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Whisker of Evil
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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.

Reviews

Adult/High School-In a unique town in Virginia, the animals speak English to one another and help to solve murders. In this installment in the entertaining series, postmistress Harry finds the body of her friend Barry, a horse breeder, who seems to have been attacked by a bear. But no, it turns out that he died of rabies. When a second mysterious death occurs, the town is concerned that there will be an epidemic, and the officials refuse to let Harry's pets come to work with her. Readers learn details about rabies and horse breeding before the exciting climax in which Harry's animals fly into action to save her life. Delightful line drawings illustrate the creatures, usually in some adorable pose. Witty dialogue will bring a smile to readers' faces as the animals outsmart the humans.-Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Bestseller Brown (The Tale of the Tip-off, etc.) and her feline collaborator offer another winsome tale of endearing talking animals and fallible, occasionally homicidal humans, many of whom breed and raise horses in the small Piedmont town of Crozet, Va. Near Potlicker Creek, postmistress Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen and her pets corgi Tee Tucker, tiger cat Mrs. Murphy and fat, gray kitty Pewter discover 34-year-old breeder Barry Monteith, "fit, handsome... and fun-loving," on the ground, his slashed throat gushing blood. "Death, often so shocking to city dwellers, was part of life here in the country." Later, Harry resigns in a pique when the overzealous, obnoxious animal-control officer prohibits her pets from the post office. A reawakening of affection for Fair, her former husband, and the building of an addition to her barn complicate things further. Her animals figure she's too distracted when Harry misses vital clues to Barry's murder and to the peculiar death of a second young breeder. The mystery thickens with a strange case of rabies that brings on the state health inspectors as well as the media. Brown perhaps overdoes the details of horse breeding, record-keeping and rabies, but fans are sure to cheer as Tee Tucker, Mrs. Murphy and Pewter rush to their mistress's rescue at the harrowing climax. Illustrations by Michael Gerraty not seen by PW. (Mar. 30) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

In this installment of the Mrs. Murphy mystery series, Harry Haristeen and her talking animal friends Mrs. Murphy, Pewter, and Tucker discover horse breeder Barry Monteith bleeding from a fatal throat wound. Barry's autopsy discloses that he suffered from the now rare disease rabies. The next to die from the illness is Barry's partner Sugar, and then Jerome, the animal inspector. Harry and her animal "children" also discover the class ring of Mary Pat (a popular horse breeder who mysteriously disappeared along with her prize stud horse 30 years before). Kate Forbes reads the text clearly and expressively; she gives each individual character, both animal and human, his or her own recognizable voice. Recommended for adult and teen mystery collections.-Ilka Gordon, Medical Lib., Fairview General Hosp., Cleveland Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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