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The Purrfect Murder


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About the Author

Rita Mae Brown is the bestselling author of the Sneaky Pie Brown series; the Sister Jane series; the Runnymede books, including Six of One and Cakewalk; A Nose for Justice and Murder Unleashed; Rubyfruit Jungle; and In Her Day, as well as several other novels. An Emmy-nominated screenwriter and a poet, Brown lives in Afton, Virginia.


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 cliches (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. (Feb.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

This is the 16th entry in the Browns' increasingly tiresome mystery series featuring Harry Haristeen and her talking cats and dog. Though clearly articulated by actress Kate Forbes, the talking pets don't really add much to the story or to the mystery's solution. While longtime and affectionate fans of the series will enjoy returning to the familiar setting of Crozet, VA--and at times it seems the Browns are writing exclusively for these readers and listeners--this title can't be recommended for anyone else, despite the decent narration. [With tracks every three minutes for bookmarking; the Bantam hc, released in February, made the New York Times Extended Best Sellers list.--Ed.]--Kristen L. Smith, Loras Coll. Lib., Dubuque, IA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

"While the humans philosphize over the big issues, the pets steal the limelight."--Kirkus Reviews

"Well-paced ... unpredictable."--Publishers Weekly

"Rita Mae Brown has never shied away from addressing the topical--or letting the serious overwhelm the funny.... Brown provides a perfect diversion for a cold night, complete with a cat or a dog on your lap."--Richmond Times-Dispatch

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