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Monday, June 12, 2023

The Cat Saw Murder by Dolores Hitchens (1939): A Murder Mystery #ReadingTheMeow2023

🐈 Samantha is probably the richest cat in the world. The black cat is an heiress of a wealthy eccentric lady, inheritor of quite a fortune! Now she lives with Rachel Murdock, the deceased lady's (Agatha) sister.

🐈 Rachel is a seventy years old spinster, living in a village with her sister Jennifer, also a spinster. Their ordinary peaceful days is interrupted when Rachel receives a letter from her step-niece, Lily, calling for help. So, go Miss Rachel and Samantha the cat to Breakers Beach, California, to stay at a shabby boarding house where Lily lives.

🐈 Lily is a gambler and in desperate need of cash. She has a share of her aunt's inheritance, but she can only get that after Samantha's death. So, when Miss Rachel found that a poisoning attempt had been made towards the cat, we had suspicion of whodunnit, right? Is Lily a murderer, then? Not of the cat, surely, since she will see a murder - as indicated in the title, but maybe the guy that went missing? The guy (fellow resident) to whom it seems Lily has a crush? Or perhaps deeper than that? Whoever it may be, there is indeed something sinister going on in the house.

🐈 Then Lily herself was murdered, while Miss Rachel was drugged at Lily's bedside when she's visiting her niece's room. Lieutenant Mayhew is the formal investigator of the case, but the real sleuth is, of course, Miss Rachel - a calm, intelligent old lady who'll remind you instantly of Miss Marple. Though Miss Rachel is much more agile than Miss Marple. It's amazing to read how she heaves herself up the attic to spy on the other residents through a hole in their attics!

🐈 However smart and agile Miss Rachel is, she wouldn't solve the case without Samantha. The dear cat has a trusting personality, and likes to follow people. When the murder was committed, she's the only witness, though of course she can't tell it to anyone. But by following the murderer out of the room, Miss Rachel later notices something which shouldn't have been there. And that turns out to be an important clue to the case.

🐈 This is a combination of a gripping murder thriller with a cozy mystery of a charming amateur sleuth and her cat. It also has the Golden Age crime fiction vibes, being published in 1939. The plot is reasonable, spiced with some thrilling action near the end, and good investigation from the police. Though I've guessed the murderer correctly from the beginning, it's still an entertaining crime story to read. I loved the charming Rachel Murdock and the grubby Lieutenant Mayhew. I wish to see more of this unlikely partnership, with Samantha purring and meowing every now and then, preferably in the most critical moment.

Rating: 4,5 / 5

Getting to know the Meow:

My name is Samantha.
I am very rich, I am an heiress of a wealthy lady.
I love following people around, no matter who they are.
My contribution to the story: I witnessed a murder, and then following the murderer around. It's up to Miss Rachel (she's the nice smart lady who takes care of me) to notice anything amiss with me after that, and solving the mystery. I can't tell her who the murderer is, she can't speak my language!


  1. I love the sound of this one. The fact that Miss Rachel is much like Miss Marple is also very appealing, and the cat Samantha sounds like one who will end up revealing some clues. Thanks so much for this review :) It is also a series which I haven't read yet so will certainly be looking up soon!

    1. I was hooked instantly when Miss Rachel made an appearance. So loveable and witty old lady! And Samantha is an amiable cat too. Hope you will enjoy the series when you get to read it.

  2. I love the sound of Miss Rachel solving this one with the help of Samantha, the wealthy cat. I wonder if my library has a copy of this one.

    1. And fortunately, Miss Rachel and Samantha's adventure didn't end in this book. They will appear again in 12 other books! Hope you'll having a fun read when you find the book!

  3. That sounds just my kind of mystery. I'm a great fan of Miss Marple. By the way, this is Nira. I can't seem to post a comment through my Google account.


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