Murder on the Prowl

Mrs. Murphy

Book 6
Sold by Bantam
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It takes a cat to write the purr-fect mystery—

"People who love cats...have a friend in Rita Mae Brown," declares The New York Times Book Review. And nowhere is it more obvious than in this, her sixth deliciously witty foray into detective fiction written with the paws-on help of collaborator Sneaky Pie Brown, and starring that irrepressible crime-solving tiger cat, Mrs. Murphy.

As the principal of St. Elizabeth's, an exclusive private school that caters to Crozet, Virginia's, best families, Roscoe Fletcher has proven himself to be a highly effective and vastly popular administrator. So when his obituary appears in the local paper, everyone in town is upset. Yet nothing compares to the shock they feel when they discover that Roscoe Fletcher isn't dead at all. Someone has stooped to putting a phony obituary in the newspaper. But is it a sick joke or a sinister warning?

Only Mrs. Murphy, the canny tiger cat, senses the pure malice behind the act. And when a second false obit appears, this time of a Hollywood has-been who is Roscoe Fletcher's best friend, Mrs. Murphy invites her friends, the corgi Tee Tucker, and fat cat Pewter, to do a bit of sleuthing. It's obvious to this shrewd puss that two phony death notices add up to deadly trouble. And her theory is borne out when one of the men is fiendishly murdered.

"Harry" Haristeen, in her position as Crozet's postmistress, is the first to hear all the theories on whodunit—starting with the man's jealous wife. Then a second bloody homicide follows, and a third. People are dropping like flies in Crozet and no one seems to know why.

Fearlessly exploring all the places where humans never think to go, Mrs. Murphy manages to untangle the knots of passion, duplicity, and greed that have sent someone into a killing frenzy. Yet knowing the truth isn't enough. Mrs. Murphy must somehow lead Harry, her favorite human, down a trail that is perilous...to a killer who is deadly...and a climax that mystery lovers will relish.


From the Paperback edition.
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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.


From the Paperback edition.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Bantam
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Published on
Mar 30, 2004
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Pages
416
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ISBN
9780553898668
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Amateur Sleuth
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Women Sleuths
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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See entire series

Rita Mae Brown and her feline co-author Sneaky Pie Brown return to Albemarle County, Virgina, as tangled mysteries past and present converge in the bestselling Mrs. Murphy series.
 
“As feline collaborators go, you couldn’t ask for better than Sneaky Pie Brown.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
With the New Year just around the corner, winter has transformed the cozy Blue Ridge Mountain community of Crozet, Virginia, into a living snow globe. It’s the perfect setting for Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen to build a new work shed designed by her dear friend, local architect Gary Gardner. But the natural serenity is shattered when out of the blue, right in front of Harry and Deputy Cynthia Cooper, and in broad daylight, Gary is shot to death by a masked motorcyclist.
 
Outraged by the brazen murder, Harry begins to burrow into her friend’s past—and unearths a pattern of destructive greed reaching far back into Virginia’s post-Revolutionary history. When Harry finds incriminating evidence, the killer strikes again.
 
Heedless of her own safety, Harry follows a trail of clues to a construction site in Richmond, where the discovery of mysterious remains has recently halted work. Aided as always by her loyal, if opinionated, companions, crime-solving cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, and Tee Tucker the Corgi, Harry hunts for a link between the decades-old dead, the recently violently deceased—and ancient secrets that underlie everything. And while other deaths are narrowly averted in a flurry of fur, the killer remains at large—ever more desperate and dangerous. The deep-rooted legacy of corruption that’s been exposed can never be buried again. But if Harry keeps pursuing the terrible truth, she may be digging her own grave.

Praise for Probable Claws

“Series fans will know exactly what to expect: animals who talk to one another, [Rita Mae] Brown’s personal views on an array of topics, and a healthy dose of Virginia history.”—Publishers Weekly

“The animal crew, joined by a surprising new addition, is in rare form. . . . Beautiful illustrations bring the pet personalities to life.”—Kirkus Reviews
In this fast-paced mystery by Rita Mae Brown and her feline co-author Sneaky Pie Brown, Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen and her animal friends seek to solve a whodunit rooted in eighteenth-century Virginia—uncovering a shocking secret that refuses to stay buried.
 
TALL TAIL
 
At any moment a perfect summer day in Crozet, Virginia—nestled within the Blue Ridge Mountains—might turn stormy and tempestuous, as Harry knows too well when a squall suddenly sweeps in. In a blink, Harry’s pickup nearly collides with a careening red car that then swerves into a ditch. Harry recognizes the dead driver slumped over the vehicle’s steering wheel: Barbara Leader was nurse and confidante to former Virginia governor Sam Holloway.
 
Though Barbara’s death is ruled a heart attack, dissenting opinions abound. After all, she was the picture of health, which gives Harry and her four-legged companions pause. A baffling break-in at a local business leads Harry to further suspect that a person with malevolent intent lurks just out of sight: Something evil is afoot.
 
