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Mrs. Murphy Series

Rita Mae Brown
Whiskers in the Dark by Rita Mae Brown
Available ON (06-04-19)

Whiskers in the Dark

Book 28
Hardcover $28

Mrs. Murphy Series : Titles in Order

Book 28
The discovery of a body in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains dredges up mysteries that have lingered from Revolutionary Virginia through the Civil War and beyond, in a supernaturally thrilling new tale from Rita Mae Brown and her feline co-author Sneaky Pie Brown.

A trial is underway in Albemarle County, where Mary Minor “Harry” Harristeen and her trusty crew of two- and four-legged friends hope to catch a killer–who may not be the person accused of the crime.

Since an old friend’s body was discovered by the hunting club’s faithful beagles, it has been up to Harry–with her crime-solving cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, and Tee Tucker the corgi–to sniff out a trail of clues. Meanwhile, bloodshed dating back generations continues to haunt the current grounds of the National Beagle Club of America. Are past claims of ghost sightings still to be ignored? And what do these paranormal apparitions have to do with the very modern drama unfolding in court and the all-too-real threats confronting Harry and her companions at every turn?
Book 27
Rita Mae Brown and her feline co-author Sneaky Pie Brown return to Albemarle County, Virgina, as tangled mysteries past and present converge in the bestselling Mrs. Murphy series.
 
“As feline collaborators go, you couldn’t ask for better than Sneaky Pie Brown.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
With the New Year just around the corner, winter has transformed the cozy Blue Ridge Mountain community of Crozet, Virginia, into a living snow globe. It’s the perfect setting for Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen to build a new work shed designed by her dear friend, local architect Gary Gardner. But the natural serenity is shattered when out of the blue, right in front of Harry and Deputy Cynthia Cooper, and in broad daylight, Gary is shot to death by a masked motorcyclist.
 
Outraged by the brazen murder, Harry begins to burrow into her friend’s past—and unearths a pattern of destructive greed reaching far back into Virginia’s post-Revolutionary history. When Harry finds incriminating evidence, the killer strikes again.
 
Heedless of her own safety, Harry follows a trail of clues to a construction site in Richmond, where the discovery of mysterious remains has recently halted work. Aided as always by her loyal, if opinionated, companions, crime-solving cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, and Tee Tucker the Corgi, Harry hunts for a link between the decades-old dead, the recently violently deceased—and ancient secrets that underlie everything. And while other deaths are narrowly averted in a flurry of fur, the killer remains at large—ever more desperate and dangerous. The deep-rooted legacy of corruption that’s been exposed can never be buried again. But if Harry keeps pursuing the terrible truth, she may be digging her own grave.

Praise for Probable Claws

“Series fans will know exactly what to expect: animals who talk to one another, [Rita Mae] Brown’s personal views on an array of topics, and a healthy dose of Virginia history.”—Publishers Weekly

“The animal crew, joined by a surprising new addition, is in rare form. . . . Beautiful illustrations bring the pet personalities to life.”—Kirkus Reviews
Book 26
Rita Mae Brown and her feline co-author Sneaky Pie Brown are back chasing mystery with their unique circle of Southern sleuths. And though the changing colors of fall are a beauty to behold, this year the scattered leaves hide a grim surprise. 

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

Autumn is in the air in the Blue Ridge Mountain community of Crozet, Virginia—and all the traditions of the changing seasons are under way. Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen cleans her cupboards, her husband, Fair, prepares the horses for the shorter days ahead, and the clamorous barking of beagles signals the annual rabbit chase through the central Virginia hills. But the last thing the local beaglers and their hounds expect to flush out is a dead body. 

Disturbingly, it’s the second corpse to turn up, after that of a missing truck driver too disfigured to identify. The deaths seem unrelated—until Harry picks up a trail of clues dating back to the state’s post-Revolutionary past.

