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Catch as Cat Can: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery [Mass Market Paperback]

Rita Mae Brown
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 4 2003 Mrs. Murphy
Spring fever comes to the small town of Crozet, Virginia. As the annual Dogwood Festival approaches, postmistress Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen feels her own mating instincts stir.

As for tiger cat Mrs. Murphy, feline intuition tells her there’s more in the air than just pheromones. It begins with a case of stolen hubcaps and proceeds to the mysterious death of a dissolute young mechanic over a sobering cup of coffee. Then another death and a shooting lead to the discovery of a half-million crisp, clean dollar bills that look to be very dirty.

Now Harry is on the trail of a cold-blooded murderer. Mrs. Murphy already knows who it is--and who’s next in line. She also knows that Harry, curious as a cat, does not have nine lives. And the one she does have is hanging by the thinnest of threads.

Frequently Bought Together

Catch as Cat Can: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery + Pawing Through the Past: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery + Claws and Effect: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery
Price For All Three: CDN$ 27.42

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Springtime, romance and murder all visit the peaceful little town of Crozet, Va. home of Mary Minor Hairsteen ("Harry"), her trio of feline and canine sleuths, a cast of familiar supporting characters and, of course, a few new ones. Brown's cozy formula, honed over nine previous books in the series (Claws and Effect, etc.), includes Southern traditions, romantic rivalries and gentle humor typified by the talking animals, whose commentary on human foibles provides much amusement. While the Crozet social whirl revolves around the upcoming Dogwood Festival, the theft of some unusual hubcaps sets in motion an escalating series of crimes that, inevitably, catches the interest of Harry. And Harry's old rival, BoomBoom Craycroft, does Harry the peculiar favor of fixing her up with a very handsome diplomat from Uruguay. While Harry juggles her duties as postmistress of Crozet, her farm chores and the romantic attentions of ex-husband "Fair" Hairsteen and the suave Diego Aybar, her pets the comfort-seeking, fat cat Pewter; the brave little Welsh corgi, Tee Tucker; and the wise and cunning Mrs. Murphy, a gray tiger cat apply their various talents to protect "Mom," as they call Harry. Brown's proven brand of murder and mayhem played out against a background of Virginia gentility and idealized animals is once again up to scratch. (Mar. 5)Forecast: Like its predecessors, this should find a comfortable perch on bestseller lists.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

