Bestselling authors Rita Mae Brown and her feline partner, Sneaky Pie Brown, are back for the holidays in a mystery featuring Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen, the sleuthing cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, and corgi Tee Tucker. Can they save the season from a killjoy who’s decided to gift the festive little town . . . with murder?
As Harry well knows, there’s hardly a place on earth cozier than Crozet, Virginia, at Christmastime. The snowflakes drifting lazily down, the soft glow of the winter light, the sound of old carols in the streets…even cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter get into the spirit batting ornaments and climbing the holiday tree. In fact, it’s this year’s tree that Harry and her husband, Fair, have gone to fetch when they find the one they’ve chosen grimly decorated with a dead body.
The tree farm is run by The Brothers of Love, a semimonastic organization that tends to AIDS patients. The brothers live in a monastery atop the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains. Harry is surprised to find an old high-school friend associated with The Brothers of Love. Christopher Hewitt wasn’t a bad man, but good works weren’t exactly one of his priorities. But then, if even Scrooge could turn over a new leaf, certainly Chris could. And after the scandal that all but destroyed his life, there were probably few in Crozet who needed the gift of a second chance more.
Harry knows she shouldn’t take it personally, but it was her tree that someone left the corpse under. Now, as the season grows merrier, a murderer is growing bolder. One by one, prominent men of Crozet are being crossed off Christmas shopping lists and added to the morgue. And if Harry and her four-legged helpers aren’t very good—and very careful—this Christmas may be her last.
Murder casts a shadow over the yuletide cheer in bestseller Brown's 17th Mrs. Murphy mystery (after The Purrfect Murder) to feature Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen, former postmistress of Crozet, Va. On a visit to the Brothers of Love Christmas tree farm, Harry, her husband and their animal friends are dismayed to stumble on a murdered monk. Someone has cut the throat of Christopher Hewitt, a former insider trader, and placed a Greek coin, an obol, under his tongue (in Greek mythology an obol ensures safe passage to the underworld). Deputy Cynthia Cooper and sheriff Rick Shaw's investigation grows to include the similar murder of Brother Speed, a former jockey. Who's targeting the monks? Next, Harry's almost killed after her wily pets alert her to money hidden on her land. Figuring out whodunit leads the Haristeens and the authorities to a double-edged discovery regarding the root of all evil that fans of the furry detectives and their two-legged pals will appreciate.
Fur and Feathered Heroes
What a delight to read another cozy whodunnit with Harry, Fair, and their friends. The real heroes, as usual, are their house pets and woodland creatures . The dialogue and antics among these critters is alone worth the read. Superb reading from start to surprising ending.