Tall Tail (Mrs. Murphy Series #25)

Tall Tail (Mrs. Murphy Series #25)

by Rita Mae Brown


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In this fast-paced mystery by Rita Mae Brown and her feline co-author Sneaky Pie Brown, Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen and her animal friends seek to solve a whodunit rooted in eighteenth-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.

Praise for the Mrs. Murphy Mysteries by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown
“As feline collaborators go, you couldn’t ask for better than Sneaky Pie Brown.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Mrs. Murphy mysteries are fun, sweet, and beautifully adventurous.”Bustle
“Brown [is] the queen of the talking animal cozy.”Publishers Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780594751847
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/17/2016
Series: Mrs. Murphy Series , #25
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 106,148
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Rita Mae Brown is the bestselling author of the Sneaky Pie Brown series; the Sister Jane series; the Runnymede books, including Six of One and Cakewalk; A Nose for Justice and Murder Unleashed; Rubyfruit Jungle; and In Her Day, 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.

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chapter 1

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Tall Tail (Mrs. Murphy Series #25) 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Boring. Not much action between animals. Had plot figured out early in book. So dissapointed in book, I think she should retire this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the way Brown took a historical event and weaved it into modern day crime. As always, this has been a fantastic read. I just wish Brown had the next book done already. Stephanie Clanahan
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dianne57 More than 1 year ago
Tall Tail (Mrs. Murphy #25) by Rita Mae Brown If you like your southern mysteries to flow as slow as molasses during a Northern February, then this cozy is going to be right up your alley. At about the fifth time I picked up this book, and the fifth time I found myself dozing off while reading it, I finally gave up. I’m sorely getting tired of author’s pushing their personal agenda’s on me. I swore with the last Mrs. Murphy novel I read that did this, I was going to be finished for good...well she did it again. I don’t want to hear about organic gardening, I don’t want to read a book about the author’s politics or how they feel superior to the people in the Northern part of the country (Hint-the war is over). I don’t want another book that flits from era to era –maybe this flip-flopping had a point, but if it did then it just waited too long to let me know what that point was. I finally gave up after my fifth snooze. ARC provided by publisher
gromine49 More than 1 year ago
I do have to say that the ending of the story totally took me by surprise but overall this story is the same enjoyable Sneaky Pie Brown with all the animals, but mainly the dogs and cats. It is a wonderful addition to the Brown mystery series, as Harriet innocently gets herself involved in another mystery, that of her friend Susan's grandfather's nurse who everyone thinks it was just a car accident. Well-written and the reader quickly gets involved in the story.
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I have read in this series and from what I have read about the other books, this one is a little different. The animals are really not involved in the story much at all. Harry is almost in a collision with a red car during a storm and when she rounds the corner, she finds the car in the ditch and the driver dead. It turns out the driver is the nurse for G-Pop, the governor, her friend Susan's grandfather. It is originally ruled an accident (heart attack) but then ruled a murder after drugs are found in her system. Parallel to this story is the story of Rachel and Catherine (ancestors), their husbands and some slaves that have been wrongly accused of murder. When there are some other suspicious goings on, the family is a little worried about G-Pop being in danger. Further investigation reveals that Eddie, Susan's cousin may be trying to hide information that could ruin his chance at the Senate. The past and present storylines were blended quite well and there was not problem following them. There was not a lot of mystery, but it was an interesting story nonetheless. I will have to check out other books in this series. I would recommend this story to cozy mystery lovers as well as historical fiction readers. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Muttcafe More than 1 year ago
Rita Mae Brown continues to be one of the most well known and beloved authors of cat/dog cozy mysteries. Despite the long run of the series, her plots remain fresh and captivating, as well as pertinent. Tall Tail is an intriguing novel that links two murders - one modern (the unexpected death of Barbara Leader, former governor James Holloway's nurse) and one historical (the murder of Francisco Selisse, a businessman with a penchant for brutality). The connection between the deaths is surprising but quite believable. When it comes to developing a strong plot, Rita Mae Brown is an expert. What may cause some to waver in interest is the amount of political discussion that takes place throughout the novel. Rita Mae Brown doesn't shy from the issues, particularly racism and is clearly against politicians who seek out power for its own sake rather than to serve the needs/desires of constituents. Politics does play an important role in the plot, so its inclusion is planned, not gratuitous. My only wish is that the illustrations included with the text were better. Somehow, they were not as nice as those in her previous novels. I can definitely recommend Tall Tail, as well as Rita Mae Brown's other novels. The Mrs Murphy mysteries do not have to be read in order. 5/5 I received a copy of Tall Tail from the publisher and netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. --Crittermom
