Whiskers in the Dark: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery

· Mrs. Murphy Book 28 · Sold by Bantam
3 reviews

About this ebook

Death stalks the Blue Ridge Mountains as a centuries-old mystery resurfaces and murder mars the lead-up to an annual beagle competition, in a thrilling new tale from Rita Mae Brown and her feline co-author Sneaky Pie Brown.

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

A massive nor’easter has hit northern Virginia, where Mary Minor “Harry” Harristeen joins groundskeeping efforts at the National Beagle Club at Aldie as the date for its springtime Hounds for Heroes veterans’ benefit approaches. Harry’s fellow volunteers, including her oldest friend, Susan Tucker, comprise a spirited group of hunting enthusiasts, some former service members themselves. But things take a sinister turn when, after a routine tree cleanup along the Club’s hunting trails, retired foreign services officer Jason Holzknect is found dead, throat slit from ear to ear. Soon enough, another murder in their midst jolts the preparations, convincing Harry that the killer is familiar with the Club—and must be close by, masked in plain sight.

The intrigue extends to the grounds of Harry’s beloved local church, where the identity of an eighteenth-century skeleton wearing precious pearls remains a mystery. The anonymous woman’s neck had been snapped, and marks on the grave where her body was secreted indicate that someone recently tried to remove it, leading Harry to question how well she really knows those around her.

As always, Harry’s crime-solving cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, and Tee Tucker the Corgi share her determination to sniff out the foes among friends, even those long buried. Harry will need her four-legged companions’ help more than ever: a ghostly beagle only they can see may hold the key to the culprit.

Ratings and reviews

3 reviews
Jeanie Dannheim
June 4, 2019
It is pure delight to visit Harry, best friend Susan, and Harry’s pets and horses! The setting is interesting, with the backdrop of hunting to raise funds for a worthy cause, Hounds F4R Heroes, present day Crozet, historical events, and the intriguing mysteries occurring before and after the hunts. We visit Aldie, VA, as Susan, Harry, and a group of huntsmen prepare the National Beagle Club of America for the upcoming event that will raise money for military veterans to have sports events. Anything that could cause harm to the hunting dogs and people had to be trimmed or cleared, including trees downed by wind and storms and repairs to buildings as needed. I enjoy our regular characters, the history, and the camaraderie of Harry, Susan, and Coop. Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, Harry’s cats, and Tee Tucker and Pirate, her pups meet a ghost beagle. Ruffy is quiet at first but seems to be on a mission. The second weekend they are there, a tragedy occurred. Jason, a hunter who owns a Toyota and Lexus dealership, is found dead, clearly murdered, when bringing a tractor to where others are clearing a tree. It looks like he knew the person who got up close and personal enough to harm him. Jason had once worked overseas in the Diplomatic Corp, primarily in Turkey. His wife, Clare, was a retired Navy captain who had spent time in a ship outside Finland. A couple years earlier, after some damage was done around headstones of the first two folks buried, in the 1780’s, at St. Luke’s Cemetery, a unique murder was discovered. Laid on top of the two caskets with a snapped neck, no casket of her own, is the skeleton of an African American woman. She wore $600,000 worth of pearls and diamonds. There was no record of a death among the church membership, no missing person’s records found. The question is raised – what should they do with the jewelry now locked safely away? We return to 1787, to the family we met in other novels. Ewing Garth, his daughters and their families on Cloverfields, and the slaves who live at Cloverfields and the neighboring Big Rawley, which has been owned by Susan’s family for many generations are like old friends. I enjoy the characters and concerns of both Ewing’s family and the slaves, as well as learning about the history of the early days of our country. It’s hard to imagine that this is 28th in the Mrs. Murphy series, it has fresh, new elements. I enjoy Harry’s pets and their communications. Herself a Master of Hounds and a Huntsman, the author writes about the hunt, sharing a tale rich in action. While not a hunter, I was fascinated to have a front-page seat to the competition and a setting integral to the murder. It was a learning experience as Harry considers the political climate in which Jason and his wife had met and the drug culture of past employees, then tries to understand what could be behind murder. There was no way I could have discovered the motive for murder in this complex mystery even though I did guess whodunit. There was only one thing I was disappointed by; I felt as if I was on another 1787 cliffhanger with regards to events occurring in their lives. Otherwise, I highly recommend this to those who are fans of this series and author, dogs, cats, and horses, and well-written, intriguing clean mysteries. From a thankful heart: I received a copy of this e-ARC from the publisher through NetGalley, and this is my honest review.
1 person found this review helpful
Did you find this helpful?

About the author

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

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.

Rate this ebook

Tell us what you think.

Reading information

Smartphones and tablets
Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.
Laptops and computers
You can listen to audiobooks purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.
eReaders and other devices
To read on e-ink devices like Kobo eReaders, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Follow the detailed Help Center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.