When Roger Roger O'Bannon is found dead at the Wrecker's Ball, "Harry" Haristeen and feline friend Mrs. Murphy suspect it wasn't gin that done him in.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Addition to the Mrs. Murphy Series April 9 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As Spring Fever begins taking over the small town of Crozet, Virginia, and the annual Dogwood Festival approaches, resident postmistress, and part-time sleuth, Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen feels it's time to put a little romance into her life. Mrs. Murphy, however, the detective tiger cat, can tell by her feline intuition that there's something in the air, and it isn't romance. It begins with some stolen hubcaps, and ends up in the mysterious death of a young mechanic. Then another death, and a shooting lead to the miraculous discovery of a half-million dollars, that look to be the work of something "dirty." While Harry is on the trail of the cold-blooded killer, Mrs. Murphy is already definite on who the murderer is, and knows who's next in line. She also knows that her beloved owner, Harry, does not have nine lives, as she does, and the one life that she does have is grasping at straws.
As a fan of every previous Mrs. Murphy mystery, I eagerly awaited my chance to read Rita Mae Brown's CATCH AS CAT CAN, and I was not in any way, shape, or form, disappointed in the outcome. As always, Mrs. Murphy is more enjoyable than ever, with her quirky dialogue, and, at times, attitudish personality. Harry is more curious than ever in this installment in the series, as she is determined to find the killer before anymore innocent lives are taken. Fans of the previous Mrs. Murphy mysteries will enjoy the chance to travel back to the cozy town of Crozet, Virginia, and catch up with some of their old friends in CATCH AS CAT CAN.
Erika Sorocco
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4.0 out of 5 stars ANOTHER book report Feb. 24 2004
By angi
Harry and Mrs. Murphy are pulled into a murder mystery in the middle of what is supposed to be a celebration of new life. it all starts at the Spring dance that Aunt Tally throws every year. Roger, the co-owner of O'Bannon salvage, was a little over intoxicated. His date fixes him some coffee to sober up, but minuets later, he was dead. Who is his murderer? Is there moore to come? And what is up with Harry and Diego? oh well, you will just have to read(or listen) to the book to find out!
As a Murder mystery, I think Rita mae Brown did a FABULOUS job. It kept my attention, and it was very descriptive; I could put a clear picture in my mind of what the setting and things looked like.
On the other hand, when the pets talked during the story, it kept me feeling, even thogh it was cute, that the book was getting a little juvinile. I mean, when adults read the book, they don't want to read about what the animals have to say. Frankly, I would expect animals to be talking in third graders books, not adults. In saying this, I would think that you, Rita, should consider cutting the animals talking in next books, because it is going to get old fast, and the adults will not read it anymore.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Even Cozies deserve better. Jan. 3 2003
When a writer has the reputation and respect that Ms. Brown enjoys, one would expect that she would at least have some respect for the readers she would take time and money from. I fully understand what the cozy subgenre is about, and while I prefer less precious kinds of mysteries, I do enjoy Mott and M.C. Beaton because their books offer interesting puzzles, as well as humor and other things one can fix into the pages of the novel.
HOWEVER, the complete and utter laziness and lack of insight into the fact that people who read mysterious have certain degrees of sophistication, and that a show on forensic science enjoys number one ranking on TV, why does Ms. Brown speak to her her audience as if she was talking to little old ladies who wear Dr. Scholls oxfords and still think it is 1949?
Even the cats and other animals are annoying.
I guess Southern Cats are dumber than California cats (who don't give a prrr about human relationships, and sure don't give a meow about what their human welfare wagon does as long as the cat chow feeds flowing.) Anthropromorphising animals is obnoxious enough, but why make these poor helpless creatures as vapid and as simpering as the humans that populate Brown's redneck and plantation paradise.
So a guy who runs a chop shop dies after drinking TEA? No autopsy. Why should we care who done it? The people who live in Brown's little phony balony hamlet sure don't. When there is coon hunting to be done....that is!
I quit in disgust for time which will never return to me.
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4.0 out of 5 stars It takes a village Nov. 11 2002
CATCH AS CAT CAN and the entire Mrs. Murphy series belong to the "cozy" school of murder mysteries. "Cozy" refers to setting in mystery genre and Crozet, Virginia, an actual place, is certainly conceived in the tradition of the pleasant English village. Even with a body count that would rival some violent inner city neighborhoods, the author makes it irresistible, evoking the beautiful western Virginia countryside through natural seasonal imagery. The series' regular human and animal characters are appealing. It is for them and the setting that you go back to this series when in need of something disposable, the storylines and some of the characterizations having become increasingly simple, almost irrelevant over the series' development. You also go back for the satire on new South/old South values and mores. As Brown observes, it would not be a proper Southern social event if someone did not get drunk or a fight did not break out--in tuxedoes and designer dresses. Brown plays with the genre as well: less confident writers worry about making realistic circumstances by which the amateur sleuth becomes involved and solves the mystery. Not here: Crozet is a place where the sheriff feels beholden to first inform the reigning social matriarch of every development and depends upon the gossip lines and family pets to get the job done. Procedure? Never heard of it. Sly irony keeps this series afloat, saves it from the saccharine.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Sadly Disappointed
Having followed the Mrs. Murphy mysteries over the years, I am sorry to say that this volume leaves me wanting... wanting a good mystery! Read more
Published on May 25 2003 by Catherine, the Music Junkie
4.0 out of 5 stars Is Mrs. Murphy getting old?
Sorry to say this story is not up to par, it reminds me that the writter is tired of this story line and only tells this tail for the money. Read more
Published on April 12 2003 by Janet Hill
1.0 out of 5 stars Really bad karma.
If you are looking for junk to read this is the book to do it with. The only descent thing about it is that darling Rita has finally gotten around to calling Cynthia Cooper a... Read more
Published on Aug. 31 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
Not the best in the series, but worth buying.
Published on Aug. 26 2002 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Junk Into Gold
Catch As Cat Can is the 10th Mrs. Murphy Mystery by Rita Mae [and Sneaky Pie] Brown, and this time Mrs Murphy, Pewter [the cats], and Tee Tucker [the dog] are helping their... Read more
Published on Aug. 9 2002 by Bruce Crocker
4.0 out of 5 stars Visiting Friends
I was surprised when I read this book described as a "cosy." It's hard to envision the author of "The Hand that Cradles the Rock" as cosy. But the Mrs. Read more
Published on July 19 2002 by Marilyn Mor
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing
This book can not decide whether to focus on the murder mystery at hand or the social lives of its characters. Read more
Published on July 2 2002 by Noah Stern
5.0 out of 5 stars What a FUN book!!!
I have read Rita Mae Brown's mysteries but this one is my favorite so far.Very good book for someone who likes murder and animals!!
Published on June 8 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Rita Mae Brown is alway a delight
I feel like a traitor, but I really have begun to enjoy these more that the Cat Who boosk. I still like them, but these are so witty and fun. The latest one is no exception. Read more
Published on June 3 2002 by Michael O. Byrd
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