The echoes of the Shot Heard Round the World pale in comparison to the dangerous shootout Harry narrowly escapes unscathed. Next time, it may be the killer who gets lucky. But not if Harry’s furry friends Mrs. Murphy, Pewter, and Tucker can help it. Lending their sharp-nosed talents to the hunt, they’ll help their mistress keep more lives from being lost—and right an injustice buried since the early days of America’s independence.

Praise for A Hiss Before Dying

“Clearly the cat’s meow.”—Library Journal

“Thoroughly delightful!”—Red Carpet Crash

“An air of mystery, a touch of history and that undeniable voice . . . Sneaky Pie Brown is back on the prowl.”—Daily Progress

“The staccato conversation style of the contemporary chapters contrasts nicely with the more fluid prose of those set in the eighteenth century. Brown’s signature asides—on such subjects as local and national politics, traditional art, race, God, and just about anything else that strikes her fancy—give readers plenty to think about.”—Publishers Weekly
Book 25
In this fast-paced mystery by Rita Mae Brown and her feline co-author Sneaky Pie Brown, Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen and her animal friends seek to solve a whodunit rooted in eighteenth-century Virginia—uncovering a shocking secret that refuses to stay buried.
 
TALL TAIL
 
At any moment a perfect summer day in Crozet, Virginia—nestled within the Blue Ridge Mountains—might turn stormy and tempestuous, as Harry knows too well when a squall suddenly sweeps in. In a blink, Harry’s pickup nearly collides with a careening red car that then swerves into a ditch. Harry recognizes the dead driver slumped over the vehicle’s steering wheel: Barbara Leader was nurse and confidante to former Virginia governor Sam Holloway.
 
Though Barbara’s death is ruled a heart attack, dissenting opinions abound. After all, she was the picture of health, which gives Harry and her four-legged companions pause. A baffling break-in at a local business leads Harry to further suspect that a person with malevolent intent lurks just out of sight: Something evil is afoot.
 
As it happens, Barbara died in the shadow of the local cemetery’s statue of the Avenging Angel. Just below that imposing funereal monument lie the remains of one Francisco Selisse, brutally murdered in 1784. Harry’s present-day sleuthing draws her back to Virginia’s slave-holding past and the hunt for Selisse’s killer. Now it’s up to Harry and her furry detectives—Mrs. Murphy, Pewter, and Tee Tucker—to expose the bitter truth, even if it means staring into the unforgiving eyes of history and cornering a callous killer poised to pounce.

Praise for the Mrs. Murphy Mysteries by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown
 
“As feline collaborators go, you couldn’t ask for better than Sneaky Pie Brown.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“Mrs. Murphy mysteries are fun, sweet, and beautifully adventurous.”—Bustle
 
“Brown [is] the queen of the talking animal cozy.”—Publishers Weekly


From the Hardcover edition.
Book 24
There’s nothing like a tail well told. Rita Mae Brown and her feline co-author Sneaky Pie Brown return with an all-new mystery featuring Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen, crime-solving cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, and ever-faithful Tee Tucker the corgi.
 
TAIL GAIT
 
Spring has sprung in Crozet, Virginia—a time for old friends to gather and bid farewell to the doldrums of winter. Harry and her husband, Fair, are enjoying a cozy dinner with some of the town’s leading citizens, including beloved University of Virginia history professor Greg “Ginger” McConnell and several members of UVA’s celebrated 1959 football team. But beneath the cloak of conviviality lurks a sinister specter from the distant past that threatens to put all their lives in jeopardy.
 
When Professor McConnell is found murdered on the golf course the next day—gunned down in broad daylight by an unseen killer—no one can fathom a motive, let alone find a suspect. Just as Harry and her furry cohorts begin nosing into the case, however, a homeless UVA alum confesses to the crime. Trouble is, no one believes that the besotted former All-American could have done the foul deed—especially after Mrs. Murphy, Pewter, and Tucker make another gruesome discovery.
 
