Sex makes monkeys out of all of us. If you don't give in to it, you wind up a cold, unfeeling bastard. If you do, you spend the rest of your life picking up the pieces. . . . At the start of senior year at William & Mary, the six-foot-tall, raven-haired beauty Victoria "Vic" Savedge finds her future mapped out in detail. She will marry Charly Harrison, the son of one of Virginia's most prominent families. Though branded by a fiery streak of independence, Vic hasn't really considered any other options. Until she meets a woman named Chris. A transfer from Vermont, Chris is new to Southern mores and attitudes. Though instantly captivated by Vic, she is also drawn to the entire quirky but charming Savedge family. But the young women's friendship is not your basic college-girl variety. For neither can resist their mutual attraction-an attraction that erupts into a passion that will forever change the course of both their lives.
A heartfelt memoir from bestselling author Rita Mae Brown about the animals who have loved, endured, and taught her, and about her bottomless love for them.
To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the beloved Mrs. Murphy mystery series, Rita Mae Brown and her intrepid feline co-author Sneaky Pie Brown return with a charming claw-biting tale starring Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen. Of course prowling faithfully at Harry's side are the sleuthing cats Mrs. Murphy, ever wise, and Pewter, reliably cranky and always primed with a razor-sharp quip. Fiercely loyal and on the alert, corgi Tee Tucker is also never far behind. This time, Harry and her menagerie throw a wrench into the gears of a killer of grease monkeys.It's mid-May, and Crozet, Virginia, is heating up fast, or so it seems to Harry. The town's beloved ex-post mistress is never idle, dividing her time between raising this year's bounty of crops; taking care of her veterinarian husband, Fair; indulging her passion for classic cars; and adding further to her reputation as a nosy neighbor. It starts 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 pick-up 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 rather 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.From the Hardcover edition.
In the sequel to her beloved Six of One, Rita Mae Brown returns with another witty tale of passion and rivalry in the small Southern town of Runnymede, Maryland. Newspaper editor Nickel Smith is scrambling to save the local paper from corporate extinction, even as she is engaged in an affair that would shock the town as much as it amazes Nickel herself. Meanwhile, her mother, Julia, and her aunt Louise, the infamous Hunsenmeir sisters, who've set the town on its ears for decades, keep an eagle eye on Nickel. No matter that she's a grown woman and that they're going on ninety; they need someone to gossip about! Not even the town's weekly bingo games can keep Louise and Julia out of trouble when Ed Tutweiler Walters, an eligible newcomer, arrives in town--and has the sisters fighting over him like schoolgirls. A telling look at the foibles of modern relationships, Bingo is full of wisdom about the comforts, trials, and absurdities of small-town life and especially of our own nearest and dearest.
Brown and her feline partner are back with this new mystery starring Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen, the sleuthing cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, and corgi Tee Tucker. This time they must catch a killer determined to turn a birthday party into a funeral.
It takes a cat to write the purr-fect mystery. Things have been pretty exciting lately in Crozet, Virginia--a little too exciting if you ask resident feline investigator Mrs. Murphy. Just as the town starts to buzz over its Civil War reenactment, a popular local man disappears. No one's seen Tommy Van Allen's single-engine plane, either--except for Mrs. Murphy, who spotted it during a foggy evening's mousing. Even Mrs. Murphy's favorite human, postmistress Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen, can sense that something is amiss. But things really take an ugly turn when the town reenacts the battle of Oak Ridge--and a participant ends up with three very real bullets in his back. While the clever tiger cat and her friends sift through clues that just don't fit together, more than a few locals fear that the scandal will force well-hidden town secrets into the harsh light of day. And when Mrs. Murphy's relentless tracking places loved ones in danger, it takes more than a canny kitty and her team of animal sleuths to set things right again. . . .
