chez_jae: (Books)
Apparently, I've been to busy to post here. I finished reading Murder at Monticello on Thursday evening. Ahem. It's the third book in the "Mrs Murphy" mystery series by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown.

Harry Harristeen and friends and residents of Crozet, VA, have been raising funds to help renovate Monticello, the former residence of Thomas Jefferson. When an archaeological dig at the slave quarters turns up a skeleton, the entire town is abuzz with speculation. However, after someone affiliated with the renovations is murdered, everyone's attention shifts to this current menace in their midst. Harry is convinced the two deaths, old and new, have something in common. Her pets, Mrs Murphy and Tee Tucker, launch an investigation of their own, in an effort to sniff out a killer before any harm can come to Harry.

I enjoyed this book, but not as much as I've liked others in the series. It's all written in third person point of view, which is fine, but in this book, the focus was not on Harry and her pets nearly as often as in previous installments. Even in third person pov, the action should center on the main character(s). This one seemed to jump around too much, although I can see that it helped set the stage for the climax, as well as providing some clues as to who dunnit.

Favorite lines:
♦ "We're all trying to do too much in too little time. It's all about money. It'll kill us. It'll kill America."
♦ "It's so easy to love animals and so hard to love people."
♦ The day you see, the night you hear.
♦ Pewter, furious, sat down and bawled. "I will not run. I will not take another step. My paws are sore and I hate everybody. You can't leave me here!"

Just like a cat!
♦ "Too bad humans don't have fur. Think of the money they'd save," said Paddy. // "Yeah, and they'd get over worrying about what color they were because with fur you can be all colors."
♦ "Who is more anti-Semitic than another Jew? Who is more antigay than another homosexual? More antifeminist than another woman? The oppressed contain reservoirs of viciousness reserved entirely for their own kind."

This book was written more than 20 years ago, and I am amazed at how it resonates today.

Good book, four stars:

****
chez_jae: (Books)
Friday, I finished reading Rest in Pieces, which is the second book in the "Mrs Murphy" mystery series by authors Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown.

When handsome, single Blair Bainbridge moves to Crozet, VA, the local busybodies want to match him up with newly divorced Mary "Harry" Haristeen. However, when fresh body parts are located in an old graveyard on Blair's new property, excitement shifts to the crime and the possible identity of the victim. Later, the torso and then the head are found, each discovery more gruesome than the last. Harry's pets, Mrs Murphy and her sidekick, Tee Tucker, are anxious to protect Harry and to sniff out more clues. Once another murder victim is found and a third man from Crozet goes missing, the race is on to find a killer before anyone else is harmed.

Very entertaining story. I liked Blair, and it was fun to renew acquaintances with characters from the first book. Even the pets are amusing! I figured out who dunnit and why early on, but I still enjoyed reading along to the conclusion.

Favorite lines:
♥ "Give me that back, you striped asshole!"

I may have yelled something similar to Dweezil a time or two!
♥ Nothing sadder on this earth than a human being without a cat.

Superb! Five hearts!

♥♥♥♥♥
chez_jae: (Books)
Yesterday, I finished reading Wish You Were Here. It's the first book in the "Mrs Murphy" mystery series by authors Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown. I am ashamed to admit that I have perhaps a dozen of these books, and apparently, I hadn't read any of them.

*wallows in shame*

Mary Minor Harristeen, "Harry" to her friends, is the postmistress in the small town of Crozet. She enjoys her job, and she takes advantage of it to read other people's postcards. When two people in town are murdered in grisly fashion, Harry recalls that each of them received postcards, depicting tombstones, with the phrase "Wish you were here" on them. She's convinced it's a clue, but the police aren't so sure.

In the meantime, Harry's cat, Mrs Murphy, and her Corgi, Tee Tucker, are concerned for her welfare. They take it upon themselves to sniff out some clues on their own.

Interspersed with the murder mystery was a glut of small town politics, religion, and social class. Harry's pending divorce is a source of gossip, as is the upcoming wedding of the mayor's daughter. I enjoyed meeting Harry, her pets, and the other citizens of the town. They were a fun and lively bunch! Even other pets were well-characterized. Made me want to visit.

Favorite line:"'That government governs best which governs least', and this one has its tentacles into every aspect of life, every aspect. Terrifying. Why, they even want to tell us what to do in bed."
Considering this book was written a quarter of a century ago, this is frighteningly accurate!

Wonderful characters, fast-paced action, lots of intrigue and humor...and cats! Loved it!

Five stars:

*****

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