Cat on the Scent
A Mrs. Murphy Mystery
It takes a cat to write the purr-fect mystery.
Things have been pretty exciting lately in Crozet, Virginia—a little too exciting if you ask resident feline investigator Mrs. Murphy. Just as the town starts to buzz over its Civil War reenactment, a popular local man disappears. No one's seen Tommy Van Allen's single-engine plane, either—except for Mrs. Murphy, who spotted it during a foggy evening's mousing.
Even Mrs. Murphy's favorite human, postmistress Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen, can sense that something is amiss. But things really take an ugly turn when the town reenacts the battle of Oak Ridge—and a participant ends up with three very real bullets in his back. While the clever tiger cat and her friends sift through clues that just don't fit together, more than a few locals fear that the scandal will force well-hidden town secrets into the harsh light of day. And when Mrs. Murphy's relentless tracking places loved ones in danger, it takes more than a canny kitty and her team of animal sleuths to set things right again....
The latest collaboration (after last year's Murder on the Prowl) between Brown and her feline muse is a charming and keen-eyed take on human misdeeds and animal shenanigans. Mrs. Murphy, the cat sleuth, out for an evening prowl, spots a small plane landing near an abandoned barn. Soon after, at an Albemarle County (Va.) Commission meeting, dissension arises over plans for a new reservoir, and two murders ensue. The owner of the plane, Tommy Van Allen, disappears, only to turn up later, frozen stiff in the refrigerator of a local food plant. Next, during a Civil War battle reenactment, a local landowner, Sir Henry Vane-Tempest, is shot in the back. Mrs. Murphy, ably aided by Tee Tucker the corgi and Pewter the cat, nudges the humans around her into finding evidence to braid all these stray strands. She even orchestrates a daring rescue. Told with spunk and plenty of whimsy, this is another delightful entry in a very popular series. Illustrations by Itoko Maeno not seen by PW.