A Cat with the Blues Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of A Cat with the Blues

Alice Nestleton is an out of work actress and cat-lover who makes ends meet by cat sitting. To her great delight, she lands well-paying job that is the result of a contentious divorce case. Sidney and Beatrice Woburn, both wealthy and successful in their own right, are fighting tooth and nail over every single, tiny piece of property they own, including their Russian Blue cat. They have two children, Rachel, an out-of-work comedienne, and The lawyers decide that they will hire a cat sitter so the cat can remain in the spacious 26th floor apartment in New York City, along with all the furniture and other items being bickered over. Her job is to feed the cat and keep her company for 1 hour and 45 minutes per day. For her, a dream job, until the first murder.
Click here to see the rest of this review

Throughout the book we get to know her cats, and her perspectives on cats and life. We find that her three best friends are currently involved in their own lives and unavailable to Alice for support. To her delight, Elias, a part-time doorman at the client's building, is an out-of-work actor that she used to work with. When the story opens, she is buying new toys for her current client Frenchie, the cat, and we are introduced to her daily duties and relationship with the cat.

The story gets interesting when she arrives at the highrise and finds a letter from Beatrice instructing her to go to a specific bodega and purchase special food for Frenchie for her birthday present. A check is enclosed and the food is to be delivered. After handling her daily duties, she goes to order the food. While in the store, a man in a Lone Ranger mask comes in and demands money. She and another woman are the only ones in the store, and when the other woman startles the robber, the owner jumps in front of Alice, is shot and killed. They both give their descriptions to the police, but Alice convinces herself that she was the target.

Shortly after the robbery, Elias and his girlfriend, Terry Ray, who wears bizarre makeup and likes antique clothes, come to visit Alice to console her after the terrible robbery/homicide. Alice tells Elias that she thinks she was the target and Terry Ray begins laughing. Then Elias confides in Alice that Beatrice, after having been scratched by her own cat, believed that Alice was turning the cat against her. Alice, fearing that the woman was trying to have her killed over the incident, goes to her lawyer A.G. Roth, and tells him she is quitting. He invites her for dinner and he invites her back to his apartment. She declines, but is strangely drawn to him.

Within days of the robbery, the police nab the perpetrator and Alice and the other shopper identify him in the lineup. Then Elias is found dead after a robbery attempt, with a counterfeit copy of Alice's drivers license on him. Alice, noticing the coincidences and getting increasingly convinced of a conspiracy, contacts her friend Sam, the mystery writer, who tries to convince her there are no coincidences. In the meantime, A.G. calls Alice and invites her to dinner.

Through the rest of the book, A.G. and Alice's relationship become more intimate, and Alice continuously questions this, and her fear of a conspiracy, then Frenchie disappears and is replaced by an alley cat. At this point, Alice and Sam are convinced there is something bigger going on that the NYPD will never find. They spend the rest of the book, looking for connections between the parties and finding many. Rachel was once part of a comedic act with Terry Ray. She sees A.G. and Rachel dressed up to go to a reception together, and Rachel is wearing a stunning antique dress. There was a fire in a store that sells antique wedding dresses that burned out a gallery where Beatrice's art was on display. They finally cook up a plan to trap the persons that have ruined Alice's easy and lucrative gig and made her feel like fool with A.G., as she is now convinced he is involved. Or is he?

Best part of story, including ending: I like that Alice immediately jumps to conclusions that happen to be right, though everyone around her says she's wrong. I also like that she keeps questioning herself, though she sticks with her instincts.

Best scene in story: My favorite scene was when she brought the rubber bands and got Frechie, the cat who always seemed too above normal play, to play with them.

Opinion about the main character: What I didn't like about her was that she seemed so insecure about men and what to do.

The review of this Book prepared by Julie Segraves a Level 3 Eurasian Jay scholar

Chapter Analysis of A Cat with the Blues

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 70%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   very humorous Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) Kid or adult book?    -   Ages 7-14 Any non-mystery subplot?    -   animal antics Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   actor Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like A Cat with the Blues

Lydia Adamson Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian