Top critical review
The title's the best part!
on July 3, 2004
I, too, read all of the Mrs. Murphy mysteries. I found this one difficult to get involved in and was probably a hundred pages into it before I did. The story was interesting, as were the facts about rabies; I also liked that there are some changes for Harry in this installment.
But distractions abound. First, the novel is not well written. Brown wants her characters to speak naturally, but she also wants to provide her readers with necessary information. Consequently, she has natural dialogue, but then adds information in the form of "she mentioned," etc., interrupting the flow of that natural dialogue. Brown also tends to be somewhat repetitive with information (for instance, about Cazenovia and Elocution). I don't recall if the narrator was omniscient in her other books; in this book, the omniscience takes the form of statements like, "Tazio liked Paul"-often information unrelated to the dialogue and so general and bland as to not add to the story.
"Whisker of Evil" also had more of a religious slant than the previous books. It starts with Harry finding a dying man and talking to G-d. Various characters-not just Miranda-quote scripture. And the animals, too, discuss religion. (It's pointed out that each animal believes that his or her own species is G-d.)
Bottom line: read it for the plot developments on Harry, so you won't be lost when the next book comes out!