Never have two species co-created a work of such suspense and humorous catitude as the wildly popular mystery series by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown. This time out, that agile-witted tiger puss Mrs. Murphy makes the round of parties where Virginia's Very Best People mingle with some of the worst. Together, she and her human must unravel a veritable cat's cradle of ambition, greed, and murder at the center of which waits a killer with the most tangled of motives. CATCH AS A CAT CAN Spring has come to the Blue Ridge Mountains, and spring fever to the tiny town of Crozet. As the annual Dogwood Festival approaches, romantic maneuvers are rampant. Even equable postmistress Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen inadvertently snatches a blind date from under the nose of manhunter Lottie Pearson, the university fundraiser. As for Mrs. Murphy, her interest in the exploding bird population is intensified by Pewter's discovery of a dead rare woodpecker near the back porch. Feline intuition tells her more mysteries lie ahead. And they do. A case of stolen hubcaps seems relatively straightforward until the truck that transported them to the unsuspecting O'Bannon brothers' upscale salvage yard turns out to be completely untraceable. And while everybody deplores the tipsy, raunchy behavior of young mechanic Roger O'Bannon, nobody is sure it accounts for his sudden death over a sobering cup of coffee. But when his brother Sean will not authorize an autopsy and presses on with preparations for the Wrecker's Ball, the climax of the season's junketing, people start to whisper. Then, as violent thunderstorms sweep in from the west to shadow spring festivities, another death occurs-could it be murder? Harry ponders whether the two deaths are connected. And as she and her furry cohorts-the cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter and corgi Tee Tucker-get mud on their boots and paws mapping local terrain and relationships and sniffing out telltale scents of villainy, someone is watching their every move. When a shooting leads to the discovery of a half-million crisp, clean dollar bills that look to be very dirty, Harry's blood is really up. But by the time she's close to fingering a cold-blooded murderer, Mrs. Murphy already knows who it is-and who's next in line. She also knows that Harry, curious as a cat, does not have nine lives. And the one she does have is hanging by the thinnest of threads.
It's no secret that cats are a mystery writer's best friend. Just ask the bestselling team of Rita Mae Brown and her furry partner, Sneaky Pie Brown, back on the prowl with another unforgettable whodunit. This time a controversial miracle in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains sparks religious fervor-and a suspicious death. Now the indefatigable felines Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, along with the dogged corgi Tee Tucker, must trust their animal instincts to sniff out the worst of human nature. . . . With the holidays approaching, Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen and her best friend, Susan Tucker, take a much-needed time-out at the mountain monastery of Mount Carmel. There, under the benevolent gaze of the statue of the Virgin Mary, their worldly worries are soon overshadowed. For in front of their very eyes the statue begins to cry tears of blood. Legend has it that Mary's crimson tears are harbingers of crises. And though skeptical, the ever-practical Harry can already see one on the horizon. If leaked, news of the so-called miracle could turn the monastery and the town of Crozet into a circus. What Harry doesn't foresee is murder. ... When Susan's great-uncle Thomas, a resident monk, is found frozen to death at the base of the statue, foul play is ruled out-at first. But at Harry's urging, the body is exhumed for an autopsy. There's just one problem: the coffin is empty. That's when Mrs. Murphy, Pewter, and Tucker get involved. Then there's the shocking revelation of a mystery that has perplexed the citizens of Crozet for ages. With Christmas around the corner and the monastery overrun by the faithful, all Harry's meddling menagerie can do is stay on her trail as she jumps knee-deep into an unofficial investigation-one that becomes more dangerous when another Crozet citizen meets an untimely demise. In this case it will be a miracle if Harry stays alive. . . . From the Hardcover edition.
Winter puts tiny Crozet, Virginia, in a deep freeze and everyone seems to be suffering from the winter blahs, including postmistress Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen. So all are ripe for the juicy gossip coming out of Crozet Hospital-until the main source of that gossip turns up dead. It's not like Harry to resist a mystery, and she soon finds the hospital a hotbed of ego, jealousy, and illicit love. But it's tiger cat Mrs. Murphy, roaming the netherworld of Crozet Hospital, who sniffs out a secret that dates back to the Underground Railroad. Then Harry is attacked and a doctor is executed in cold blood. Soon only a quick-witted cat and her animal pals feline Pewter and corgi Tee Tucker stand between Harry and a coldly calculating killer with a prescription for murder.
