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The Big Cat Nap: The 20th Anniversary Mrs. Murphy Mystery (Mrs. Murphy Mystery, 20th Anniversary) Hardcover – April 3, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“As feline collaborators go, you couldn’t ask for better than Sneaky Pie Brown.”—The New York Times Book Review

About the Author

Rita Mae Brown is the bestselling author of several novels, including the Sneaky Pie Brown series; the Sister Jane series; the first two books in her new canine mystery series: A Nose for Justice and Murder Unleashed; Rubyfruit Jungle; In Her Day; and Six of One. An Emmy-nominated screenwriter and a poet, Brown lives in Afton, Virginia.

Sneaky Pie Brown, a tiger cat born somewhere in Albemarle County, Virginia, was discovered by Rita Mae Brown at her local SPCA. They have collaborated on nineteen previous Mrs. Murphy mysteries: Wish You Were Here; Rest in Pieces; Murder at Monticello; Pay Dirt; Murder, She Meowed; Murder on the Prowl; Cat on the Scent; Pawing Through the Past; Claws and Effect; Catch as Cat Can; The Tail of the Tip-Off; Whisker of Evil; Cat’s Eyewitness; Sour Puss; Puss ’n Cahoots; The Purrfect Murder; Santa Clawed; Cat of the Century; and Hiss of Death, in addition to Sneaky Pie’s Cookbook for Mystery Lovers.
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Product Details

  • Series: Mrs. Murphy Mystery, 20th Anniversary
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; First Edition edition (April 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345530446
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345530448
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #645,164 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rita Mae Brown is the bestselling author of the Sister Jane novels-Outfoxed, Hotspur, Full Cry, The Hunt Ball, The Hounds and the Fury, The Tell-Tale Horse, and Hounded to Death-as well as the Sneaky Pie Brown mysteries and Rubyfruit Jungle, In Her Day, Six of One, and The Sand Castle, among many others. An Emmy-nominated screenwriter and a poet, Brown lives in Afton, Virginia.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 70 people found the following review helpful By drebbles TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
When several of Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen's friends have minor car accidents that end up with their cars needing major repairs, Harry becomes more than a little suspicious about the repair shop. Harry, being Harry, starts asking questions but before she can learn much, one of the mechanics is murdered. Soon the bodies start piling up and Harry is determined to find out what is going on. However, she needs to be careful or her curiosity may get her killed.

I used to read Rita Mae Brown's Mrs. Murphy mystery books and enjoyed them, but I drifted away from the series several years ago, tired of the preachiness in the books. I won this copy of "The Big Cat Nap" and decided to see if the series had improved. Unfortunately, it really hasn't. In this case it wasn't the political issues that bothered me - although they do exist - Brown's major target in this book is the auto repair industry (as well as her usual thoughts about farming). For me the problem with the book is that is just seemed lightweight. It was obvious early on who the bad guys were, even before the bodies started piling up. The writing is sloppy - too many times Brown explains things instead of showing them - for example, how many times do we have to be told that Harry is a motorhead? (Brown eventually did attempt to show that a little but by that point it just didn't work for me). A car accident that is an important part of the plot is thrown in there thoughtlessly - almost as if it doesn't matter to the plot - a scene with the terrified driver would have worked much better. At times Harry is far too trusting. Too often Brown seems to underestimate the intelligence of her readers by explaining something that readers can easily figure out on their own. Finally, while the animals, Mrs.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on April 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I've been reading the Mrs. Murphy series since they first began and really enjoyed them until a couple of books prior to this one. Like many readers, I thought they were a little too "preachy" and had lost the fun, engaging stories that made them such a joy to read. I almost stopped reading them after the last book but decided to give it one last try with this one. I'm glad I did. I can't say the story is all the way back to being what they used to be but I can say that I enjoyed this one a great deal. I agree with some of the reviewers that the soap box quality is still there but it is dialed down a good bit from prior books; I also agree that the story is light on engagement with the animals - one of the key reasons I've enjoyed reading these stories; and, I also agree that the plot was a bit easy to figure out. That said, it is still a very enjoyable book with likeable characters and worth the time to read it.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By JBJ on May 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed the early books, but the last two I've read have been unbearable. I was willing to give her a second chance but this one is as bad as the last. She harps on breast cancer, lectures on religion and politics, and drops the names of products left and right. Is she getting a kickback from Coke and Apple Computers? Criticizing Dell service was just tacky. She seems to think no one will read her books more than a few months after she writes them, giving a "permanent" place to her current passions. And I, for one, won't be reading her books at all in the future.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By PorterCat on May 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I digitally checked this book out from my Library. I'm glad I didn't spend any money for it as it was boring and too preachy. A few times I was the one taking a Big Cat NAP. Too much blah, blah, blah and not enought Mrs. Murphy, Tucker, Pewter and other animal sidekicks. This could have been a short story, half the length. I think Ms. Brown has gone over the edge in using her books to express her social issues agenda. I'm really disappointed as I have always looked forward to a release of her new books.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Beverley G. Simpson on April 28, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I used to read these books all the time and couldn't wait for the next one. Not anymore. The last two were downright boring. Not enough about Mrs. Murphy and Tucker. Too much about Pewter's whining. I do wish Ms. Brown would get back to her formula like when she was writing about Harry, Miranda, and the animals in the Crozet PO. I won't be buying anymore of these books.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Weintraub on June 30, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When Harry was the postmistress, the books were more organic, meaning that Harry (and the critters) came by information more naturally because people visited the post office and chatted and because Harry was downtown and thus in the midst of the action. With Harry mostly out at her farm, she depends on errands or visits for interactions, leading to a lot of exposition. In addition, in the earlier books, the animals talked more like animals.

Now, however, the books have become a grandstand for RMB's thoughts on various topics. Even the animals mostly discuss these issues, though how they get the information, apart from hearing Harry discuss it, is beyond me. I appreciate that part of the point of these books is to illustrate that animals are more perceptive than humans, but would they really care about non-dealer car parts?

The writing, as well, is less well-editing than in earlier of her novels. For one, there are too many adjectives--even about the same thing in the same sentence! In addition, in order to clarify information for the readers, RMB includes information when she could just write "Harry said"; instead, we get so-and-so "citing" a highway. (Not really a proper use of the word cite.) In many of these cases, they readers can figure out what is meant based on the content of the quote (for example, so-and-so complained).

Further, there is unnecessary information in that RMB inserts extra lines about how the characters feel about each other when she has already shown this in both this and previous books. In one case, a chapter begins with Cooper being described as envying Miranda, mostly for her garden and her skills in it; this would lead readers to believe that Miranda would play a role in the chapter.
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