Rita Mae Brown & Sneaky Pie Brown
Bantam, March 2003, 24.95, 320 pp.
When there is no murderer on the loose, there is no better place to be than Crozet, Virginia. It is a magical place where animals talk to each other crossing species lines. The only ones who can't understand the animals are the dumb human beings and the animals believe that is because have gotten away from nature. The tiger cat Mrs. Murphy, the large gray Cat Pewter, and Tucker the Corgi, owns Mary Minor Haristeen, known as Harry to her friends. The trio loves Harry and will do anything to protect her and keep her safe when she is busy sleuthing.
Following a women's basketball game at the University of Virginia, HH Donaldson collapses and dies. An autopsy shows a one and a half-inch piercing in the back of his neck so the tentative conclusion is he was poisoned. A few days later, Mychelle Burns, a building code inspector is found in the closet inside the woman's basketball locker room with a knife wound through the chest. Harry, who has to be in the middle of a homicide investigation, tries to figure out who the murderer is and almost winds up as victim number three.
One of the most charming facets of the Mrs. Murphy mysteries is the conversation the animals have with each other. The heroine's animals go to great lengths to save her from her actions and their love and tender displays of affections would warm the heart of pre-ghostly Scrooge. THE TAIL OF THE TIP-OFF is a not to be missed exciting cozy.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner