Short Notes: Death of a Stray Cat by Jean Potts (1955)

Marcella Eweing’s body is found in the house of bookseller Alex Blair. As the chief of police, Ed Fuller, investigates he finds that Marcella had a string of lovers including Alex. This comes as a shock to Alex’s wife Gen who leaves him while she tries to come to terms with Alex’s infidelity. Meanwhile more of Marcella’s sad life is revealed with her being in one abusive relationship after another. But who would go to the extent of killing her? Her violent husband or one of her lovers? Besides Alex, who in the small community had been Marcella’s lovers? And what could have been the motive behind killing somebody as defenceless as Marcella? Potts keeps one guessing till the end.

It is interesting to note that the novel has quite a few characters who wouldn’t be considered ‘normal’. Mentally vacuous or physically deformed, they were the most interesting characters in the whole novel while the main characters were more or less unpleasant. Strangely enough, both the victim and her murderer had my sympathies.

Have you read the novel? How did you find it?


First Line: It was deserted, this stretch of beach, except for the girl…

Publishing Details: NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1955

First published: 1955

Pages: 191

Source: Open Library

Other Opinions: Chocolate Cobwebs

Other books read of the same author: Go, Lovely Rose; The Little Lie; My Brother’s Killer

5 thoughts on “Short Notes: Death of a Stray Cat by Jean Potts (1955)

  1. I have indeed read this. It’s her most traditional detective story, but oddly it is my least favorite of her books. The ending doesn’t do it for me. Unlike some of other powerhouses mystery novels. Have you got a hold of any of the Jean Potts 2-in-1 reprints from Stark House? Those are four of her best books. Intros by yours truly! 😀


    1. I didn’t enjoy it much either, John. The main characters were not appealing. I didn’t get the Stark House reprints so missed out on your intros but if you read the other post on Jean Potts linked above, I have mentioned your role in getting them back to print. You deserve a big round of applause for that effort, John.;)


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