As the questions surrounding Ginger’s death pile up, Harry’s search for answers takes her down the fascinating byways of Virginia’s Revolutionary past. The professor was something of a sleuth himself, it seems, and the centuries-old mystery he was unraveling may well have put a target on his back. As Harry edges closer to identifying an elusive killer, her animal companions sense danger—and rally to find a way to keep Harry from disappearing into history.
 
Praise for the Mrs. Murphy mysteries
 
“As feline collaborators go, you couldn’t ask for better than Sneaky Pie Brown.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Mrs. Murphy mysteries are fun, sweet, and beautifully adventurous.”—Bustle
 
“Brown [is] the queen of the talking animal cozy.”—Publishers Weekly


From the Hardcover edition.
Book 23
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY SUSPENSE MAGAZINE

Rita Mae Brown and her feline co-author Sneaky Pie Brown return with a mystery starring Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen, intrepid kitty sleuths Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, and Tee Tucker, the ever-faithful crime-solving corgi. This time around, Harry and her animal friends track a killer whose trail has gone as cold as the weather in December.
 
NINE LIVES TO DIE
 
Winter has come to Crozet, Virginia, bringing with it a fresh blanket of snow. Harry and her husband, Fair, are hip deep in their usual end-of-the-year activities: distributing food to needy residents, and shopping for outfits for the Silver Linings youth organization’s annual fundraising gala. But buried beneath the white stuff are dark secrets from Crozet’s past—and Harry and her posse of pet detectives are determined to sniff them out.
 
Two Silver Linings mentors have been found dead in suspicious circumstances. If that weren’t enough to chill the bones of the locals, a pair of severed human fingers has turned up in a pencil jar in the bookkeeper’s office at St. Cyril’s church. What does this grisly display have to do with the mysterious disappearance of Harry’s voluptuous high school Latin teacher, a quarter of a century ago? Maybe nothing. But when the animals make another gruesome discovery in the woods behind Harry’s farm, it becomes clear that terrible crimes have been committed in Crozet—and somebody’s gone to great lengths to cover them up. It’s time to stop shoveling snow and start digging for clues.
 
The truth will be revealed. A cold case will be solved. And a twenty-five-year-old love triangle is about to get untangled. The weather outside may be frightful, but Harry and her four-legged friends refuse to be spooked off the case.

Praise for Nine Lives to Die
 
“Witty and entertaining . . . a recipe for continued success and an engaging read.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch
 
“The unabashed loves of [Rita Mae Brown’s] life . . . are infectious. Perhaps because they are so clearly heartfelt, it’s easy to be swept up in the glory of her passions.”—New York Journal of Books

“Murder and mayhem are the order of the day in bestseller [Rita Mae] Brown’s well-plotted twenty-second Mrs. Murphy mystery. . . . Brown’s idyllic world, with its Christian values, talking animals, and sympathetic middle-aged pet owners, has understandably struck a chord with many readers.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“Rita Mae Brown, along with . . . Sneaky Pie, have made Harry Harristeen and her feline companion, Mrs. Murphy, household names.”—Library Journal

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


From the Hardcover edition.
Book 22
Rita Mae Brown collaborates with feline co-author Sneaky Pie Brown in a mystery starring Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen, the curious cat detectives Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, and Tee Tucker, the valiant crime-solving corgi. Halloween arrives early this year to rural central Virginia, when a twisted killer will stop at nothing to protect a multimillion-dollar scheme.
 
THE LITTER OF THE LAW
 
Autumn has descended and crops are being harvested all over Crozet, Virginia, ideal conditions for a scenic drive for Harry and husband Fair. Bucolic views are all well and good, but Harry’s nose for trouble leads her straight to a cornfield’s macabre scarecrow—an all too real murder victim that frightens all but the noisy crows.
 
This accountant’s gruesome death is only the first of many disturbing events in this normally pastoral corner of the world. While Harry tends her beloved grapes and sunflowers, a killer edges closer—as does Harry’s protective menagerie of animals.
 
