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 bestseller Brown's rambling sixth Mrs. Murphy mystery (after 2017's A Hiss Before Dying), Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen and her menagerie of opinionated animal friends are drawn into a murder investigation after she witnesses architect Gary Gardiner being shot to death by a black-clad figure on a speeding motorcycle. When an old book of building codes disappears from Gary's office, Harry is convinced that the missing volume holds the key to his murder. A second death seems to have little connection to Gary's except that both the victims were interested in dinosaurs. A parallel story, set in the same Virginia county in 1787, shows plantation owner Ewing Garth and his family managing horses and slaves and worrying about what kind of government is being created as the constitutional convention grinds on in Philadelphia. The modern-day mystery is only connected to the 18th-century story by a bone. Series fans will know exactly what to expect: animals who talk to one another, Brown's personal views on an array of topics, and a healthy dose of Virginia history.