She had the president's ear and the nation's heart.She's the wife of the fourth president of the United States; a spirited charmer who adores parties, the latest French fashions, and the tender, brilliant man who is her husband. But while many love her, few suspect how complex Dolley Madison really is.Only in the pages of her diary--as imagined by novelist Rita Mae Brown--can Dolley fully reveal herself. And there we discover the real first lady--impulsive, courageous, and wise--as she faces her harshest trial: in 1814, the United States is once more at war with mighty Britain, and her beloved James is the most hated man in America.From the White House receptions she gaily presides over to her wild escape from a Washington under siege, Dolley gives us a legend ,made warmly human. For there has never been a first lady so testedèor one who came through the fire so brilliantly.From the Paperback edition.
She had the president's ear and the nation's heart. She's the wife of the fourth president of the United States; a spirited charmer who adores parties, the latest French fashions, and the tender, brilliant man who is her husband. But while many love her, few suspect how complex Dolley Madison really is.Only in the pages of her diary--as imagined by novelist Rita Mae Brown--can Dolley fully reveal herself. And there we discover the real first lady--impulsive, courageous, and wise--as she faces her harshest trial: in 1814, the United States is once more at war with mighty Britain, and her beloved James is the most hated man in America.From the White House receptions she gaily presides over to her wild escape from a Washington under siege, Dolley gives us a legend ,made warmly human. For there has never been a first lady so testedèor one who came through the fire so brilliantly.
New York Times bestselling author Rita Mae Brown bounds to the front of the pack with Fox Tracks, the thrilling new mystery in her beloved foxhunting series featuring the indomitable "Sister" Jane Arnold and, among others, the boisterous company of horses and hounds. Now, as a string of bizarre murders sweeps the East Coast, this unlikely alliance must smoke out a devious killer who may be closer than they first think. While outside on Manhattan's Midtown streets a fierce snowstorm rages, nothing can dampen the excitement inside the elegant ballroom of Manhattan's Pierre Hotel. Hunt clubs from all over North America have gathered for their annual gala, and nobody is in higher spirits than "Sister" Jane, Master of the Jefferson Hunt in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. Braving the foul weather, Sister and her young friend "Tootie" Harris pop out to purchase cigars for the celebration at a nearby tobacco shop, finding themselves regaled by the colorful stories of its eccentric proprietor, Adolfo Galdos. Yet the trip's festive mood goes to ground later with the grisly discovery of Adolfo's corpse. The tobacconist was shot in the head but found, oddly enough, with a cigarette pack of American Smokes laid carefully over his heart. When a similar murder occurs in Boston, Sister's "horse sense" tells her there's a nefarious plot afoot--one that seems to originate in the South's aromatic tobacco farms. Meanwhile, Sister's nemesis, Crawford Howard, will stop at nothing to subvert the Jefferson Hunt Club. There's more than one shadowy scheme in the works in Albemarle County, and some conspirators are unafraid of taking shots at those evidencing too keen an interest in other people's business. When Sister voices her suspicions, she, too, becomes a target. Fortunately for her, the Master of the Jefferson Hunt may rely upon the wits and wiles of her four-legged friends--including horses Lafayette and Matador, the powerful hound, Dragon, and even the clever old red fox, Uncle Yancy! From Manhattan's gritty streets to the pastoral beauty of Virginia horse country, Fox Tracks features the beloved characters from past Sister Jane novels in a fascinating new intrigue. This sly, fast-paced mystery gives chase from sizzling start to stunning finish! Praise for Rita Mae Brown Hounded to Death "Fast-paced and filled with scenes from the world of fox hunting . . . Brown delivers the brush."--The Baltimore Sun "Chock-full of suspense, twists, and humor."--Lavender magazine The Tell-Tale Horse "Intriguing . . . Fans of the series will be fascinated with Jane's evolution under Brown's hand. With each book, Jane becomes more real--and more human--in the reader's imagination."--Richmond Times-Dispatch "Grabs readers from the opening scene and gallops through to the very surprising end."--Horse Illustrated The Hounds and the Fury "A genteel Virginia foxhunting club makes a delicious setting for murder. How pleasant to linger among the settees and brandy snifters waiting for the bodies to pile up!"--Memphis Commercial Appeal "An intriguing story."--Associated PressFrom the Hardcover edition.