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best in series. Great historical fiction.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
Tall Tail: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery by Rita Mae Brown is the twenty-fifth book in the Mrs. Murphy Mystery series. Harry Haristeen is driving down the road with her brood (her animals) in Crozet, Virginia when another car comes careening down the road. The other driver ends up in an accident near the Avenging Angel statute in the local cemetery. Harry (short for Mary Minor Haristeen) hurries over to check on the driver and finds Barbara Leader dead at the wheel. Barbara is the nurse for Susan’s paternal grandfather, Samuel Holloway (former governor of the state). Barbara had been such a help with Samuel (lifting his spirits). Samuel has leukemia and is slowly dying. His mind, though, is still sharp and he is busy working on his biography. A few days later a media company is broken into. Harry was using the company to shoot video for her website and they had recently shot footage at Big Rawly, the Holloway estate. Coincidence or is something more sinister afoot in this small town? It is 1784 in Virginia when Francisco Selisse is murdered. It is believed Moses, a slave killed him and his wife, Ailee is an accomplice. Maureen Selisse, the victim’s wife, was present at the time. Catherine and John Schuyler along with Rachel and Charles West help Moses and Ailee. They did not commit the crime, but no one will believe a slave. Francisco is buried in the local cemetery with a beautiful Italian statue of an Avenging Angel marking his grave. How does the past tie in with what is happening in the present? I have not read A Mrs. Murphy Mystery is a few years so when I saw this novel up for review, I thought it would be nice to catch up. I found Tall Tail to be more of life (and the people) in Crozet than a mystery novel. We get a lot of information about golf, Harry’s farm, horses, politics (a lot about politics) and the various animals. Tall Tail is nicely written and entertaining, but the mystery was easy to figure out. The beginning can be very confusing if you have not read any of the other books in the series especially when it starts going back in time (you have to get quite a bit into the book to see how the past and present relate). There are quite a few characters and it is almost impossible to keep them all straight (unless you have read every book in the series). I give Tall Tail 3 out of 5 stars (it was okay). If you are a fan of the Mrs. Murphy series, then you will enjoy Tall Tail. I do want to mention that the animals take a backseat in this novel. They have very few scenes, but they do get to help Harry (they get in a little action). I received a complimentary copy of Tall Tail from NetGalley in exchange for an honest evaluation of the novel.
DarcysBookBlog More than 1 year ago
It’s been a while since I’ve read a Mrs. Murphy book, but I have to say, I was a little disappointed in this one. The thing that I was most disappointed about was the writing. The characters are a bit older, say in the forties, and yet the way they talk, you would think they were teenagers. I think that’s what bugged me the most while reading this book. It didn’t seem realistic for the characters that I remember from the earlier Mrs. Murphy books. I liked that she would flash back to the murder in 1784 that effected the present day murder, but I just wish that the dialogue hadn’t seemed so juvenile. I can’t review this too much, since this was DNF for me, but I feel like I have to go back and read the earlier books to see if I’m not remembering the characters right. I was provided a free copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
TessT More than 1 year ago
This is, I believe the 25th that Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown have given us. 1st book or 25th book, makes no difference to me. I have always loved these entertaining and yes, sweet, at times. books. Nothing makes me quite as happy as when I get to visit with Harry and Fair in Crozet VA. Susan, Harry's BFF and her husband Ned live a stone's throw away, as does Deputy Cynthia Cooper, known as Coop. But even with the 3 of them close at hand, they still can't do much to lend a hand to Fair, when Harry takes it in her head to do something. Ms. Brown includes sever sweet animals in this series. There is Mrs. Murphy, a tiger cat, Pewter, a pleasingly plump cat, and Tee Tucker, lovable corgi. There are also many other 4 legged characters to help as needed. I hope that everyone who gets a chance to read this series is as happy as I am. FTC Full Disclosure - A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of her better efforts with interesting insights into life in the post-Revolutionary South.