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Cover image for A hiss before dying : a Mrs. Murphy mystery
Format:
Title:
A hiss before dying : a Mrs. Murphy mystery
ISBN:
9780553392494

9781432838812
Edition:
First edition.
Publication:
New York : Bantam Books, [2017]
Physical Description:
xvii, 350 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.
Series title(s):
Summary:
"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. 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. "As feline collaborators go, you couldn't ask for better than Sneaky Pie Brown."--The New York Times Book Review"-- Provided by publisher.

"A Hiss Before Dying is a current contemporary mystery exploring wild animal poaching counterpointed with a historical narrative set in America's post-revolutionary past, featuring the characters readers embraced in Tail Gait and Tall Tail"-- Provided by publisher.
Geographic Term:
Electronic Access:
www.randomhousebooks.com
Holds:

Available:*

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MYSTERY Brown, R.
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MYSTERY Brown, R.
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MYSTERY - BROWN
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Brown, R.
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BROWN
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MYSTERY BROWN
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MYS BROWN
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M BROWN Rita Mae
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MYSTERY Brown, R.
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On Order

Summary

Summary

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


Author Notes

Rita Mae Brown was born in Hanover, Pennsylvania, on November 28, 1944. She received an associate's degree from Broward Junior College in 1965, a B.A. in English and classics from New York University in 1968, a Cinematography Degree from the School of the Visual Arts in 1968, and a Ph.D. in English and political science from the Institute for Policy Studies in 1976. She was the writer-in-residence at the Women's Writing Center of Cazenovi College and a visiting instructor teaching fiction writing at the University of Virginia.

After publishing two books of poetry, she published her first novel, Rubyfruit Jungle, in 1973. Her works include The Hand that Cradles the Rock, Sudden Death, Venus Envy, Loose Lips, and Rita Will: Memoir of a Literary Rabble-Rouser. She writes the Mrs. Murphy Mystery series and Foxhunting Mysteries series. She also writes screenplays and teleplays including Sweet Surrender, Room to Move, Table Dancing, and The Long Hot Summer. Her work on TV earned several Emmy nominations and she received the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Variety Show in 1982 for I Love Liberty.

(Bowker Author Biography) Rita Mae Brown is the author of many novels, including "Outfoxed" & "Loose Lips". She & her collaborator, Sneaky Pie Brown, have written eight previous Mrs. Murphy mysteries, most recently "Pawing Through the Past".

(Publisher Provided)


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Bestseller Brown's leisurely paced 25th Mrs. Murphy mystery (after 2016's Tall Tale) finds farm owner Mary "Harry" Haristeen's pets-Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, both cats, and Tee Tucker, a corgi-enjoying a walk one autumn day near sundown in Virginia's rural Albemarle County. When the animals spot an eagle carrying a strip of bloody flesh in its talons, an obliging blue jay informs them that it's a blue human eyeball. "Sometimes a horse will have blue eyes," Tucker comments. (Yes, these animals can communicate with each other, which is a big part of the appeal of this long-running series.) Soon two unidentified bodies turn up, and Harry and her pets do what they can to assist in solving the murders. The present-day action is supplemented by a story, told in flashback, of prominent families in Albemarle County and Richmond shortly after the Revolutionary War. Brown uses her knowledge of Virginia history to illuminate some of the economic hardships facing the new nation and the social mores of the time. The staccato conversation style of the contemporary chapters contrasts nicely with the more fluid prose of those set in the 18th 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 besides the loosely connected plot lines. Agent: Wendy Weil, Wendy Weil Agency. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Kirkus Review

Two modern murders with ties to the 18th century excite the interest of a Virginian busybody and her animal friends, though perhaps not many others.First, Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen's beloved petscats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, along with their much maligned corgi companion, Tee Tuckerare on the prowl near their farm in Crozet when they see an eagle flying overhead with a strip of skin and a human eyeball dangling from its talons. Next up is Deputy Cynthia Cooper, who responds to a call about a running transport vehicle with the keys still in the ignition. The missing driver turns up dead and wedged beneath a rock, with half his face torn off and no eye. Then the Waldingfield Beagles, a pack of hunting dogs on a horseless, kill-free hunt, find the body of an African-American investigator with an 18th-century brass chita slave pass from one of the area's former plantation owners, Ewing Garth. As the narrative alternates between the earlier century, including Garth, his family, his "people" (delicacy prevents the Garths from calling them slaves), and his neighbors, and the 20th-century citizens of Albermarle County, more questions arise about what the late private eye was investigating, who robbed a high-end shop of Native American artifacts, who disturbed the graves of an 18th-century couple, and who's taking potshots at the ever curious Harry. The plot inches forward amid debates about currency in the 18th century and modern lessons about Virginia history and discussions of golf, along with commentary from Mrs. Murphy and friends. A couple of tacked-on resolutions will provide small satisfaction to genre fans. This 27th meandering cozy from Brown and her feline co-author (Tall Tail, 2016, etc.) is cluttered with too many characters too sketchily drawn. Loyal fans may be chagrined to see the franchise menagerie reduced to little more than a furry Greek chorus. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.