“Jean Potts won the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar for her 1954 first novel, Go, Lovely Rose… her second novel, Death of a Stray Cat is even better. Formally, this is an unusually well-constructed detective story, [yet] its virtues are even more novelistic than deductive: …a wonderful feeling for the niceties of character interplay and the pecking order in human relationships, and…an infusion of irony and compassion.”—Anthony Boucher, The New York Times
From the book:
“She started a hoarse scream, turned it into a whimper as the fingers twisted and dug into her arm. There was no one to hear, anyway. From over by the fireplace came the sprightly chirp of a cricket. No other sound, except their panting, hers and his.
“No. Please...No,” she whispered.
“Why did you have to come?” he asked again. “I can’t stand it. Don’t you see? I have to.” The fingers moved up her two arms, encircled, almost tenderly, her long, pulsing throat...”
When they found her, not long afterward, Alex recognized her at once. It was Marcella. But how could he explain now to Gwen, his wife standing beside him, about the dead girl; about his strange, quickly ended affair with her of the summer before?
It would be impossible to explain to anyone that in a way he understood the reason for her murder. For Marcella had been the congenital victim, “one of those stray cats who always try to follow you home.”