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The Litter of the Law: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery Mass Market Paperback – August 26, 2014

Book 21 of 22 in the Mrs. Murphy Series

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Product Details

  • Series: Mrs. Murphy
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reissue edition (August 26, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345530497
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345530493
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Chapter one of bestseller Brown&'s enchanting 21st Mrs. Murphy mystery (after 2012&'s The Big Cat Nap) finds Mary Minor Harry Haristeen and her veterinarian husband, Fare, enjoying a drive through the central Virginia countryside one beautiful October day. A squabble among their backseat passengers—tiger cat Mrs. Murphy; Pewter, Mrs. Murphy&'s gray, overweight feline sidekick; and Tucker, a corgi—prompts the couple to pull over by a cornfield. A scarecrow that they spot in the middle of the field turns out, on closer inspection, to be a dead body. While the residents of Crozet, Va., continue to prepare for the Halloween Hayride, to raise money for the town library, the death toll mounts, and Harry resolves to catch a killer. Brown demonstrates once again why she&'s the queen of the talking animal cozy subgenre. Agent: Wendy Weil, Wendy Weil Agency. (Oct.) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

The latest in Brown’s long-running series begins with a body strung up like a scarecrow in a field. Series lead, postmistress Harry Harristeen, her husband, and her indefatigable crew of fellow-sleuth animals find the body as well as another added to a Halloween display. The first is an accountant, but the second is a friend of Harry’s who ran a local organic farm stand. The only connection between the two was a shared interest in and ancestry of Native Americans from Virginia. Harry and neighbor Deputy Cooper learn that the state does not recognize many local tribes and that their history has virtually been erased. Maps and land ownership researched by the two victims together point toward a motive. The difficulties of Native Americans in reclaiming their heritage provides an engrossing angle in the case of the gruesome Halloween crimes. As usual, the smart animals provide clues without getting in the way of the human interactions and plot. This is a strong addition to the popular series. --Amy Alessio --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

Rita Mae Brown books are always a fun "read", with an interesting plot.
Karen Barth
I figured out the killer half way through the book and flipped to the end to see if I was right.
Cynthia Garton
The plot twists and turns and weaving of history into the story makes for a wonderful read.
sjtls

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Dianne E. Socci-Tetro TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 24, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
If you want to learn about crimes against indigenous tribes , organic gardening or certain types of politics instead of reading a cozy mystery, then this will be a great book for you.

I have stayed away from Ms. Browns work for a while now ever since she started taking the books into a new direction and infusing them with the authors opinions on politics, world views, religion et al.

I thought I would give this author one more try. I am sorry I bothered. We are back to the political rants and raves of previous books but with the added thrill of ranting about the environment. Yes, I know Harry is farmer now so environmental concerns are important, but they really do not make for an interesting and cozy (what this series is supposed to have been)mystery read.

People are dying and the corpses are being arranged in gruesome and very public manners. Of course, Harry and Fair stumble accidentally on the first corpse. (Big mistake to take the postmistress job away from Harry, however that came about, it makes for weaker less believable story lines now). It takes about 60% of the novel and a thin novel it is already, for anything interesting or even resembling a clue, to happen!

I usually love the animals, but this time I found their dialogue tedious at best - plain old word filler at worse.

It was a huge struggle for me to finish this book. I used to be able to just sit there and gulp them down in one sitting, but no more.
Reading this supposed cozy mystery novel, was more like being in school and reading a textbook.*ARC Supplied by Publisher*

Good luck readers!
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By PS on October 24, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love this series, but this book was just like a textbook. The earlier books are much better. She could do so much more with Harry and Fair then she does. The characterization in this book is terrible. She got Tazio's boyfriend's name wrong. Where is her proofreader? She is making more mistakes like this in both of her series. It seems like now that she just gets an interest and builds a book around it. I am very disappointed!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Victoria on October 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It was an ok read. I think her earlier books were better and more in-depth. This one feels like a half hearted attempt. There is a lack of continuity with the characters storyline from book to book (e.g. Tazo was engaged to Mim's horse trainer, Paul deSilva, previously. In this book the horse trainer is her boyfriend and he has a different last name. Is it the same man?)
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Karen Hall on October 25, 2013
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While history was an important part of the story there was far too much unnecessary lecture. Dialog stilted. Little to no investigation.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By LaDean DeuPree on November 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sneaky Pie is filling more pages with political views with each new book. They are valid views, however. But I read for enjoyment and to escape into the mystery.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Penny on October 31, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This latest Mrs. Murphy book has promise, but it never really arrives. It has an unfinished feel, as if this were the 'proof' copy rather than the final published story. It concerns Native American rights as defined by the state of Virginia and the Federal government about a tribe I'd never heard of before. The story talks about the fact that land and culture are tied, but doesn't actually tell us anything about this tribe or specifics of why its important, or exactly how land was viewed by this tribe. No specific ideas are given to this culture. Did they live in long houses? How much did the tribes in the area contribute to the 'three sisters' of corn, beans and squash? How did they see the area and life itself? Specifically how did they lose their land? Backing England during the Revolution? Or the French during the French and Indian Wars? Bad treaties?
When I first saw the title, "The Litter of the Law" I remembered in a previous book that Mrs. Murphy had supposedly not been spayed, just had a preparatory tummy shave...but the surgery somehow overlooked. I thought there might be complicating kittens in the middle of everything... Instead, in this book, the animal characters are cartoons of their usual selves. At the end of the book, the animal's roles were way overdone to the point of nasty.
I liked some of the new characters, such as the lady who ran the vegetable stand, but Rita threw them away, and was inconsistent with the established cast.
Overall, the Halloween theme had promise that nearly arrived, a back theme of Native American rights that never did come to life, and characters who nearly phoned in their lines. Actually, she had lined up some very interesting elderly characters, people who could have 'remembered' interesting details from the past, and old enough to be eccentric. but, they were just sleepy obstacles to her finale rather than wise if eccentric contributors. I missed the fun I usually have reading one of Rita's books.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
As I see from other reviews,I am not alone in recognizing this story as but a pale shadow of the previous. In this case there is a particular soapbox that the author expounds on, actually two or three of them, but then leaves them behind and swerves away to neatly and Insufficiently wrap it up. It doesn't have that satisfying ba da BUM in the end. I will always love Mrs Murphy and friends but will return to the beginning of the series to reread in a few years when I need a dose of charm. thank you for those
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Janice M. Tucker on December 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed the Mrs Murphy books for some time, but lately the story seems to be taking a back seat to Ms Brown's attempts to influence readers on various issues. I read fiction to be entertained, not to be lectured.
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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.

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