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Murder at Monticello: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery [Mass Market Paperback]

Rita Mae Brown
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 1 1995 Mrs. Murphy
Mrs. Murphy digs into Virginia history—and gets her paws on a killer.

The most popular citizen of Virginia has been dead for nearly 170 years. That hasn't stopped the good people of tiny Crozet, Virginia, from taking pride in every aspect of Thomas Jefferson's life. But when an archaeological dig of the slave quarters at Jefferson's home, Monticello, uncovers a shocking secret, emotions in Crozet run high—dangerously high.

The stunning discovery at Monticello hints a hidden passions and age-old scandals. As postmistress Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen and some of Crozet's Very Best People try to learn the identity of a centuries-old skeleton—and the reason behind the murder—Harry's tiger cat, Mrs. Murphy, and her canine and feline friends attempt to sniff out a modern-day killer. Mrs. Murphy and corgi Tee Tucker will stick their paws into the darker mysteries of human nature to solve murders old and new—before curiosity can kill the cat—and Harry Haristeen.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The third Mrs. Murphy mystery, coauthored by novelist Brown and her cat (Mrs. Murphy is also a feline), in which the purring detective must solve a mystery involving the discovery of a body during archeological excavations at Thomas Jefferson's old estate.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Make no bones about it, when a skeleton is discovered at Monticello, famed feline sleuth Mrs. Murphy (Rest in Pieces, Bantam, 1992) will find the murderer.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars To Little Fuel for the Fire... March 16 2002
By Akethan
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Okay - I didn't like this story as much as the previous to. I think it was way to distracted with a thin thread of an idea that the author was interested in pursuing and so the story was built around that idea - of slave/master interbreeding - of the Jefferson debate (which was more recently tied closer to the man by genetic testing in 1998, this book was published in 1994) - of sickle cell anemia as a distinctive trait that can't be removed as proof of racial intermingling no matter how strong the prejudices of the person affected QUOTE: The results of the study established that an individual carrying the male Jefferson Y chromosome fathered Eston Hemings (born 1808), the sixth and last child born to Sally Hemings. There were approximately 25 adult male Jeffersons who would have carried this chromosome living in Virginia at that time, and a few of them are known to have been at Monticello. Nonetheless, the study's authors said "the simplest and most probable" conclusion was that Thomas Jefferson had fathered Eston Hemings.
I was a little sad that Blair was missing on a shoot somewhere. But then, Fair seems to be having some personal revelation that may bring him back into Harry's life - so good news there. I was also pleased that no more of the main characters were bumped off in this story. Near misses, but no deaths. I love Miranda Hogendobber.
On the whole, the book was an interesting idea - but a weak execution. 3 out of 5. I've been near Charlottesville, but never to Monticello. Now I have a bug to visit... thus my peeping in on the website for Monticello.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A little flawed June 16 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I enjoy the Mrs Murphey series on the whole, although I've found lately, that I don't always read through all of the animal "dialogue" like I did with the first few books; which of course makes it much faster reading! I particularly enjoy the display of equestian knowledge, because I've taken dressage lessons in the past, and find it reinforces some of what I learned. I found the logic of the plot of this particular book just slightly flawed, although I'm not certain that everyone will discover that flaw or even that those who do will necessarily care. I also found the attempt to defend the reputation of Jefferson a little cloying at times. Jefferson needs no defense; for one thing, he's dead (and therefore cannot speak in his own defense), and for another he was a man of his times and rose head and shoulders above many of those of his times with respect to his moral character, productivity, contribution to mankind, intellectual achievements, etc. To try the past seems a wasted effort; better to make certain the present lives up to it's ideals. As usual the staple characters of Croiset are a never failing delight. I always enjoy spending time with them. They've become old friends, and I read these books as much to "visit" with them as to solve the mystery.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The books subtitle, "Old Sins" is correct. March 15 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This, like all of the other Mrs. Murphy mysteries, was very entertaining and was an exciting read. There are a few problems, however. The author expects us to know Thomas Jefferson's entire life history, all of his relatives, all of his slaves, and everything ever written about Monticello. Raise you hand if you know these things! There is a family chart at the front of the book, but, if you're like me, it hinders more than it helps. Also, as I said earlier, "Old Sins" is correct. Most of the book is about discovering who murdered a man 175 years ago. What are they going to do when they find out who did it? Prosecute the murderer?

The main thing holding this novel together is the banter between the people of the town. By this point in the series, Brown has really gotten a grasp on her characters, and they've become more fleshed out and enjoyable.
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Rita took a good idea and proceeded to botch it royally in this novel. I found it difficult to follow her train of thought in explaining why a 175 year old murder had any relevance at all to the person who kills the archeologist in charge of the digs at Monticello. That person must have been exceedingly appalled at finding out their family tree is the result of Miscegenation -- and that with a slave of Thomas Jefferson. Next, I suppose, Rita will be trying to justify a forced apology by Whites to Blacks for slavery (something which none of us living today have any control over what-so-ever 136 years after it ended in this country). There are some points in the dialogue throughout the novel in which Rita was simply lecturing the reader.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mrs. Murphy mysteries are fantastic! July 13 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Murder at Monticello is the third of the Mrs. Murphy mysteries and it might be my favorite of the 7 Mrs. Murphy's I've read because it's so different. Actually, the whole series is different. It's co-authored by a woman and her cat(mostly the cat), and the detective team is a cat and a dog. In Murder at Monticello, the first murder(of course there are a few more) took place 200 years ago, making it all the harder to figure out whodunit, or even who was killed. The characterization is as good as the plot. I especially love how all the animals talk but the people can't hear them. This is a great book in a great series and if you haven't read them you should!
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars OK BUT!!
I love the characters but, too many ...
confusing to say the least. The books would be better with less characters. Also the cats and dog need to interact more.
Published on Aug. 1 2003 by yolanda joneleit
1.0 out of 5 stars Mickey Finns anyone?
The closest Rita will ever get to emulating "Murder, She Wrote" is in the title of this book. The similarities end there. Read more
Published on Sept. 2 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
For anyone who has thought that maybe their pets are trying to tell them something, this is a great book. And what makes this book stand out in a series of Mrs. Read more
Published on Aug. 10 2001 by Demosthenes
4.0 out of 5 stars i actually rate it 3 and a half, but that wasn't an option
I LOVE the Mrs. Murphy books - the only reason i brought this one down a little is cuz i found it to be more boring than the others. Read more
Published on Dec 8 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVED THIS BOOK
SO FAR THIS IS THE BEST. I HAVE READ THIS BOOK MANY TIMES. ALSO LET OTHER PEOPLE READ THIS BOOK. I LOVE MRS. MURPHY AND TEE TUCKER. Read more
Published on July 4 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars All my love to Charlottesville Virginia
I lived in Charlottesville for 6 years before moving to NJ, and at that time, I was reading this book, and it brought back a lot of good memories. Read more
Published on Nov. 29 1998
5.0 out of 5 stars good southern humor with suspense added
Rita Mae Brown was suggested to me by a friend. I picked up
"Murder at Monticello" not expecting to enjoy it much. Boy
was I wrong! Read more
Published on Dec 29 1996
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