In the third novel of her captivating foxhunting series, Rita Mae Brown welcomes readers back for a final tour of a world where most business is conducted on horseback-and stables are de rigueur for even the smallest of estates. Here, in the wealth-studded hills of Jefferson County, Virginia, even evil rides a mount. The all-important New Year's Hunt commences amid swirling light snow. It is the last formal hunt of the season; therefore, participation is required no matter how hungover riders are from toasting the midnight before. On this momentous occasion, "Sister" Jane Arnold, master of the foxhounds, announces her new joint master and the new president of the Jefferson Hunt. And her choices will prove to be no less than shocking. The day's festivities are quickly marred, though, by what appears on the surface to be an unrelated tragedy. Sam Lorillard, former shining star and Harvard Law School alum, lies dead of a stab wound on a baggage cart at the old train station, surrounded by the outcasts and vagabonds who composed his social circle at the end of life. No one can remember when Sam started drinking, but the downward spiral was swift-and seemingly deadly. Murder is followed by scandal when Sister Jane discovers dishonest hunting practices going on in a neighboring club. Unsure whether to turn a blind eye or report the infringement to the proper authority, Sister and her huntsman, Shaker Crown, decide to investigate a little further, with the help of their trusty hounds. But when they come a little too close to the staggering truth-and uncover an unforeseen connection to Lorillard's murder-they realize they might not survive to see the next New Year's Hunt. Intricate, witty, and full of the varied voices of creatures both great and small,Full Cryis an astute reminder that even those with the bluest of blood still bleed red. From the Hardcover edition.
From the celebrated author of Rubyfruit Jungle and Bingo comes a stirring novel of the Civil War, a tale of true love and mistaken identity. Brimming with colorful characters and vivid settings, High Hearts is Rita Mae Brown at her most ambitious and entertaining.April 12, 1861. Bright, gutsy and young,Geneva Chatfield marries Nash Hart in Albemarle County, Virginia, the same day Fort Sumter's guns fire the start of the Civil War. Five days later she loses him as Nash joins the Confederate Army. Geneva, who is known as the best rider since Light Horse Harry Lee, cuts her hair, dons a uniform, enlists as "Jimmy Chatfield," then rides off to be with her beloved Nash. But sensitive Nash recoils in horror from the violence of war, while Geneva is invigorated by the chase and the fight. Can she be all the man her husband isn't? She'll sure as hell try. But there is a complication, and his name is Major "Mars" Vickers. This macho major, to his own shock and amazement, finds himself inexplicably attracted to the young soldier named "Jimmy." And this is only the beginning of a novel that moves with sureness and grace from the ferocity of battle to the struggle on the homefront, and brings passion and sly humor to a story of dawning love. High Hearts is a penetrating, delightful and sweeping tale that gives fresh life to a fascinating timeFrom the Paperback edition.
Beloved authors Rita Mae Brown and her feline co-conspirator, Sneaky Pie Brown, sow the seeds of an all-new mystery featuring Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen, sleuthing cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, and that incorrigible corgi Tee Tucker. This time around, the onset of spring ushers in more than hay fever as the animal friends must come to the aid of an ailing Harry to sniff out the season's first blossom of murder. Ah, spring! The redbuds open, the robins return, and the days lengthen. People's spirits lift--as do those of their animal companions. As a wave of tilling and planting sweeps over Crozet, Virginia, Harry is especially excited: This year is her first harvesting grapes to sell. But then a health crisis sends her reeling into the forbidding world of hospitals and doctors, treatments and procedures. Surviving this journey will be tough, but Mrs. Murphy, Pewter, and Tucker will do their best to steer Harry in the right direction--as will her ever-helpful husband, Fair. Others will have worse luck: An especially 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. It's clear there's a mystery afoot--and that's one thing Harry and her menagerie can't keep their noses out of.From the Hardcover edition.