As it happens, Barbara died in the shadow of the local cemetery’s statue of the Avenging Angel. Just below that imposing funereal monument lie the remains of one Francisco Selisse, brutally murdered in 1784. Harry’s present-day sleuthing draws her back to Virginia’s slave-holding past and the hunt for Selisse’s killer. Now it’s up to Harry and her furry detectives—Mrs. Murphy, Pewter, and Tee Tucker—to expose the bitter truth, even if it means staring into the unforgiving eyes of history and cornering a callous killer poised to pounce.

Praise for the Mrs. Murphy Mysteries by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown
 
“As feline collaborators go, you couldn’t ask for better than Sneaky Pie Brown.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“Mrs. Murphy mysteries are fun, sweet, and beautifully adventurous.”—Bustle
 
“Brown [is] the queen of the talking animal cozy.”—Publishers Weekly


From the Hardcover edition.
Rita Mae Brown and her feline co-author Sneaky Pie Brown are back chasing mystery with their unique circle of Southern sleuths. And though the changing colors of fall are a beauty to behold, this year the scattered leaves hide a grim surprise. 

“As feline collaborators go, you couldn’t ask for better than Sneaky Pie Brown.”—The New York Times Book Review 

Autumn is in the air in the Blue Ridge Mountain community of Crozet, Virginia—and all the traditions of the changing seasons are under way. Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen cleans her cupboards, her husband, Fair, prepares the horses for the shorter days ahead, and the clamorous barking of beagles signals the annual rabbit chase through the central Virginia hills. But the last thing the local beaglers and their hounds expect to flush out is a dead body. 

Disturbingly, it’s the second corpse to turn up, after that of a missing truck driver too disfigured to identify. The deaths seem unrelated—until Harry picks up a trail of clues dating back to the state’s post-Revolutionary past.

The echoes of the Shot Heard Round the World pale in comparison to the dangerous shootout Harry narrowly escapes unscathed. Next time, it may be the killer who gets lucky. But not if Harry’s furry friends Mrs. Murphy, Pewter, and Tucker can help it. Lending their sharp-nosed talents to the hunt, they’ll help their mistress keep more lives from being lost—and right an injustice buried since the early days of America’s independence.

Praise for A Hiss Before Dying

“Clearly the cat’s meow.”—Library Journal

“Thoroughly delightful!”—Red Carpet Crash

“An air of mystery, a touch of history and that undeniable voice . . . Sneaky Pie Brown is back on the prowl.”—Daily Progress

“The staccato conversation style of the contemporary chapters contrasts nicely with the more fluid prose of those set in the eighteenth century. Brown’s signature asides—on such subjects as local and national politics, traditional art, race, God, and just about anything else that strikes her fancy—give readers plenty to think about.”—Publishers Weekly
“[Rita Mae Brown] enlivens a timely tale with . . . amusing accounts of her four-legged creations and delightful descriptions of the central Virginia countryside.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

New York Times bestselling author Rita Mae Brown bounds to the front of the pack with Fox Tracks, the thrilling new mystery in her beloved foxhunting series featuring the indomitable “Sister” Jane Arnold and, among others, the boisterous company of horses and hounds. Now, as a string of bizarre murders sweeps the East Coast, this unlikely alliance must smoke out a devious killer who may be closer than they first think.
 
While outside on Manhattan’s Midtown streets a fierce snowstorm rages, nothing can dampen the excitement inside the elegant ballroom of Manhattan’s Pierre Hotel. Hunt clubs from all over North America have gathered for their annual gala, and nobody is in higher spirits than “Sister” Jane, Master of the Jefferson Hunt in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Braving the foul weather, Sister and her young friend “Tootie” Harris pop out to purchase cigars for the celebration at a nearby tobacco shop, finding themselves regaled by the colorful stories of its eccentric proprietor, Adolfo Galdos.
 
Yet the trip’s festive mood goes to ground later with the grisly discovery of Adolfo’s corpse. The tobacconist was shot in the head but found, oddly enough, with a cigarette pack of American Smokes laid carefully over his heart.
 
When a similar murder occurs in Boston, Sister’s “horse sense” tells her there’s a nefarious plot afoot—one that seems to originate in the South’s aromatic tobacco farms. Meanwhile, Sister’s nemesis, Crawford Howard, will stop at nothing to subvert the Jefferson Hunt Club. There’s more than one shadowy scheme in the works in Albemarle County, and some conspirators are unafraid of taking shots at those evidencing too keen an interest in other people’s business. When Sister voices her suspicions, she, too, becomes a target. Fortunately for her, the Master of the Jefferson Hunt may rely upon the wits and wiles of her four-legged friends—including horses Lafayette and Matador, the powerful hound, Dragon, and even the clever old red fox, Uncle Yancy!
 
From Manhattan’s gritty streets to the pastoral beauty of Virginia horse country, Fox Tracks features the beloved characters from past Sister Jane novels in a fascinating new intrigue. This sly, fast-paced mystery gives chase from sizzling start to stunning finish!
 
Praise for Rita Mae Brown’s “Sister” Jane novels
 
“Brown is a keen plotter who advances her story with well-placed clues and showy suspects.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“[Brown] succeeds in conjuring a world in which prey are meant to survive the chase and foxes are knowing collaborators.”—People
 
“One of the most entertaining amateur sleuths since those of Agatha Christie.”—Booklist


From the Hardcover edition.
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