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by Dolores Hitchens

THE CAT SAW MURDER by Dolores Hitchens

"Hitchens’s use of foreshadowing elevates this above similar whodunits. Rachel is an appealing Jessica Fletcher antecedent.” Publishers Weekly

"The mystery is clever, the tone appealing, and Miss Rachel a treasure."—Kirkus

"You will never regret having made the acquaintance of Miss Rachel Murdock."—New York Times

Absolute gem from a pioneering domestic suspense master, this "cat mystery" is the first book in the long-running Rachel Murdock series, finally reissued after over half a century out of print.

Zany and off-beat, this humorous whodunnit is a treat for fans of vintage mysteries, and our edition features an excellent introduction from Joyce Carol Oates that might be the most thoughtful piece of writing on cozy fiction we've ever read.

"You will never regret having made the acquaintance of Miss Rachel Murdock."—New York Times

An elderly woman drugged, a young woman killed, and the cat’s the sole witness…

When Rachel Murdock and her sister Jennifer receive a call for help from their favorite niece, Lilly, in Breakers Beach, CA, they quickly hop a train from Los Angeles to see her ― but not before collecting their prized cat Samantha in a picnic basket and bringing her along for the ride. Samatha, it turns out, is an heiress, the inheritor of a fortune left by a wealthy relative, and so the attempt at the cat’s life, made right after they arrive, comes as a shock. The cat survives, but unfortunately, Lilly, murdered soon thereafter, is not so lucky.

By the time the police arrive, the clues are already falling into place. The source of Lilly’s trouble is revealed to be a gambling debt incurred during an attempt to cheat at bridge, and the suspects in her slaying quickly pile up. But then another corpse is discovered, buried in the nearby sand, and it becomes clear that the killing spree concerns more than just the young lady’s personal money trouble. With the authorities distracted by lurid details, it’s up to Rachel and her furry friend to uncover the subtleties containing the solution to the puzzle.

A prototypical early “cat mystery,” written before the subgenre became a staple of cozy mystery fiction, The Cat Saw Murder is an entertaining and endlessly surprising whodunit with a focus on felines.

Dolores Hitchens (1907–1973) was a highly prolific mystery author who wrote under multiple pseudonyms and in a range of styles. A large number of her books were published under the D. B. Olsen moniker (under which her "Cat" series was originally published), but she is perhaps best remembered today for her later novel, Fool's Gold, published under her own name, which was adapted as Band a part by Jean-Luc Godard.