Pawing Through the Past: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery

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9780553580259: Pawing Through the Past: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery
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"You'll never get old."

Each member of the class of 1980 has received the letter. Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen, who is on the organizing committee for Crozet High's twentieth reunion, decides to take it as a compliment. Others think it's a joke.

But Mrs. Murphy senses trouble. And the sly tiger cat is soon proven right ... when the class womanizer turns up dead with a bullet between his eyes. Then another note followed by another murder makes it clear that someone has waited twenty years to take revenge.

While Harry tries to piece together the puzzle, it's up to Mrs. Murphy and her animal pals to sniff out the truth. And there isn't much time. Mrs. Murphy is the first to realize that Harry has been chosen Most Likely to Die, and if she doesn't hurry, Crozet High's twentieth reunion could be Harry's last.

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Review:

When a mystery author claims her cat as coauthor, it's a fairly safe bet that the team won't be producing disturbing psychological thrillers or hard-edged legal procedurals. And indeed, Rita Mae Brown and her cat, Sneaky Pie, have carved out a comfortable niche for themselves in the cozy category, spinning tales (Rest in Pieces; Murder, She Meowed; Cat on the Scent) around the goings-on in Crozet, a small Virginia town where everyone knows everyone else and recipes and gossip are exchanged over the post office counter. Mary Minor Haristeen ("Harry") is Crozet's postmistress and the proud owner of two cats, Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, and one corgi, Tee Tucker--animals with an uncanny ability to sniff out secrets and hidden motives as well as mice and roast beef.

Pawing Through the Past capitalizes on the myriad subtle relationships that form the backbone of small-town culture, and which Brown and Sneaky Pie have carefully woven throughout the Mrs. Murphy series. In a nicely appropriate nod to that culture's rivalries and alliances, Brown has chosen a high school reunion--traditional hotbed of simmering unease--as her mise-en-scène. When each member of the Crozet High Class of 1980 receives an anonymous note stating, "You'll never get old," most take it as a joke or a compliment. But when the class womanizer turns up with a bullet between his eyes, and more notes--and more bodies--start appearing, Harry and her menagerie find themselves at the center of a revenge plot 20 years in the making.

Brown's latest is replete with the sly asides that have endeared her to animal lovers--"Cats are by instinct and inclination dedicated anarchists"--and with the naively humorous "conversations" between the animals themselves. When Pewter, watching a team of police officers wrestling a stiff corpse out of a dumpster, wonders, "Why don't they just break his arms and legs?" Murphy replies knowingly, "They'd pass out. Humans are touchy about their dead." Unfortunately, these favorable attributes can't quite mask an incoherent plot, nor Brown's awkwardly pompous social commentary: "By and large, the women looked better than the men, testimony to the cultural pressure for women to fuss over themselves." But Brown's legions of fans will doubtlessly forgive these shortcomings, concentrating instead on the antics of a memorable four-legged and furry trio. --Kelly Flynn

From the Back Cover:

"As feline collaborators go, you couldn't ask for better than Sneaky Pie Brown."
-- The New York Times Book Review

"Mrs. Murphy is a cat who detects her way into our hearts."
-- San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780553107388: Pawing Through the Past (Mrs. Murphy Mysteries)

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ISBN 10:  0553107380 ISBN 13:  9780553107388
Publisher: Bantam, 2000
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9781568951348: Pawing Through the Past

Wheele..., 2001
Hardcover

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Book Description Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc, United States, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. Itoko Maeno (illustrator). Language: English . Brand New Book. You ll never get old. Each member of the class of 1980 has received the letter. Mary Minor Harry Haristeen, who is on the organizing committee for Crozet High s twentieth reunion, decides to take it as a compliment. Others think it s a joke. But Mrs. Murphy senses trouble. And the sly tiger cat is soon proven right . when the class womanizer turns up dead with a bullet between his eyes. Then another note followed by another murder makes it clear that someone has waited twenty years to take revenge. While Harry tries to piece together the puzzle, it s up to Mrs. Murphy and her animal pals to sniff out the truth. And there isn t much time. Mrs. Murphy is the first to realize that Harry has been chosen Most Likely to Die, and if she doesn t hurry, Crozet High s twentieth reunion could be Harry s last. Seller Inventory # AAS9780553580259

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Book Description Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc, United States, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. Itoko Maeno (illustrator). Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. You ll never get old. Each member of the class of 1980 has received the letter. Mary Minor Harry Haristeen, who is on the organizing committee for Crozet High s twentieth reunion, decides to take it as a compliment. Others think it s a joke. But Mrs. Murphy senses trouble. And the sly tiger cat is soon proven right . when the class womanizer turns up dead with a bullet between his eyes. Then another note followed by another murder makes it clear that someone has waited twenty years to take revenge. While Harry tries to piece together the puzzle, it s up to Mrs. Murphy and her animal pals to sniff out the truth. And there isn t much time. Mrs. Murphy is the first to realize that Harry has been chosen Most Likely to Die, and if she doesn t hurry, Crozet High s twentieth reunion could be Harry s last. Seller Inventory # BTE9780553580259

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Book Description Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc, United States, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. Itoko Maeno (illustrator). Language: English . Brand New Book. You ll never get old. Each member of the class of 1980 has received the letter. Mary Minor Harry Haristeen, who is on the organizing committee for Crozet High s twentieth reunion, decides to take it as a compliment. Others think it s a joke. But Mrs. Murphy senses trouble. And the sly tiger cat is soon proven right . when the class womanizer turns up dead with a bullet between his eyes. Then another note followed by another murder makes it clear that someone has waited twenty years to take revenge. While Harry tries to piece together the puzzle, it s up to Mrs. Murphy and her animal pals to sniff out the truth. And there isn t much time. Mrs. Murphy is the first to realize that Harry has been chosen Most Likely to Die, and if she doesn t hurry, Crozet High s twentieth reunion could be Harry s last. Seller Inventory # AAS9780553580259

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