Claws and Effect (Mrs. Murphy Series #9)

Claws and Effect (Mrs. Murphy Series #9)

Hardcover(Large Print)

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What do you get when you take an acclaimed author and pair her with a writer of the feline persuasion? A fiendishly clever mystery series that is the cat's meow. Now Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown have done it again: concocted a purrfectly ingenious mystery that only a clever puss could untangle. And this time out, as murder makes its rounds at a hospital, tiger cat Mrs. Murphy must pounce on every clue to save her human from a coldly calculating killer.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786234844
Publisher: Gale Group
Publication date: 11/28/2001
Series: Mrs. Murphy Series , #9
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 433
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.93(d)

About the Author

Rita Mae Brown is the bestselling author of the Sneaky Pie Brown series; the Sister Jane series; A Nose for Justice and Murder Unleashed; Rubyfruit Jungle; In Her Day; and Six of One, as well as several other novels. An Emmy-nominated screenwriter and a poet, Brown lives in Afton, Virginia.
Sneaky Pie Brown, a tiger cat born somewhere in Albemarle County, Virginia, was discovered by Rita Mae Brown at her local SPCA. They have collaborated on numerous Mrs. Murphy mysteries—in addition to Sneaky Pie’s Cookbook for Mystery Lovers and Sneaky Pie for President.

Read an Excerpt

"People tell me things. Of course, I have a kind face and I'm a good listener, but the real reason they tell me things is they think I can't repeat their secrets. They couldn't be more wrong."

"People tell me secrets." The corgi looked up at Mrs. Murphy, the tiger cat, reposing on the windowsill at the post office.

"You're delusional. Dogs blab." She nonchalantly flipped the end of her tail.

"You just said people think you can't repeat their secrets but they're wrong. So you blab, too."

"No, I don't. I can tell if I want to, that's all I'm saying."

Tucker sat up, shook her head, and walked closer to the windowsill. "Well, got any secrets?"

"No, it's been a dull stretch." She sighed. "Even Pewter hasn't dug up any dirt."

"I resent that." A little voice piped up from the bottom of a canvas mail cart.

"Wait until Miranda finds out what you've done to her garden. She hasn't a tulip bulb left, Pewter, and all because you thought there was a mole in there last week."

"Her tulips were diseased. I've saved her a great deal of trouble." She paused a moment. "And I was careful enough to pull mulch over the hole. She won't find out for another month or two. Who knows when spring will come?"

"I don't know about spring but here comes Mim the Magnificent." Tucker, on her hind legs, peered out the front window.

Mim Sanburne, the town's leading and richest citizen, closed the door of her Bentley Turbo, stepping gingerly onto the cleared walkway to the post office because ice covered much ofcentral Virginia.

Odd that Mim would own a Bentley for she was a true Virginian, born and bred, plus her family had been in the state since the early 1600s. Driving anything as flashy as a Bentley was beyond the pale. The only thing worse would be to drive a Rolls Royce. And Mim didn't flaunt her wealth. Miranda, who had known Mim all of her life, figured this was a quiet rebellion on her friend's part. As they both cruised into their sixties, not that they were advertising, this was Mim's salvo to youth: Get Out Of My Way.

People did.

Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen smiled when Mim pushed open the door. "Good morning."

"Good morning, Harry. Did you have trouble driving in today?"

"Once I rolled down the driveway I was fine. The roads are clear."

"You didn't ask me if I had trouble." Miranda walked up to the counter dividing the post office staff from the public. As she lived immediately behind the post office, with just an alleyway in between, she slipped and slid as she made her way to work on foot.

"You haven't broken anything so I know you're fine." Mim leaned on the counter. "Gray. Gray. Cold. Hateful."

"Four degrees Fahrenheit last night." Miranda, passionate gardener that she was, kept close watch on the weather. "It must have been colder at Dalmally." She mentioned the name of Mim's estate just outside of town. As some of Mim's ancestors fled to America from Scotland they named their farm Dalmally, a remembrance of heather and home.

