The Litter of the Law
A Mrs. Murphy Mystery
Rita Mae Brown collaborates with feline co-author Sneaky Pie Brown in a mystery starring Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen, the curious cat detectives Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, and Tee Tucker, the valiant crime-solving corgi. Halloween arrives early this year to rural central Virginia, when a twisted killer will stop at nothing to protect a multimillion-dollar scheme.
THE LITTER OF THE LAW
Autumn has descended and crops are being harvested all over Crozet, Virginia, ideal conditions for a scenic drive for Harry and husband Fair. Bucolic views are all well and good, but Harry’s nose for trouble leads her straight to a cornfield’s macabre scarecrow—an all too real murder victim that frightens all but the noisy crows.
This accountant’s gruesome death is only the first of many disturbing events in this normally pastoral corner of the world. While Harry tends her beloved grapes and sunflowers, a killer edges closer—as does Harry’s protective menagerie of animals.
Halloween’s approach brings with it bona fide terror and a beloved local tradition that threatens to become fatal. Rooting out the guilty in the treacherous center of a lucrative conspiracy requires Harry’s farmer’s wisdom—along with the quick wits and extraordinary senses of Sneaky Pie, Pewter, and Tucker. A vicious murderer may know the lay of the land far better than Harry does, but that’s about to change. It’s up to her vigilant four-footed companions to make sure that the unearthing of this plot is not Harry’s last act.
Praise for The Litter of the Law and the Mrs. Murphy mysteries
“As feline collaborators go, you couldn’t ask for better than Sneaky Pie Brown.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Enchanting . . . Brown demonstrates once again why she’s the queen of the talking animal cozy subgenre.”—Publishers Weekly
“As usual, the smart animals provide clues without getting in the way of the human interactions and plot. This is a strong addition to the popular series.”—Booklist
Chapter one of bestseller Brown's enchanting 21st Mrs. Murphy mystery (after 2012's The Big Cat Nap) finds Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen and her veterinarian husband, Fare, enjoying a drive through the central Virginia countryside one beautiful October day. A squabble among their backseat passengers tiger cat Mrs. Murphy; Pewter, Mrs. Murphy's gray, overweight feline sidekick; and Tucker, a corgi prompts the couple to pull over by a cornfield. A scarecrow that they spot in the middle of the field turns out, on closer inspection, to be a dead body. While the residents of Crozet, Va., continue to prepare for the Halloween Hayride, to raise money for the town library, the death toll mounts, and Harry resolves to catch a killer. Brown demonstrates once again why she's the queen of the talking animal cozy subgenre.
still Rooting for Harry and her Friends
Harvest time has reached old Virginia and Halloween is just around the corner. Harry, her husband, Fair, their cats Mrs Murphy and Pewter, and their Welsh Corgi Tucker are getting ready for a Halloween Hayride when they come across a scarecrow being pecked at by crows. It turns out to be the body of a local accountant and he proves to be only the first. Can Mrs Murphy and her friends protect their beloved humans from a deranged killer, especially with Harry having a nose for mystery?
Litter of the Law is part of Rita Mae Brown's Mrs Murphy Mysteries. The series started back in 1990 with Wish You Were Here. It introduce the newly divorced Mary Minor Haristeen, Harry to her friends, with her animal companions Mrs. Murphy, a grey tiger cat, and Tucker, her Welsh Corgi. People and animals have come and gone since then. Harry remarried her former husband, Fair. Pewter, a rotund grey cat joined Mrs. Murphy and Tucker. Friendships have shattered and reformed.
I have always enjoyed this series, but lately, it seems to have gotten a bit stale. While some of the changes added a new dynamic to the story, others have seemed to have not worked as well. This latest attempt is an interesting "whodunnit" it seems to lack some of the spark of the earlier books in the series. I still found it enjoyable and think fans of the series will still be rooting for Harry and her friends.