Halloween’s approach brings with it bona fide terror and a beloved local tradition that threatens to become fatal. Rooting out the guilty in the treacherous center of a lucrative conspiracy requires Harry’s farmer’s wisdom—along with the quick wits and extraordinary senses of Sneaky Pie, Pewter, and Tucker. A vicious murderer may know the lay of the land far better than Harry does, but that’s about to change. It’s up to her vigilant four-footed companions to make sure that the unearthing of this plot is not Harry’s last act.

Praise 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.
Book 21
Ask not what your cat can do for you—ask what you can do for your cat.

Tired of politics as usual? Despair not: Rita Mae Brown’s intrepid feline co-author, Sneaky Pie, is taking time off from her busy schedule writing bestselling mysteries to run for President of the United States. It’s never too late to start! With help from her friends—the irascible gray cat Pewter, the wise Corgi Tee Tucker, and Tally, the exuberant Jack Russell—Sneaky crisscrosses her home state of Virginia hoping to go where no cat since Socks Clinton has gone: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. After all, who better to get the economy purring again than an honest tabby with authentic political stripes? Sneaky has an animal-friendly agenda to unify all Americans—regardless of whether they walk on two or four feet or even if they fly.

Human candidates have had their chance in Washington, and nowhere does it say in the Constitution that the next president cannot be a cat. Vote Sneaky!

Includes a preview of Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown’s next Mrs. Murphy mystery, The Litter of the Law
Book 20
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
 
“As feline collaborators go, you couldn’t ask for better than Sneaky Pie Brown.”—The New York Times Book Review 
 
It’s mid-May and murder is once again in full bloom in Crozet, Virginia—or so it seems to Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen. The trouble begins when Harry’s dear friend Miranda Hogendobber takes her on a leisurely drive that ends in a narrow drainage ditch. The chaos continues when the Very Reverend Herbert Jones’s Chevy pickup also abruptly goes kaput. But these vehicular mishaps are nothing compared to the much more distressing state of a mechanic discovered by Harry in a local repair shop: His head’s been bashed in. Despite numerous warnings from her much-loved coterie of friends, human and otherwise, Harry quickly surmises that the time has come to pop the hood and conduct her own investigation. Her animal companions see disaster fast approaching but can do little except try their best to protect their foolishly intrepid human. Harry’s race to the truth leads straight to powerful forces determined to avoid scrutiny at any cost—even if it means running Harry Haristeen off the road for good.
 
Includes a preview of Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown’s next Mrs. Murphy mystery, The Litter of the Law

“Harry and her pals are on the case. . . . [Brown] fills the series with rich central Virginia color, and readers will greet the recurring characters with fondness.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch
 