"Below zero." Mim strolled over to her postbox, took out her key, the brass lock clicking as she turned the key.

Curious, Mrs. Murphy dropped off the windowsill, jumped onto the wooden counter, then nimbly stepped off the counter onto the ledge that ran behind the postboxes, dividing the upper boxes from the larger, lower boxes. She enjoyed peering in the boxes. If a day dragged on she might reach in, shuffle some mail, or even bite the corners.

Today she noticed that Susan Tucker's mailbox had Cracker Jacks stuck on the bottom of it.

Mim's gloved hand, a luscious, soft turquoise suede, reached into her box. Murphy couldn't help herself; she peered down, then took both paws and grabbed Mim's hand, no claws.

"Mrs. Murphy. Let me have my mail." Mim bent down to see two beautiful green eyes staring back at her.

"Give me your glove. I love the smell of the suede."

"Harry, your cat won't let me go."

Harry walked over, slipped her fingers into the mailbox and disengaged Murphy's paws. "Murphy, not everyone in Crozet thinks you're adorable."

"Thank you!" Pewter's voice rose up from the canvas mail cart.

Harry gently placed her tiger on the counter again. A pretty woman, young and fit, she stroked the cat.

Miranda checked the bookshelves for cartons. "Mim, got a package here for you. Looks like your coffee."

Mim belonged to a coffee club, receiving special beans from various world-famous cafes once a month. "Good." She stood at the counter sorting her mail. She removed one exquisite glove and slit open envelopes with her thumbnail, a habit Harry envied, since her own nails were worn down from farm work. The older, elegant woman opened a white envelope, read a few sentences, then tossed the letter and envelope in the trash. "Another chain letter. I just hate them and I wish there'd be a law against them. They're all pyramid schemes. This one wants you to send five dollars to Crozet Hospital's Indigent Patients Fund and then send out twenty copies of the letter. I just want to know who put my name on the list."

Harry flipped up the divider, walked over to the wastebasket, and fished out the offending letter.

"Sister Sophonisba will bring you good fortune." She scanned the rest of it. "There is no list of names. All it says is to pass this on to twenty other people. 'If you wish.'" Harry's voice filled the room. "Send five dollars to Crozet Hospital's Indigent Patients Fund or your microwave will die."

"It doesn't really say that, does it?" Miranda thought Harry was teasing her but then again ...

"Nah." Harry flashed her crooked grin.

"Very funny." Mim reached for her letter again, which Harry handed to her. "Usually there's a list of names and the top one gets money. You know, your name works its way to the top of the list." She re-read the letter, then guffawed, "Here's the part that always kills me about these things." She read aloud. "Mark Lintel sent five dollars and the Good Lord rewarded him with a promotion at work. Jerry Tinsley threw this letter in the trash and had a car wreck three days later." Mim peered over the letter. "I seem to recall Jerry's wreck. And I seem to recall he was liberally pickled in vodka. If he dies he'll come back as a rancid potato."

Harry laughed. "I guess he has to get rid of that old Camry somehow so he decided to wreck it."

