In the 22nd entry in this remarkably long-lived series, following Dust, three months have passed since Scotland Yard's Richard Jury was left guilt-ridden and bereft after his lover's tragic auto accident. In a village out of his jurisdiction, he has been invited to look into the murder of an elegantly dressed young woman, found behind the Black Cat pub and identified variously as a shy local librarian and a posh escort from the city. Was it a case of mistaken identity? The only witness to the crime was the establishment's feline mascot, and Martha Grimes lets us in on the talk of cats, as well as the thoughts of a dog named Mungo.
"Many reviewers felt obliged to note that a Martha Grimes novel requires a taste both for the British 'cozy' mystery and Britain's particular brand of tongue-in-cheek humor. But it was a taste that all those critics seemed to share; Patrick Anderson of the Washington Post wrote that he would gladly set down more superficially thrilling fare for any of Grimes's books. While some critics raised eyebrows at some of Grimes's odder touches (like the telepathic color commentary by the local dog and cats) and plot twists, all of them recommended The Black Cat and the rest of the Richard Jury series to new readers. Meanwhile, they hinted that longtime fans should be satisfied with how Grimes ties up certain loose ends from previous books."—Bookmarks Magazine