In her well-received novel Outfoxed, Rita Mae Brown vividly and deftly brought to life the genteel world of foxhunting, where hunters, horses, hounds, and foxes form a tightly knit community amidst old money and simmering conflicts. With Hotspur, we return to the Southern chase-and to a hunt on the trail of a murderer.Jane "Sister" Arnold may be in her seventies, but she shows no signs of losing her love for the Hunt. As Master of the prestigious Jefferson Hunt Club in a well-heeled Virginia Blue Ridge Mountain town, she is the most powerful and revered woman in the county. She can assess the true merits of a man or a horse with uncanny skill. In short, Sister Jane is not easily duped.When the skeleton of Nola Bancroft, still wearing an exquisite sapphire ring on her finger, is unearthed, it brings back a twenty-one year old mystery. Beautiful Nola was a girl who had more male admirers than her family had money, which was certainly quite a feat. In a world where a woman's ability to ride was considered one of her most important social graces, Nola was queen of the stable. She had a weakness for men, and her tastes often ventured towards the inappropriate, like the sheriff's striking son, Guy Ramy. But even Guy couldn't keep her eyes from wandering.When Nola and Guy disappeared on the Hunt's ceremonial first day of cubbing more than two decades ago, everyone assumed one of two things: Guy and Nola eloped to escape her family's disapproval; or Guy killed Nola in a jealous rage and vanished. But Sister Jane had never bought either of those theories.Sister knows that all the players are probably still in place, the old feuds haven't died, and the sparks that led to a long-ago murder could flare up at any time. Hotspur brings all of Rita Mae Brown's storytelling gifts to the fore. It's a tale of Southern small-town manners and rituals, a compelling and intricate murder mystery, and a look at the human/animal relationship in all its complexity and charm. From the Hardcover edition.
From "New York Times"-bestselling author Brown comes a delightfully suspenseful and engaging new mystery featuring Sister Jane Arnold, Master of Foxhounds.
Critics and fans alike are wild about Rita Mae Brown's richly imagined and utterly engaging foxhunting mysteries-and this latest novel promises more thrilling hunts, breathtaking vistas, and an all-new sinister scandal. Millions of dollars seem to be missing after a long-overdue audit of the local aluminum plant reveals a major accounting discrepancy. Company president Garvey Stokes finds himself at a loss-in more ways than one. He turns to his sharp-tongued, ornery bookkeeper, Iphigenia "Iffy" Demetrios, for an explanation, but she's no help. Yet when the fuzzy math suddenly includes a body count, the figures can no longer be ignored. While the town sheriff tries to get to the bottom of the matter, leave it to "Sister" Jane Arnold, venerable master of the Jefferson Hunt Club, to rely on her keen horse-and-hound sense to follow the trail of murder and cover-up. Throwing her off the scent, however, is former hunt club donor and all-around cad Crawford Howard, who thinks he can go toe-to-toe with the beloved septuagenarian and outclass her club by grossly sidestepping hound- and-hunt etiquette. Against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a menagerie of friends, foes, and fresh new faces saddle up for the breakneck ride to unravel the conspiracy. Even the furry denizens in the fields and boroughs have a thing or two to say about these peculiar humans. Incomparable author Rita Mae Brown returns to the glorious hills of Virginia and its genteel foxhunting society, where how much money you have in the bank is not nearly as important as how long your family has lived on the land-and where nearly everyone has something to hide. As Sister muses, "The little secrets leak out. The big ones, well, some escape like evils from Pandora's box. And others we'll never know. " From the Hardcover edition.
