From Publishers Weekly
Mystery fans who dote on their pets will welcome this second tale of murder co-authored by Brown and her cat, Sneaky Pie. A follow-up to the duo's Wish You Were Here, it reintroduces characters and settings in the tiny town of Crozet, Va. Central to the tale are postmistress and knowledgeable farmhand Mary Minor Haristeen (Harry), her cat Mrs. Murphy and her Welsh corgi Tee Tucker. Mrs. Murphy, as it happens, "bears an uncanny resemblance to authoress Sneaky Pie," and virtually every reference to her is amusingly flattering. Other key Crozet denizens include the nosy, well-meaning widow Mrs. Hoggendobber; the haughty, monied Sanburne family; Harry's ex-husband and his new love interest, a woman nicknamed "Boom Boom." Gossip is at a low ebb in Crozet until male model Blair Bainbridge moves to the farm bordering Harry's. Matchmakers start to buzz, but they are rudely interrupted when assorted parts of a dismembered body are found on Blair's land. The animals, whose speech is italicized in the text and generally misunderstood by humans, form their own hypotheses about the murder, and naturally have a hand/paw in solving the crime. The Browns expertly depict small-town life, detailing holiday parties, a fox hunt and Harry's chores during a bucolic winter. Although talking, sleuthing animals may seem cloying to serious folk, this is in actuality a spooky, baffling tale complete with (Rita Mae) Brown's trademark surprise ending.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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From Kirkus Reviews
Second in Brown's ``Mrs. Murphy'' mystery series. The liveliness evident in Brown's earlier novels (Rubyfruit Jungle, Southern Discomfort, etc.) ripples on in the twit and josh among old acquaintances in the small hunt-club-Waspy town of Crozet, Virginia, but readers will need a twin tolerance: animals that talk amongst themselves, and grue piled higher and deeper as a corpse is discovered--first a hand, then more until the full corpse doth appear in--aargh!--a Halloween pumpkin. As in Wish You Were Here (1990), Harry--a 30-ish postmistress and horsewoman--leads the way in puzzling over the murders of an unknown vagrant and then a bank manager, amid mailed threats, a lost earring, and gossip about a handsome new neighbor. The animals--Mrs. Murphy the cat, Tucker the dog, Simon the possum, etc.--talk things over and save ``Mom's'' life, too. Animal-lovers know better, but will probably be hooked in anyway. An adequate mystery, with plenty of jolly chat. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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