Murder on the Prowl: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery
Rita Mae Brown
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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.
why I pay for this damned paper. Half the time it isn't delivered.” “Well, they delivered it today.” “Hallelujah. Well—?” Harry shrugged. “What's the family crisis?” “We're not having a family crisis,” Susan replied calmly. “Brooks doesn't like her teachers, so we're discussing—” “I hate my teachers, and Mom is getting bent out of shape. Because she graduated from Crozet High, she wants me to graduate from Crozet High. Danny graduates this year. That ought to be enough. Batting five hundred,
drawer's: a hand squeezer to strengthen the hand muscles, a few floppy discs even though no computer was in the room, and one old jump rope. “Anything?” She pulled on the left-hand drawer. Tucker lifted her head. “Too many people in here. I smell mice. But then that's not surprising. They like buildings where people go home at night—less interference.” “Nothing on the bookshelves. No hidden buttons.” Murphy, frustrated at not finding anything, jumped into the drawer, wiggling toward the back.
hook on this one. “Now look, daughter, if you are hiding something, you'd better come clean. Whatever you're doing, we'll deal with it.” “I'm not doing anything.” “Susan.” Ned rubbed his forehead. A headache nibbled at his temples. “I want to get to the bottom of this. Sheriff Shaw asked each of you questions after the marijuana was found and after that costume showed up. I can't believe it. It's too preposterous. Karen Jensen.” “Mom, Karen didn't kill Mr. McKinchie. Really. It's nuts.”
. . . Once again, Rita Mae Brown proves she can capture the ambiance of life in a small southern town and, more impressively, get readers to accept thinking, mystery-solving cats and dogs.” —The Virginian-Pilot “Cleverly crafted . . . Fans of the Mrs. Murphy series will want to immediately read this novel, while newcomers will search for the previous books.” —The Midwest Book Review “A delightful cozy mystery, all the more so because of the active role the pets take in solving the crime .
wiped away the tears. That Saturday morning, crisp, clear, and beautiful, had held the alluring promise of a perfect May 29. The promise had just curdled. Harry had finished her early-morning chores and, despite a list of projects, decided to take a walk for an hour. She followed Potlicker Creek to see if the beavers had built any new dams. Barry was sprawled at the creek’s edge on a dirt road two miles from her farm that wound up over the mountains into adjoining Augusta County. It edged the