"A rich, atmospheric murder mystery . . . rife with love, scandal . . . redemption, greed and nobility," raved the San Jose Mercury News about Outfoxed, Rita Mae Brown's first foxhunting masterpiece. In The Hunt Ball, the latest novel in this popular series, all the ingredients Brown's readers love are abundantly present: richness of character and landscape, the thrill of the hunt, and the chill of violence.The trouble begins at Custis Hall, an exclusive girls' school in Virginia that has gloried in its good name for nearly two hundred years. At first, the outcry is a mere tempest in a silver teapot-a small group of students protesting the school's exhibit of antique household objects crafted by slaves-and headmistress Charlotte Norton quells the ruckus easily. But when one of the two hanging corpses ornamenting the students' Halloween dance turns out to be real-the body of the school's talented fund-raiser, in fact-Charlotte and the entire community are stunned. Everyone liked Al Perez, or so it seemed, yet his murder was particularly unpleasant. Even "Sister" Jane Arnold, master of the Jefferson Hunt Club, beloved by man and beast, is at a loss, although she knows better than anyone where the bodies are buried in this community of land-grant families and new-money settlers. Aided and abetted by foxes and owls, cats and hounds, Sister picks up a scent that leads her in a most unwelcome direction: straight to the heart of the foxhunting crowd. The chase is on, not only for foxes but also for a deadly human predator.No one has created a fictional paradise more delightful than the rolling hills of Rita Mae Brown's Virginia countryside, or has more charmingly captured the rituals of the hunt. No one understands human and animal nature more deeply. The Hunt Ball combines a rounded, welcoming world with an edge of unforgettable white-knuckled menace. From the Hardcover edition.
For years a "lost" collector's item, here is the second novel from a brilliant young author testing her literary muscle, and it's bursting at the seams with Rita Mae Brown's trademark cast of characters and crackling quips. Written immediately after her classic Rubyfruit Jungle, In Her Day takes a loving swipe at the charged political atmosphere of Greenwich Village in the early seventies. Elegant art history professor Carole Hanratty insists brains transcend lust--until she crashes into Ilse, a revolutionary feminist flush with the arrogance of youth. Blazing with rhetoric, their romance is a sexual and ideological inferno. Ilse campaigns to get Carole to join The Movement, but forty-four-year-old Carole and her zany peers have twenty years of fight behind them and are wary of causes bogged down in talk. After all, says Carole's best friend, the real reason for a revolution is so the good things in life circulate. Her idea of subversion is hiring a Rolls-Royce to go to McDonald's. In Her Day, with its infectious merriment and serious underpinnings, proves that if politics is the great divider, humor is the ultimate restorative.From the Paperback edition.
The chase is on in New York Times bestselling author Rita Mae Brown's gripping new foxhunting mystery, featuring the irrepressible "Sister" Jane Arnold and the wily antics of her four-legged friends. In Let Sleeping Dogs Lie, a century-old crime reawakens bad will--and stirs up a scandal that chills Sister to the bone. Sister Jane and the Jefferson Hunt Club have traveled from Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains to the Bluegrass State of Kentucky to ride with the members of the Woodford Hounds--in the teeth of foul weather. Sister knows better than anyone that an ill wind blows no good. After the hunt, Sister Jane and her boyfriend, Gray Lorillard, head to a sumptuous party on a nearby estate, also home to a historic equine graveyard. The revelry is interrupted by jarring news: The discovery of grisly remains in the cemetery that are decidedly not equine. Now Sister and her hounds are on the case, digging up clues to an old murder that links three well-connected Southern families. When mayhem follows the Jefferson Hunt back to Virginia, the deadly doings become all too real: A dear friend of Sister's is found murdered. Sister and her animal friends must work fast to find a clever killer determined to keep deep-rooted secrets buried. A rollicking, riveting mystery, Let Sleeping Dogs Lie is a masterly novel full of colorful characters, gorgeous country landscapes, and the breathtaking thrill of the hunt. Praise for Rita Mae Brown Let Sleeping Dogs Lie "[Brown's] foxhunting titles are great for readers who like gentility with a wicked little twist."--Library Journal Fox Tracks "[Brown] enlivens a timely tale with . . . amusing accounts of her four-legged creations and delightful descriptions of the central Virginia countryside."--Richmond Times-Dispatch Hounded to Death "Fast-paced and filled with scenes from the world of fox hunting . . . Brown delivers the brush."--The Baltimore Sun The Tell-Tale Horse "Grabs readers from the opening scene and gallops through to the very surprising end."--Horse Illustrated The Hounds and the Fury "An intriguing story."--Associated PressFrom the Hardcover edition.
