The Litter of the Law (Mrs. Murphy Series #22)

The Litter of the Law (Mrs. Murphy Series #22)

by Rita Mae Brown

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Rita Mae Brown collaborates with feline co-author Sneaky Pie Brown in a 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.
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.

Praise for The Litter of the Law and the Mrs. Murphy mysteries
“As feline collaborators go, you couldn’t ask for better than Sneaky Pie Brown.”The New York Times Book Review
“Enchanting . . . Brown demonstrates once again why she’s the queen of the talking animal cozy subgenre.”Publishers Weekly
“As usual, the smart animals provide clues without getting in the way of the human interactions and plot. This is a strong addition to the popular series.”Booklist

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345530493
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/26/2014
Series: Mrs. Murphy Series , #22
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 165,965
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.80(h) x 0.90(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.

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chapter 1

Excerpted from "The Litter of the Law"
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Copyright © 2014 Rita Mae Brown.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Litter of the Law 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
moldyworm12 More than 1 year ago
Always entertaining and enjoyed the way victums displayed in an unusual fashion.
DeNeedle More than 1 year ago
I am a true dyed in the wool Sneaky Pie Brown fan. I enjoy this series tremendously. It's got characters you can believe, plus I'd like to be able to "hear" my animals talk. I'm a former bookseller and I buy some books, but several series I read I can readily get at the library, but I buy my Sneaky Pie Brown! I'm looking forward to June for the next one!
fatcat77 More than 1 year ago
More of a political soapbox than a mystery novel.  But then all of Rita Mae Brown's latest works are like this... I should have passed.
TessT More than 1 year ago
Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie have an amazing gift. It seems to me that each book is better than the last. I believe this is the 23rd book of the series and I think that readers will never tire of Harry and her helpers.  Along for the ride as always, are sweet little Tee Tucker, Harry's corgi, Mrs. Murphy a tiger cat and reining matriarch of the group and selfish, self centered, but endearing Pewter, a cat who will steal your heart, and your food if you're not careful! I feel almost as if we could all meet at Harry's house for a cup of coffee and be welcomed right into their adventures. It is always so nice to touch base with Ms. Brown's characters, but I do admit that I missed Aunt Tally and Big Mim. Any fan of Ms. Brown and Sneaky Pie will once again be drawn in, and if you're anything like me, you will be hugely disappointed when it's all over. I can only hope that Ms. Brown is busily working on the next book!
SunMtnReviews More than 1 year ago
One way I can become immersed in the beauty of autumn is through books, vicariously experiencing the season through the story’s setting and characters. One of those novels that does exactly this is Rita Mae Brown’s The Litter of the Law.  The series is set in a small rural farming community called Crozet, Virginia, which is also a real town. The Litter of the Law takes place in October and centers on the protagonist, Mary Minor Haristeen or “Harry” who  finds herself caught up in solving a series of bizarre murders as Halloween approaches. However, Harry isn’t the only one doing some sleuthing. Her loyal, loving four-legged feline companions, Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, along with Tee Tucker the corgi are right there beside her, helping to find clues and providing backup in case it’s needed.  This little band of quirky sidekicks provides an additional layer of amusement as readers can’t help but get caught up in their non-human, often entertaining, bickering and teasing.  This is the first book I’ve read in the series, and although it can stand alone, I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had started the series from the beginning.  The author has created an entire detailed fictional community with lots of characters, townspeople, who have ongoing roles in each installment. Brown does provide a list of the “Cast of Characters” at the beginning of the book to explain each character’s connection to Harry and her family and/or their relevance to the plot. However, trying to remember who‘s who overwhelmed me at times and became a distraction from my enjoying the crux of the book: Harry’s search to discover why people are being murdered in her quiet, little close-knit community.  If I followed the series, I may have been more interested in the chit chat that occurs about various characters in the book even though they aren’t involved in this particular plot. This slowed the pacing of the story and I was bored by some of these non-relevant conversations. However, when I wasn’t distracted by these aspects of the book, I did enjoy trying to connect the clues Harry and the others discover in the scenes leading up to my favorite part of the book: the annual Halloween Hayride. The climax was suspenseful and I wasn’t completely sure who the guilty party was until an elaborate scheme is exposed.  Of course, Harry and her entourage prove themselves as worthy heroes by the book’s conclusion.  Another aspect of the plot I really enjoyed is the author’s inclusion of the plight of the Monocan people, Native Americans of Virginia who had been stripped of their rights when the state of Virginia refused to officially recognize this indigenous tribe.  The author incorporates their struggles into the plot smoothly and effectively, adding an additional layer of interest to the story.  If you like reading cozy mysteries, then I would recommend checking out this series because, as Brown says, “It takes a cat to write the purr-fect mystery.”  Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher to provide an honest review.
ksprings More than 1 year ago
Harvest time has reached old Virginia and Halloween is just around the corner. Harry, her husband, Fair, their cats Mrs Murphy and Pewter, and their Welsh Corgi Tucker are getting ready for a Halloween Hayride when they come across a scarecrow being pecked at by crows. It turns out to be the body of a local accountant and he proves to be only the first. Can Mrs Murphy and her friends protect their beloved humans from a deranged killer, especially with Harry having a nose for mystery? Litter of the Law is part of Rita Mae Brown's Mrs Murphy Mysteries. The series started back in 1990 with Wish You Were Here. It introduce the newly divorced Mary Minor Haristeen, Harry to her friends, with her animal companions Mrs. Murphy, a grey tiger cat, and Tucker, her Welsh Corgi. People and animals have come and gone since then. Harry remarried her former husband, Fair. Pewter, a rotund grey cat joined Mrs. Murphy and Tucker. Friendships have shattered and reformed. I have always enjoyed this series, but lately, it seems to have gotten a bit stale. While some of the changes added a new dynamic to the story, others have seemed to have not worked as well. This latest attempt is an interesting "whodunnit" it seems to lack some of the spark of the earlier books in the series. I still found it enjoyable and think fans of the series will still be rooting for Harry and her friends.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have every Mrs. Murphy book that has been written. Unfortunately I have noticed that the last few books have gotten shorter and shorter. I purchase hardback copies as soon as they are released and appreciate getting my money's worth, don't feel that I have. The clipped "local" speech pattern that Ms. Brown has adopted for her characters is far from exemplary of the area. We actually speak in complete sentences! Here's hoping her next book is meatier!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
catwoman101 More than 1 year ago
Rita Mae and Sneaky Pie have once again written a great mystery book with our favorite animal sleuths! I'm just finishing up this book and will savor the end by slowly reading it in a quiet place without interruption.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If she was a movie star in the 50's -- lets say 1955 -- that that was 60 years ago. If the movie star was 25, that would make here 85!!! Boom boom must like mature ladies! And btw, the lectures take up too much space.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank you
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is it#&8675 or is it&#8675
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*She purrs with happniness for her old clan mates.**
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sleeped soundly as Crowtail watched warily.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She called for the clan together. "We today have an apprintence. Lilypaw, step foward. Your mentor will be Thrushwing." She purred, watching them touch noses. "I have also wanted to say if Quailfeather and me are inactive, Tigerpelt is in charge. Not now. Anyways, we ignore Ethereal if they attack. And Bloodclan. And Extinction. Or any evil clan." She flicked her tail in dissmissal. <p> Thrushwing purred and touched noses with Lilypaw.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She lept on High Ledge and called out, "Today I will be assigning deputy. I call upon the spirit of Quailfeather to hear and approve my choice. Icegaze will be the new deputy of Thistleclan." Sh lept off, cheering, "ICEGAZE!"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He dipped his head. "Thank you."