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Catch as Cat Can: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery Mass Market Paperback – Feb 4 2003

3.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (Feb. 4 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553580280
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553580280
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.7 x 17.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #194,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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