Rita Mae Brown collaborates with feline co-author Sneaky Pie Brown in a new 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. "As feline collaborators go, you couldn't ask for better than Sneaky Pie Brown."--The New York Times Book ReviewFrom the Hardcover edition.
If you crossed Mitford, North Carolina, with Peyton Place, you might come up with Runnymede, Maryland, the most beguiling of Southern towns. In Loose Lips, Rita Mae Brown revisits Runnymede and the beloved characters introduced in Six of One and Bingo, serving up an exuberant portrayal of small-town sins and Southern mores, set against a backdrop of homefront life during World War II. "I'm afraid life is passing me by," Louise told her sister. "No, it's not," Juts said. "Life can't pass us by. We are life." In the picturesque town of Runnymede, everyone knows everyone else's business, and the madcap antics of the battling Hunsenmeir sisters, Julia (Juts) and Louise, have kept the whole town agog ever since they were children. Now, in the fateful year of 1941, with America headed for war, the sisters are inching toward forty... and Juts is unwise enough to mention that unspeakable reality to her sister. The result is a huge brawl that litters Cadwalder's soda fountain with four hundred dollars' worth of broken glass. To pay the debt, the sisters choose a surprisingly new direction. Suddenly they are joint owners of The Curl 'n' Twirl beauty salon, where discriminating ladies meet to be primped, permed, and pampered while dishing the town's latest dirt. As Juts and Louise become Runnymede's most unlikely new career women, each faces her share of obstacles. Restless Juts can't shake her longing for a baby, while holier-than-thou Louise is fit to be tied over her teenage daughter's headlong rush toward scandal. As usual, the sisters rarely see eye to eye, and there are plenty of opinions to go around. Even the common bond of patriotic duty brings wildly unexpected results when the twosome joins the Civil Air Patrol, watching the night sky for German Stukas. But loose lips can sink even the closest relationships, and Juts and Louise are about to discover that some things are best left unsaid. Spanning a decade in the lives of Louise, Juts, and their nearest and dearest, including the incomparable Celeste Chalfonte, Loose Lips is an unforgettable tale of love and loss and the way life can always throw you a curveball. By turns poignant and hilarious, it is deepened by Rita Mae Brown's unerring insight into the human heart.
Mrs. Murphy digs into Virginia history--and gets her paws on a killer. The most popular citizen of Virginia has been dead for nearly 170 years. That hasn't stopped the good people of tiny Crozet, Virginia, from taking pride in every aspect of Thomas Jefferson's life. But when an archaeological dig of the slave quarters at Jefferson's home, Monticello, uncovers a shocking secret, emotions in Crozet run high--dangerously high. The stunning discovery at Monticello hints a hidden passions and age-old scandals. As postmistress Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen and some of Crozet's Very Best People try to learn the identity of a centuries-old skeleton--and the reason behind the murder--Harry's tiger cat, Mrs. Murphy, and her canine and feline friends attempt to sniff out a modern-day killer. Mrs. Murphy and corgi Tee Tucker will stick their paws into the darker mysteries of human nature to solve murders old and new--before curiosity can kill the cat--and Harry Haristeen.
When an obituary of a popular principal appears in the local newspaper, the good people of Crozet, Virginia are upset. They're even more shocked when they learn the obit was a joke. Mrs. Murphy the canny tiger cat is the only one who senses the malice behind the act, and her instincts prove sound when another false obituary appears, followed by one fiendish murder after another. Now the shrewd puss must lead postmistress Harry Haristeen down a perilous trail to a deadly killer . . .