“[A] delightful book.”—Huntington News
Book 19
Ah, spring! The brighter days and singing birds have a way of lifting people’s spirits, as well as those of their animal companions. But the season can also bring out the first blossoms of murder. As the redbuds open in Crozet, Virginia, Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen is especially excited—until a health crisis sends her reeling into the forbidding world of hospitals and doctors, treatments and procedures. Surviving this journey will be tough, but Harry has her animal friends—and her ever-helpful husband, Fair—to support her. Others are considerably less fortunate: A promising nurse’s lifeless body is discovered without a mark on her. Then another hospital employee, who had seemed in perfect health, is also found dead. There’s a mystery afoot—and that’s one thing Harry and her menagerie can’t keep their noses out of.
Book 18
Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen’s beloved, tart-tongued neighbor Aunt Tally is about to turn the big 1-0-0, and the alumnae association of Tally’s alma mater is throwing a big fund-raising bash in her honor. The plan is to celebrate Tally’s centennial and recoup some much-needed school revenue lost in the cratered economy, but when a killer blizzard bears down and a board member goes missing, it falls to Harry and her menagerie of mystery solvers to track down the truth behind what is rapidly becoming a perfect storm of embezzlement, political corruption, and the kind of long-smoldering enmity that can explode into murder. Does the key lie in a forty-year-old unsolved death? If so, Harry and her four-legged friends better find it or—even at a hundred years old—Aunt Tally may outlive them all.
Book 17
As Harry well knows, there’s hardly a place on earth cozier than Crozet, Virginia, at Christmastime. Snowflakes, carolers, it’s all picture-perfect until Harry and her husband, Fair, find the tree they’ve chosen grimly decorated with a corpse. The tree farm is run by the Brothers of Love, a semimonastic organization whose members live atop the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains. Now, as the season grows merrier, a murderer is growing bolder. One by one, prominent men of Crozet are being crossed off Christmas shopping lists and added to the morgue. And if Harry and her four-legged helpers aren’t very good–and very careful–this Christmas will be her last.
Book 16
It’s autumn in cozy, idyllic Crozet, Virginia—a time for golden days, crisp nights…and murder. Mrs. Carla Paulson is one of the diamond-encrusted “come-here” set who has descended on Crozet with plenty of wealth and no feeling for country ways. She’s determined to make her new house the envy of all her well-heeled friends—and enemies —and she’s hired architect Tazio Chappers to build it. From the start, the project—and Mrs. Paulson—are a major headache for all involved. But no one could foresee that it would end with Mrs. Paulson stabbed to death at a gala fund-raiser with Harry’s friend Tazio standing over her, holding the knife. Now Harry must solve what seems to everyone else an open-and-shut case. Her four-legged partners —sleuthing cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter and corgi Tee Tucker—see it Harry’s way. But will they have to choose between catching the purrfect killer and saving Harry?
Book 15
Instead of a proper second honeymoon, the newly remarried Harry and Fair Haristeen leave cozy Crozet, Virginia, for Shelbyville, Kentucky, site of the famous saddlebred horse show. There they’ll visit dear friends Joan Hamilton and Larry Hodge and enjoy a week among some of the finest horses, trainers, and riders in the country.

But soon after they arrive, events veer mysteriously–and murderously–off course. First, Joan’s ruby and sapphire horsehead heirloom pin is stolen from her private box at the fairgrounds. Next, a young film star’s prize three-gaited mare disappears into thin air. There is no lack of suspects, from hotheaded trainers and jealous rivals to vicious ex-spouses. Then a body is found flagrantly murdered and it’s obvious to Harry that someone at Shelbyville is sending a strong message: winning is only secondary–first prize is survival.

As Harry searches for clues, rediscovers life as a married woman, and deals with her upcoming fortieth birthday, her four-legged detective friends are already on the case. But is animal instinct any match for human depravity? Especially with two humans to protect and a killer on the prowl?


From the Hardcover edition.
Book 14
Rita Mae Brown and her feline partner-in-crime-detection, Sneaky Pie Brown, return to the scene of their bestselling crimes—picturesque Crozet, Virginia. Love is in the air as spring comes to the small town, but no sooner has Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen remarried than she is rudely interrupted—by murder. And no sooner does the trouble start than curious cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, along with corgi Tee Tucker, sink their claws into the case.…

After an unexpected rekindling of their romance, Harry and her veterinarian ex-husband, Fair Haristeen, have happily remarried. But the excitement of their nuptials is quickly overshadowed by the murder of Professor Vincent Forland, a world-famous grape and fungal expert who was in town visiting the local vineyards.

Within days of giving a lecture on how distilled fungus and cattle diseases are the current basis of chemical warfare, Forland’s decapitated body is discovered. After their initial fright, the residents of Crozet believe that this was a political murder and settle back into their routines–until a local is also found dead, killed in the same gruesome manner as Professor Forland. Now residents can’t help wondering, is this really the work of an outsider—or one of their own?

No longer working in the post office, Harry had just planted a quarter acre of grapes, which fuels her natural curiosity over just what the two murder victims knew and had in common. Once the warmth of spring arrives, the grapevines blossom and Harry’s furry entourage discovers the first critical clue. But how can they show the humans what they’ve learned? And how can they—or anyone—stop the killing?


From the Hardcover edition.

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