates the cat lovers from the rest of us. There's a lot to swallow here ... cats making phone calls? woman changing into a cat? If you can accept that and more, it's not a bad little mystery. The plus is Murphy's insights into the mind and actions of a cat. I usually vote on the dog ballot, but I have to say that the author is very convincing and certainly knows what she's writing about.
Audrey Stephens
This is the first of the Joe Grey mysteries by this author. In this book (spoiler alert) Joe (the cat) finds himself evolving into a talking cat who has human thoughts and emotions. Joe teams up with Dulcie, a cat with abilities similar to his, and with Kate, a human who can shape-change into a cat, to help police solve a murder mystery. This is a compelling and fun read with good characters.
Sufficiently entertaining for me to make it the whole way through the book. Really simplistic and a bit forced in the way it constructed and described the cat-human thing. I chose to read this book because I wanted something lite and it was definitely that! I did not feel inspired or connected to the story or characters in any way. Was happy when the book ended. It was a cute idea, but not really my thing at all.
I was expecting a cozy mystery but this book had too much grittiness to qualify for that. There was also a fantasy element to it, which surprised me. I will most likely read a few more in the series, to get a better feel for the main characters and see where the fantasy element goes. I neither loved nor disliked this book. Perhaps I would have enjoyed it more if I wasn't expecting quaintness, gentle humour and idealistic settings, as you would find in some other cat sleuth book series.
Feb 11, 2014 Betty rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cats, mystery, paranormal
Joe & Dulcie both witnessed the same murder separately. The murderer sees them and tries kill each of them. Joe has learn he can understand & speak human language. He is frighten about this. Meanwhile Dulcie has an experience with the murderer & flees her home. They meet hiding & afraid to go home. I like the conversation between Clyde & Joe on the telephone. Enter a cat under the dock who remember how she got there. Later Kate Osborn enters the story. Clyde, Wilma, Joe, Dulc ...more
Light reading, nice bedtime reading but I think the story needed more basic background information and because of this, the story is enjoyable but is lacks a persuasive value. I was disappointed with the lack of information given about the cat/human transition - things I feel should have been discussed in this first book of a series. I will read the next book in this series
Pamela Dailey
Mar 25, 2014 Pamela Dailey rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Pamela by: Gayle Harris, owner of Books & Crannies, Terrell, TX
I fell in love with Joe Grey and with Ms. Murphy's writing style when I read, on page 11, the sentence that let me know that Ms. Murphy absolutely understands cats.

After a brisk run-for-his-life, Joe rests in a tree. "He sat shivering on the branches, so upset he didn't even wash."
(Mystery-Cat 1996) Book 1 Joe Grey This is the first book of the Joe Grey series, of which I have read a few out of order. Finally, to find out what it is all about! Obviously, I've enjoyed the ones I have read, but did not "get" the series theme. So Joe Grey is a cat who, after a rather hard beginning, finds himself able to understand, talk, and read human language. His human is a bit surprised but agreeable to the change of realities. After someone is murdered in front of Joe, he starts lookin ...more
I liked these books immediately. I liked being in the cats heads for part of the book as they discover they can talk and then solve the mystery. It didnt feel like a young reader's book, though I think it would be enjoyed by some. It also doesnt have the feel of a murder mystery book, probably because you know the killer all along and the trip you take to see him come to justice is the fun part. The characters are interesting and distinct, and not so many that you need a playbook to keep track o ...more
It just didn't draw me in and I read Terry Goodkind, Douglas Adams, Neil Gaiman and Stephen R. Donaldson. I'm totally comfortable with fantasy. Maybe it was the author's style but it didn't flow for me.
Dena Hobbs


Fresh idea for cat lovers. Well written and engaging. Emotional and exciting. I have found my newest series. Cried and cheered.
Pat Beard
Took a bit to get into -- and a lot of suspension of disbelief. Once you accept the premise it is a quick and enjoyable read. I'll read the rest of the series.
Cute in parts, but a little to bizarre for my tastes in other parts. Since this was the first in the Joe Grey series, I try the 2nd book.
Aug 07, 2011 Margaret added it
Shelves: 2006
This one took me a while to get into - I found the first third of the book very disjointed. And of course, it was really partially a fantasy with talking cats and a woman who could turn into a cat, so you had to suspend belief quite a bit ... the mystery itself was somewhat transparent - there wasn't a lot that Joe and Dulcie hadn't figured out - not many surprises. Still if you're a cat lover and like mysteries this might be the book for you. It was a fast read and not unpleasant but I'm not su ...more
Talking cats! What more can you say, really? Very silly but enjoyable.
Russ Cross
Mar 24, 2014 Russ Cross rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of the Cozy Mystery genre.
I really enjoyed this book. I loved the cats-eye view of the world. I'd love to get more in this series. It was fun.
I disliked this book so much that I didn't finish it, which is very unusual for me. I could not accept the fiction of talking cats and the humans who collude with them in solving crimes. Beside this ridiculous premise, I found much too much time spent on giving back story on the uninteresting recurring characters and their interactions. I like cats, but not these!
Traci Haley
This book was... weird. Good. But weird. It took me a good portion of the book to come to terms with talking cats and shape-shifting ladies. Which is odd, considering I accept those sort of things when it comes to the Sookie Stackhouse books. I guess because this was a traditional mystery set in the "real" world, it was harder. In any case, I did end up enjoying the mystery enough to keep reading the series. The plot was a little tamer than I usually like my mysteries, but it was still a nice, " ...more
I didn't actually finish this; got almost halfway through and just lost interest. It's not that I dislike talking intelligent cats. I've read and enjoyed several books that feature them. And my furry lord and master is very intelligent and quite articulate. But Murphy spent most of the first half of book making her cat characters into people, not only talking and reasoning, but discussing philosophy, exhibiting human emotions, and pretty much losing most of their cat characteristics. I found mys ...more
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#bookchat: Rate It! 6 4 Apr 10, 2014 10:46AM  
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Shirley Murphy grew up in southern California, riding and showing the horses her father trained. She attended the San Francisco Art institute, and later worked as an interior designer while her husband attended USC. "When Pat finished school, I promptly quit my job and began to exhibit paintings and welded metal sculpture in the West Coast juried shows." Her work could also be seen in many traveli ...more
More about Shirley Rousseau Murphy...
The Catswold Portal Cat Under Fire (Joe Grey #2) Cat Raise the Dead (Joe Grey #3) Cat in the Dark (Joe Grey #4) Cat To The Dogs (Joe Grey #5)

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