Copyright 2001 by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown

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Claws and Effect (Mrs. Murphy Series #9) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Okay! You can post in camp first, since I gotta wait for Sapph first anyways... :) Busy day, sorry I haven't been on. I should be good tomorrow. Night!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oh yeah, I was only planning on posting once or twice more here. We can have them head home whenever! I probably won't be on much tomorrow, but we'll get things rolling asap! I'm off to work now! I finally cracked Jordan into letting me continue doing perimeter checks on my horse, he's convinced I'll be thrown off and roll down a cliff and die lol! <p> Spirit walks close beside Lavamist as they head downhill. He can tell she is anxious still, although Horseclan territory is now in sight, so he curls his tail with hers and picks up the pace some. This way he could catch her if she fell, but they could still keep a good pace. "Almost home," he purrs, touching his nose to her ear as they go. ~Spirit
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
But medical info not accurate. Insurances stopped paying the room charges per day around the mid-90s, if not sooner. And administration does not have access to medications. I would be suspicious of any administrater who tried to gain access. I worked in hospitals for nearly 40 years. By the late 70s, if not sooner, all medications were locked up. Why would administration need the keys? Where I worked, we had automated medication dispensers in use by the mid-90s. Anyone who could gain access to that needed an access code and a password. Later the individual's fingerprint replaced the password in most cases. Very few doctors ae granted access-usually just anesthesiologists. Most doctors won't get supplies or medications themselves anyway, they expect the nurse t do that for them. And I've never seen an EKG machine kept in the basement-it just isn't practical. So I can't help but wonder how old the research is. But I love the characters even though the story line is a bit far-fetched. Guess just need to suspend my disbelief.
d__m More than 1 year ago
This story was full of characters and enjoyed all the "family" like people of Crozet. Of course, Mrs. Murphy, Pewter, and Tucker are full of fun and take care of their Mama, Mary.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I started reading this book because we had to chose a mystery book to read for my Challenge Language Arts class. At first it didn't catch as cat can, but after a little while, I was hooked. I stayed up late one Friday night while finishing the book, which had a very suspenseful climax. I loved it as I'm sure many cat lovers will. My favorite character is Pewter because of his funny personality.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An intriguing mystery once again. purr-fect. keep them coming please.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Read one Mrs. Murphy mystery and you have to go back for more. Rita Mae Brown has done it agin with the CLAW AND EFFECT. I purr a deserving best-seller.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At the western most point of the clans territory a sharp and jagged piece of land creates a mountainous barrier. Aside from one small opening, the land beyond is completely cut off. The opening is somewhat hidden unless searched for, and isn't big enough for anything larger than a fox to fit through. Just as the sun creeps over the clan side of the mountain, Dove slips silently through the bramble laced cave to the otherside. Here, unlike the Horseclan territory surrounded by mainly praires, this side of the mountain is shrouded by a dense forrest. Tall oaks, vines, and thickets shade the entire land as far as the eye can see. Once down in the forest, Dove finds her way by memory. Without knowing the way, no cat could find anything in this dense, dark woods. "Lavamist can practice her mighty tracking skills and find her own way," the lithe shecat mutters to herself in her ever unhappy mood. If Lavamist even makes it this far, the two guardians that sit night and day completely hidden at the entrance of their land could run ahead to warn Solstice of her arrival without her ever knowing. <br> Dove perks her ears at the sound of a creek and quickens her pace. The woods finally parts to reveal a hidden meadow, completely surrounded on either side by the ominous woods. There is a small creek at her paws, once dry and the site at which she'd dumped Baby's body, now babbling gently with cool water. Ahead, an old abandoned twoleg nest sits half crumpled on one end. She can see where Spirit lurks outside the den, away from the others hidden in a tree. Her green eyes narrow slightly, irritated that he is still sulking from Solstice rejecting his idea to let Lavamist live. Solstice had different plans now, and not even his son or his opinions would change them. Dove crosses the creek on a fallen log and goes to the twoleg den she calls home. As she steps into the shade of the structure, no one acknowledges her. This is not unusual, and Dove heads to the back of the den where the food is kept to eat. Solstice stops her first, stepping forward from the second level loft where he spends most of his time. "Success?" He inquires, black fur barely contrasting with the darkness of the den. Dove nods, dipping her head in respect before looking up to meet his yellow eyes. "If she's half as smart as you praise her to be, she'll be here soon," she says. At his satasfied feral grin, Dove continues on to retrieve a meal. She sits on a ledge with a view of outside, looking dangerous and lethal as she eats. ~Dove <p> Since Solstice needs to meet up with Lava alone, perhaps Lava can lose her way in the forest and then Solstice will find her. :)