In this fast-paced mystery by Rita Mae Brown and her feline coauthor, Sneaky Pie Brown, Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen and her animal friends seek to solve a whodunit rooted in 18th-century Virginia - uncovering a shocking secret that refuses to stay buried.
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.
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With the exception of the ill conceived "Sneaky Pie for President" this whole series is enjoyable. But, this is absolutely the best yet combining history, genetics, and a dandy mystery plot. Don't miss it
Rita Mae Brown writes beautifully:. smart plotting, great word choice and beautiful sentence structure as well as interesting fully-realized characters. Always a great read.
I've always liked this series, in part because I used to live in Crozet. Thus, one issue for me in this book is the lack of time spent in Crozet, except for a few minutes at the very real and wonderful Over the Moon bookstore. The story is interesting, but if you don't peg the murderer in the first fifty pages you have not been paying attention. It also grated on me that the reader mispronounced two names very familiar to Albemarle county folks - Duners, a wonderful restaurant in Ivy, and Van Yahres, the last name of a man who was the local delegate to the Virginia General Assembly for a long time, and who was an honest and humble person, beyond rare among politicians, He was a real citizen legislator. That said, the plot was absorbing, the writing good, and the characters true to form.
its worth it. i didn't like tge book at first but decided to stick with it cause i like the narrator. glad i did. the story is good, even if i figured out the bad guy by ch 25
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