From Publishers Weekly
Murder casts a shadow over the yuletide cheer in bestseller Brown's 17th Mrs. Murphy mystery (after The Purrfect Murder
) to feature Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen, former postmistress of Crozet, Va. On a visit to the Brothers of Love Christmas tree farm, Harry, her husband and their animal friends are dismayed to stumble on a murdered monk. Someone has cut the throat of Christopher Hewitt, a former insider trader, and placed a Greek coin, an obol, under his tongue (in Greek mythology an obol ensures safe passage to the underworld). Deputy Cynthia Cooper and sheriff Rick Shaw's investigation grows to include the similar murder of Brother Speed, a former jockey. Who's targeting the monks? Next, Harry's almost killed after her wily pets alert her to money hidden on her land. Figuring out whodunit leads the Haristeens and the authorities to a double-edged discovery regarding the root of all evil that fans of the furry detectives and their two-legged pals will appreciate. (Nov.)
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Newly remarried Harry Harristeen, full-time farmer (and amateur sleuth), is excited about the upcoming holidays, but her spirits are dashed when she finds a dead monk at the Christmas-tree farm. Of course, Harry’s three cats, Mrs. Murphy, Tucker, and Pewter, are just as interested as Harry in uncovering the murderer, who’s wrecking the holidays for everyone by killing off the seemingly selfless monks. This series is just about as formulaic as cozy mysteries can be, but it’s a formula that works, and this entry is just as fun and satisfying as the rest, from the sassy dialogue between the animals to Harry’s dedication to solving crimes, even when it means risking her own safety. The secondary characters, from husband and equine vet Fair to friend and deputy Cooper, provide a solid backdrop to the story. Demand will make this an essential purchase for all mystery collections. --Jessica Moyer