Rita Mae Brown and her feline partner-in-crime-detection, Sneaky Pie Brown, return to the scene of their bestselling crimes—picturesque Crozet, Virginia. Love is in the air as spring comes to the small town, but no sooner has Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen remarried than she is rudely interrupted—by murder. And no sooner does the trouble start than curious cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, along with corgi Tee Tucker, sink their claws into the case.…
After an unexpected rekindling of their romance, Harry and her veterinarian ex-husband, Fair Haristeen, have happily remarried. But the excitement of their nuptials is quickly overshadowed by the murder of Professor Vincent Forland, a world-famous grape and fungal expert who was in town visiting the local vineyards.
Within days of giving a lecture on how distilled fungus and cattle diseases are the current basis of chemical warfare, Forland’s decapitated body is discovered. After their initial fright, the residents of Crozet believe that this was a political murder and settle back into their routines–until a local is also found dead, killed in the same gruesome manner as Professor Forland. Now residents can’t help wondering, is this really the work of an outsider—or one of their own?
No longer working in the post office, Harry had just planted a quarter acre of grapes, which fuels her natural curiosity over just what the two murder victims knew and had in common. Once the warmth of spring arrives, the grapevines blossom and Harry’s furry entourage discovers the first critical clue. But how can they show the humans what they’ve learned? And how can they—or anyone—stop the killing?
The 13th Mrs. Murphy mystery from bestseller Brown and her feline collaborator (after 2005's Cat's Eyewitness) opens with the comic-opera remarriage of series heroine Harry Haristeen and Fair, Harry's veterinarian ex-husband, reintroducing at length some familiar characters before turning to the novel's main focus the vagaries of the burgeoning wine industry in the Virginia Piedmont. The prospect of having your own label or selling at a profit to another winery is too good to pass up, and even Harry and Fair have put in a quarter acre of Petit Manseng grapes. But someone is trying to scare off the competition, and the disappearance of a respected expert in the mutation of toxins sets Harry's talking pets cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter and corgi Tee Tucker on the sleuthing trail. When a longstanding feud between rival vintners leads to murder, Harry has to read the clues before attrition gives us the answers. Brown provides a captivating look at grape growing and the passionate dedication it requires.
As always this book is captivating, enjoyable, and love the research. Rita Mae and Sneeky Pie are the BEST duo writers ever. Can't wait to read more. Once you start you just can't put the book down !!!