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Publisher's Summary

This 16th entry in the wildly popular Mrs. Murphy mystery series finds Harry Haristeen and the peaceable residents of Crozet, Virginia, busily preparing their gardens and homes for winter. When wealthy Carla Paulson begins plotting her extravagant new home, she ruffles more than a few feathers. Soon Carla is stabbed to death, and standing over her, with knife in hand, is one of Harry's good friends.
©2008 American Artists, Inc. (P)2008 Recorded Books

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Darren
  • College Station, TX, United States
  • 03-28-08

Mystery gone missing

In the latest installment of the Mrs. Murphy series, Rita Mae Brown brings you discussions on abortion, the evils of the Republican Party, the evils of politicians in general, relative merits of the BMW vs Mercedes transmissions, the importance of proper Virginia bloodlines for breeding, how to fit into Virginia society if you are not lucky enough to have the proper pedigree, the merits of heat pumps vs. oil burners, the glory of Ford F-150s (but the shilling is less than earlier books), evils of tv and the internet, the differences between the sexes, panty fetishes, the difficulties of veterinary coding for billing and filling, Jeffersonian architecture and the brilliance of animals. What you won't find, sadly, is a mystery of any real significance.

The series has faded from its former glory and so has the heroine, Harry Haristeen. The mystery is tacked on in most places and only rarely is it the focus of the story. Harry continues her roller coaster ride from very intelligent heroine to a stereotypical dimwit who ties herself down on the tracks in front of the proverbial train. Will her animals save her? (Of course they will). Will the enlightened and liberated modern women still need saving by the stud hero? Tired cliches and increasingly one dimensional characters are sadly taking over what were once truly pleasurable reads. They mystery would have made a good short story in length, but it still would have been mundane.

The writing is fundametally good and the debates are often fair if not balanced, but the mystery is what Rick and Coop (the law) should be listing as missing.

Kate Forbes continues to be an excellent narrator.

Bottom line: Don't feed what has become a cash cow unless the quality comes back.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Way too preachy.....

Way too much time spent having the characters make speeches in support of abortion and planned parenthood and way too little actually involving a mystery.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Boring

I could not finish listening to this story. It is filled with author opinion on everything from what you should eat and when, T.V., computers, political views, and views on abortion. Yikes-this is NOT interesting or entertaining.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Author getting too political

Anyone who listens to this series will have gotten the idea that the characters (and author, by association) clearly think that Virginia/Virginians rate higher than anybody else. But that has gotten fanatical in this book.
The author clearly thinks that being a Northener or - God forbid - a Republican is a worse sin than abortion.
I've always liked the Mrs. Murphy books but this one left a very bad taste in my mouth.