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Cat on the Scent | Pawing Through the Past | Claws and Effect (2007)

por Rita Mae Brown, Sneaky Pie Brown

Séries: Mrs. Murphy Mysteries (7-9)

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Rita Mae Brown and her literary feline sidekick Sneaky Pie Brown are back with a third omnibus of clever sleuthing by postmistress Mary Minor Harry Haristeen and her feline sidekick Mrs. Murphy. For the first time all in one volume, here are CAT ON THE SCENT, PAWING THROUGH THE PAST, and CLAWS AND EFFECT, three more prime examples of charm and murder co-existing in the lovely hamlet of Crozet, Virginia. In CAT ON THE SCENT, the good people of Crozet are quite excited about their upcoming Civil War battle reenactment until things get a little too authentic when a soldier ends up with three very real bullets in his back. Someone has waited twenty years to take revenge in PAWING THROUGH THE PAST. Crozet High's Class of 1980 is about to have its twentieth reunion--but one classmate is looking forward to it for the wrong reasons. Each member of the class receives a note saying You'll never get old, but it becomes clear this is more threat than compliment when a classmate turns up dead with a bullet between his eyes. The juicy gossip from Crozet Hospital has everyone entertained in CLAWS AND EFFECT--until its source is found murdered. Mrs. Murphy sniffs out a dirty little secret that dates back to the days of the Underground Railroad, and she has to protect Harry from a coldly calculating killer with a prescription for murder.… (mais)
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The first thing you notice about these books is that they're not as nauseating as they could have been. The gimmick is that the majority of the detective work is done by two cats and a corgi, and we get to see their thought processes as they talk to each other, although humans can't understand their speech. As I started on this, I had horrible forebodings of the whole story being written by a little old lady with a dozen cats that she thinks of as her children, and that the cats in the story would be those children - sort of the fantasy on paper of those sorts of little old ladies. Since the pets are extremely intelligent rather than childlike in the stories, this is avoided. But just barely.

The funny thing is, the books could probaby stand on their own without the gimmick. The sense of place of the books is intense - one definitely sees that the author comes from old Virginia stock and that her characters are based on life. I really got a kick out of the Underground Railroad tie-ins and Civil-War-area buildings in the second story. The plots pretty much hold together, with the third one having some really quirky psychopathology worthy of any thriller writer.

So it's an odd thing that the best reason not to read these books is the one that gets all the mention on the jacket - the feline detective. Other than that, the books are pretty good little mysteries. ( )
  benfulton | Feb 21, 2009 |
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Rita Mae Brown and her literary feline sidekick Sneaky Pie Brown are back with a third omnibus of clever sleuthing by postmistress Mary Minor Harry Haristeen and her feline sidekick Mrs. Murphy. For the first time all in one volume, here are CAT ON THE SCENT, PAWING THROUGH THE PAST, and CLAWS AND EFFECT, three more prime examples of charm and murder co-existing in the lovely hamlet of Crozet, Virginia. In CAT ON THE SCENT, the good people of Crozet are quite excited about their upcoming Civil War battle reenactment until things get a little too authentic when a soldier ends up with three very real bullets in his back. Someone has waited twenty years to take revenge in PAWING THROUGH THE PAST. Crozet High's Class of 1980 is about to have its twentieth reunion--but one classmate is looking forward to it for the wrong reasons. Each member of the class receives a note saying You'll never get old, but it becomes clear this is more threat than compliment when a classmate turns up dead with a bullet between his eyes. The juicy gossip from Crozet Hospital has everyone entertained in CLAWS AND EFFECT--until its source is found murdered. Mrs. Murphy sniffs out a dirty little secret that dates back to the days of the Underground Railroad, and she has to protect Harry from a coldly calculating killer with a prescription for murder.

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