Rita Mae Brown is the bestselling author of 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, as well as several other novels. 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 twenty 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; Hiss of Death; and The Big Cat Nap; in addition to Sneaky Pie for President and Sneaky Pie’s Cookbook for Mystery Lovers.
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Excerpt from book:
Fair Haristeen, doctor of veterinary medicine, and his wife, Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen, loved to steal a Saturday and cruise the back roads of central Virginia. It reminded them of their courting days, back in high school, when Fair, bruised from Friday night’s football game, would pick up Harry, dirty from the stable, and they’d drive around in his 1958 Chevy pickup. Now, over two decades later, Fair was at the wheel of their station wagon, Harry beside him, the pets in the back seat, as they rode through the countryside.
Mrs. Murphy, the tiger cat, Pewter, her gray, overweight sidekick, and Tucker, the corgi, usually accompanied their people everywhere except in high heat. On a mild day like today, windows down a crack, the three could sleep or chat while the humans talked.
“Perfect weather,” Fair declared.
October 12 was indeed a ravishing fall day—early fall, for the summer warmth lingered late this year. Forests looked spray-painted with yellow, orange, flaming red, deep red, old gold.
“Hey, Miranda got the respiratory flu.” Harry mentioned a former co-worker and dear friend. “She’s swearing that drinking electrolytes will cure her. She saw it on TV.”
Fair shook his head. “Electrolytes will help, but our beloved Miranda seems susceptible to quacks.”
Watching the passing scenery, Pewter noticed a lovely yellow clapboard farmhouse. “Quack—duck. Why call a crook a quack?”
“I don’t know,” Tucker replied. The corgi was well used to Pewter’s inquiring mind. “They also use the term ‘snake oil.’ A quack sells snake oil. It’s confusing.”
“Ha!” Pewter whooped. “If they’ll buy snake oil, maybe we can get them hooked on catnip.”
“Humans don’t sniff catnip,” Tucker replied with dignity.
“They can learn.” The gray cat spoke with conviction.
“Pewter, sometimes I think you’re cracked as well as fat,” the dog unwisely said.
“Fat!” Pewter raged.
“You need a seat all your own. Every time we take a turn, the flab on your belly sways,” Tucker teased.
Pewter lashed out, a quick right to the shoulder.
Tucker growled, showing her fangs.
“That is enough!” Harry turned around.
“I haven’t done a thing.” Mrs. Murphy distanced herself from the combatants, who now rounded on her.
“Brown-noser!” Pewter whacked the tiger cat, who gave as good as she got.
The hissing and barking irritated FPraise for The Litter of the Law and the Mrs. Murphy mysteries
“As feline collaborators go, you couldn’t ask for better than Sneaky Pie Brown.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Enchanting . . . Brown demonstrates once again why she’s the queen of the talking animal cozy subgenre.”—Publishers Weekly
“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.”—Booklist
From the Hardcover edition.