Sunday, February 7, 2010

Cat of the Century-Rita Mae Brown

Cat of the Century
Rita Mae Brown
Bantam, Apr 6 2010, $26.00
ISBN: 9780553807073

Ever since Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen remarried her ex husband successful veterinarian Fair, she has been happier than she has been a in a long time; dating back to when he cheated on her during their first marriage. They live in Crozet, Virginia; a town where all the animals regardless of species can talk to each other except humans. Harry’s cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, and her corgi Tee Tucker wish they could so they can warn her of danger and tell her where bodies are.

Several residents travel to William Woods University in Fuller, Missouri to celebrate Harry’s beloved sassy Aunt Tally on her hundredth birthday. There is a lot of tension between the alumnae attending; especially between Mariah D’Angelo who owns a ritzy jewelry store and stockbroker Flo Langston. Their overt animosity divides the attendees into three groups, supporters of each and those who wish they would leave.

Things turn strange when Mariah abruptly leaves. It is learned that Flo was going to accse Mariah of selling fakes in her store. When they return to Crozet, Mariah sends threatening emails to Liz Fillmore who sided with Flo and Terri Kincaid who sells high end ceramics at her shop. When Flo is killed by a sniper and Mariah is found murdered at the University, Harry and her sleuthing menagerie investigates who the killer is and why that person did it.

Any Mrs. Murphy Anthropomorphic mystery is a special treat as affirmed by Cat of the Century. The love between Harry and Fair shines throughout especalliy as he gives her space she needs to be herself even when she investigates. There are plenty of suspects with motives in a well constructed cozy that readers will enjoy in this one sitting read.

Harriet Klausner

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