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Mystery of the Green Cat Paperback – 1959
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"There is a great deal of hostility between Jill and Carol Spencer and their stepbrothers until the mysterious events taking place in the old Victorian house next door distract them.."
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Top Customer Reviews
The book centers around two adolescents, a boy and a girl. Like the Bradys of TV fame, they have each lost one of their birth-parents and have been brought together by the marriage of the surviving parents to eachother. At first, there is friction between the two, but they find a common interest after an encounter with two elderly sisters who live together in a huge, old victorian mansion on San Francisco's Russian Hill. A statuette in the form of a green cat is the focus of the mystery. Through it the author introduces the exotic past of one of the sisters involving a handsome, long dead husband, the 1923 Tokyo earthquake, asian antiquities and other things to fascinate the mind.
The book is a good, clean read for young people. Although, since it was written in the 1950's some kids may find it hard to identify with the main characters. If you are an adult who was lucky enough to encounter it as a child, it is well worth the price for a trip down memory lane. On the other hand, adults reading it for the first time may find it, well, too juvenile.
This book features Molly Hunt, an author of mystery novels herself. During her most recent trip to meet with her publisher in New York City, Molly is shocked when a visitor from the south claims that she looks exactly like the woman he is engaged to marry back home! This man, Charles, insists to Molly that she is Cecelia Mountfort, twin sister of Amelia Mountfort, and that she was kidnapped as a baby. Molly, who was adopted when only a year old and who knows nothing of her birth family, agrees to follow Charles back to Charleston, SC to meet the Mountfort family for herself.
As is typical for a Whitney mystery, the plot gradually thickens; secrets are uncovered, and at least one murder is committed prior to the end of the book. These days, I don't usually read mysteries or romances, but Whitney does a nice job blending the two styles (with more of an emphasis on the former). For me, reading this book was a blast from the past that I thoroughly enjoyed.
A diversion brings a new development in the family's problems. There are some exciting rumors about the people who live in the old Victorian house next door. Roger Dallas even suggests that there might be a mystery locked behind its forbidding walls. When a rock shatters a window in the girls' room and a strange note about a green cat is found, Jill and Andy decide to investigate. Jill meets Hana Tamura, a Japanese girl whose parents work for the people in the mysterious mansion. Hana has been forbidden to be friendly with anyone in the neighborhood, and when Jill asks about the green cat, the effect on Hana is electric. One thrilling adventure follows upon another and Andy and Jill make some startling discoveries.
This is a strange and suspenseful story in which the author has caught the atmosphere and Oriental heritage of San Francisco. The smell of camphor, incense, and dust intermingle within its pages. But MYSTERY OF THE GREEN CAT is more than a fine mystery. . . it is a story of the adjustment that four young people make to each other and to a new family relationship.
As a 4th grade student, I read this Phyllis Whitney, San Francisco-based adventure story. Though the specific details escape me; I can feel the suspense and intrigue wash over me much as the fog city by the Bay in her novel. Two teen-age sleuths learn about friendship, family, history and the mysteries of the Japanese culture in this charming story...I can't wait to revisit the "Green Cat" and once again discover the secrets it holds! A must for any mystery lover 9 years old and up!
As the story progresses, Molly learns about her biological family, and finds that there are some deep secrets that may have eventually led to her adoption years ago. The big shocking secret is that her adoption may have been a result of a kidnapping, and for some reason the family seems to know about the crime but refuses to shed light on it.
As she learns about these family secrets, her life starts to take a turn for the worse, as she finds herself in danger and a target for murder.
I really enjoyed this novel by Phyllis Whitney. I've been a fan of hers for over 20 years now, and her novels still have the same impact they had on me way back when. She hasn't lost her touch. Ms Whitney knows how to write a good romance mystery and is probably the best in the genre.