Synopses & Reviews
New York Times
bestselling authors Rita Mae Brown and her feline partner, Sneaky Pie Brown, return with a new mystery starring Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen, the sleuthing cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, and corgi Tee Tucker. But are they any match for a killer whos made an entire town suspect by committing…
Autumn has arrived in cozy Crozet, Virginia, and that means the towns inhabitants are hard at work in home and garden preparing for winter. Harry is planning to harvest her first crop of Petit Manseng grapes along with her beloved sunflowers. Meanwhile, her recent marriage to Fair and her friendship with Deputy Cynthia Cooper, whos rented nearby Blair Farm, are flourishing. But even when peace descends on the idyllic countryside, murder is lurking.
Mrs. Carla Paulson is one of the diamond-encrusted “come-here” set who has descended on Crozet with plenty of wealth and no feeling for country ways. Shes determined to make her new house the envy of all her well-heeled friendsand enemiesand shes hired architect Tazio Chappers to build it.
From the start, the projectand Mrs. Paulsonturns into a major headache relieved only by a side trip to study Thomas Jeffersons extraordinary summer home at Poplar Forest. Harry couldnt foresee that a day later Mrs. Paulson would be found stabbed to death at a gala fund-raiser with Harrys friend, Tazio Chappers, standing over her, holding the knife.
Now Harry must solve what seems to everyone else an open-and-shut case. Every other human, that is. For her four-legged friends see it Harrys way. But will they have to choose between catching the purrfect killer or saving Harry?
"At the start of bestseller Brown's uneven 15th Mrs. Murphy Mystery (after 2007's Puss 'n Cahoots), Mary Minor 'Harry' Haristeen, the former postmistress of Crozet, Va., is saddened to hear that a local ob-gyn has been killed either by a resentful friend, who thought the doc had once slept with his wife, or by prolife fanatics who were angered by his willingness to perform abortions. Next, a wealthy middle-aged woman is murdered at a fund-raiser. Harry's friend Tazio Chappars appears to be the most likely suspect, but Harry is sure of Tazio's innocence and begins to wonder if the two deaths are connected. Character development is frustratingly thin, and rather than exploiting the rich Virginia setting, Brown's local color extends only to superficial clichs (wealthy Virginia women wear understated jewelry, and the ladies with the flashiest gems are tacky new money). Harry's three pets, who pop up having testy, italicized conversations, are generally a distraction, not integral to the novel. Still, the well-paced plot builds to an unpredictable and complex conclusion." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Rita Mae Brown is the bestselling author of several books. An Emmy-nominated screenwriter and poet, she lives in Afton, Virginia.
Sneaky Pie Brown, a tiger cat born somewhere in Albemarle County, Virginia, was discovered by Rita Mae Brown at her local SPCA. They have collaborated on fifteen previous Mrs. Murphy mysteries: Wish You Were Here; Rest in Pieces; Murder at Monticello; Pay Dirt; Murder, She Meowed; Murder on the Prowl; Cat on the Scent; Pawing Through the Past; Claws and Effect; Catch as Cat Can; The Tail of the Tip-Off; Whisker of Evil; Cats Eyewitness; Sour Puss; and Puss n Cahoots, in addition to Sneaky Pies Cookbook for Mystery Lovers.