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Wish You Were Here2

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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.


YA-- At last there is a book that truly recognizes the important role animals have in solving crimes. Braun's ``The Cat Who'' series comes close, but it doesn't give the in-depth look at animal conversations and sleuthing from the point of view that this title does. The Browns have written a fast-paced, easy-to-read, attention-grabbing mystery sure to be loved by teens. Tee Tucker (a Corgi) and Mrs. Murphy (a gray tiger cat) utilize their superior detective abilities to determine who sends macabre post cards to the next murder victim. These sleuths must throw clues at the dense humans who try to solve the mystery before becoming the next corpse. The witty dialogue of humans and pets enables readers to know and identify with the unique residents in small-town America, and the attractive line drawings depict the industrious animal detectives. This is the first in a crime series; readers will eagerly await the opportunity to scent out the clues in the second.-- Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA

"It should delight cat fancier. . .sassy, silly, and plenty of fun."--The Baltimore Sun

Mary Minor (``Harry'') Haristeen, divorce in the works, runs the post office in Crozet, Virginia, with a pet cat and dog at her side. After two spectacularly gruesome murders rock the community, Harry attempts to gather helpful clues, while the pets (who converse with each other) do their best to protect her. Despite a few light moments, the ``cute'' antics of the animals wear desperately thin, failing to shore up the flimsy plot construction or bolster the weak characterization. A disappointment from the author of Rubyfruit Jungle (Daughters, 1973).

Crediting her cat Sneaky Pie as coauthor, Brown ( Rubyfruit Jungle ) sets the thoroughly likable heroine of this mystery, Mary Minor Haristeen, in an admirable position to figure out who is murdering, in ghastly fashion, various pillars of her community. Harry, with constant companions Mrs. Murphy, a cat, and Welsh corgi Tucker, is postmistress of Crozet, Va. Postcards are sent to a wealthy contractor shortly before parts of his body are found in a cement mixer and then to a storeowner whose corpse, tied to a railroad track, is cut in three parts by the express. The cards alert Harry and friends to a plot that will take more lives before they discover the treasure that inspires the violence. Brown's lively characterization brings merchants and first-family Virginians alive with affection and verve. Even the snippets of conversation contributed by Crozet's four-legged inhabitants are credible rather than cloying. Harry's in-process divorce of the town vet gives Brown opportunity to wax wise on issues of human relationships, feminism and the pitfalls of greed. A charming adventure, with teeth. (Nov.)

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