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Puss 'n Cahoots


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About the Author

Rita Mae Brown is the bestselling author of the Sneaky Pie Brown series; the Sister Jane series; A Nose for Justice and Murder Unleashed; Rubyfruit Jungle; In Her Day; and Six of One, as well as several other novels. An Emmy-nominated screenwriter and a poet, Brown 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 numerous Mrs. Murphy mysteries--in addition to Sneaky Pie's Cookbook for Mystery Lovers and Sneaky Pie for President.


Puss 'n Cahoots is nominally the 14th "Mrs. Murphy" mystery featuring Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen; her new husband, Fair; and their crime-solving pets, the felines Mrs. Murphy and Pewter and the corgi Tee Tucker. However, this book is very short on mystery and very long on the tedious lectures, personal diatribes, and political harangues that have become the pattern in Brown's last few efforts. In the current outing, the Haristeens and their four-legged companions are visiting friends in Shelbyville, KY, to attend the Saddlebred horse show, which is disrupted by a stolen piece of jewelry, a murdered groom, a horse-napping, and an INS raid. Yet none of the "mysteries" are solved by the heroes, either human or animal. Even the talking pets themselves (beloved by Brown fans) are becoming tedious, no longer wiser and more dignified than their owners. The reading by Kate Forbes is excellent but doesn't by itself justify purchase. Not recommended.-Kristen L. Smith, Loras Coll. Lib., Dubuque, IA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

The charming 14th Mrs. Murphy mystery (after 2006's Sour Puss) finds ex-postmistress and sometime-detective Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen accompanying her veterinarian husband, Fair, to an equestrian extravaganza in Kentucky. The mishaps begin when Harry's good friend Joan loses a beloved pin-or is the treasured piece of jewelry stolen? Then Jorge, a groom at Joan's farm, is found murdered, a pair of crosses cut into his palm. As if murder's not enough, an aging movie star's horse goes missing, and INS officials show up, hunting illegal aliens. Throughout, Harry's menagerie-cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter as well as corgi Tee Tucker-cleverly sniff out wrongdoing. Though some readers might find the anthropomorphized animals' italicized dialogue a bit much, the novel's tight pacing, combined with intriguing local color, make this mystery a blue-ribbon winner. (Mar.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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