Theda feels moved to help out with the effort. But as she and her buddy, Violet, race to save the half-wild felines from the freezing New England winter, they uncover simmering tensions among the extremist organization that make the activist's death seem more than accidental. Theda tries to hang on to her journalistic objectivity, but when the threats become more personal, and her beloved cat, Musetta, goes missing, she will risk her reputation, her career, and possibly her life to solve these mysteries once and for all.
An unexpected delight! It seemed like an ordinary mystery-with-cats. But within the first few pages, you and the author have become co-conspirators in the enjoyment of a well-written, intelligent mystery read by a perfectly-matched narrator. It's set in Cambridge, MA (okay, Cambridgeport, an entirely different place than Cambridge, despite being part of the same city), primarily in the garage-band club scene, with cat-rescue being another thread in the story. The characters are well-drawn, the plot not predictable and all the subplots satisfactorily tied up at the end. The writing itself (apart from the plots and character crafting) is a pleasure to read, and the narrator enhances it beautifully.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
Would you try another book from Clea Simon and/or Tavia Gilbert?
Simon was an author who came up in my search for “cat mysteries”. However, I would not really call this a cat mystery. I will dispute both cat and mystery. The person who dies in the beginning of the book is trying to relocate a feral cat colony, and the main character Theda has a cat she talks about a lot named Musetta. We hear about how cute Musetta is and get long descriptions of the two playing with a foil ball and such. But there is nothing else cat about the book. And as far as the mystery, we solve the mystery of the cat relocator’s death at the end of this book, but Theda isn't actually investigating it. She's doing a lot of different things in her role as a freelance writer but I wouldn't say she was investigating this. The plot is so all over the place I am not sure what this book is about. And truthfully, I really don't like Theda very much. She's 33 years old and hasn't really grown up. Her main source of income is a column she writes for the newspaper called "Clubland" about the local music scene. So her "job" is mainly to hang out at clubs - but she isn't even a real rock critic. Her cop boyfriend seems too good for her, and her friends are just people I can't relate to at all - a lesbian punk rocker who also runs a shelter and a Wiccan named Bunny. And Theda is very pushy and nosy, but also annoyingly naive. Like she refuses to believe a person could have been slipped a drug at a club - insisting it must be a virus. Part of it may be the narrator, but I am thinking the narrator is probably doing a great job - that I just don't like Theda.
I learned this is book 3 in a series of a bunch of these. Now I feel extra disappointed that I don't like this book. It just isn't interesting to me to hear about the club scene in Cambridge, MA or to hear long description of playing with a cat. You know what else is starting to bore me? Descriptions of winter in Cambridge, but that is only partially Simon's fault since coincidentally, the last book I read was also set in Cambridge in the winter, where, guess what? It's really cold. And icy.
Well, the end of the book was better than the rest of it. And everything did pull together at the end. I will give this author another chance since it looks like I picked one of the less interesting of her books. Still, I am not sure about a mystery wherein no one is really trying to solve it, but it gets solved anyway.
What did you love best about Cries and Whiskers?
I liked all the useful tips about feral cats, and cat care tips. I have many feral cats I've tamed and care for so its been very helpful. Don't let anyone tell you that a feral cat can't be tamed. They can, in their pussy cat hearts they all want a safe shelter, food, and love. Just like people.
What did you like best about this story?
I enjoyed the cat rescue theme of the story the best.
Which scene was your favorite?
I loved it when Theda was unrelenting in rescuing Musetta from the cupboard, risking her own life to do so.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
The terror and sheer anguish Theda experienced when she came home to find Musetta missing.
Any additional comments?
I did enjoy this book very much and did review it online in some depth. Tavia Gilbert, rescued this book with her amazing narration. I mean that in the sense that I was disappointed that Theda was not solving crimes by psychic communication with her cat. Otherwise it was a good story and Ms. Gilbert added just the right punch to it.