The Thumbnail Book Reviews

by John Q McDonald --- August 2003

Catch as Cat Can

by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown

This reader finds it hard to get past the idea that one might have two cats and a dog following one around as does Mary Minor Haristeen throughout this book. OK, dog, yes, but cats are fiercely independent creatures and it isn't very likely anyone would really want to take their cats to a black tie charity ball. Once you get past that conceit, if you can, this turns out to be an entertaining and straightforward light mystery novel. Harry still works at the post office in Crozet, Virginia, where she can listen in on all the happenings of her small town. But, at a genteel party in celebration of the local dogwood festival, one man drops dead and sets into motion a series of dark events across the county. Was it murder? The cats and the dog seem to think so. Mrs. Murphy, a precocious little animal, dashes about, looking for clues among the mice, horses, owls and rats of the neighborhood. Harry almost unwittingly tags along and tries to help the sheriff and his deputy Cooper in their investigations. The book is fairly light, without much in the way of surprising twists. Brown (along with her cat) seems more content to describe the Southern character of Crozet and its inhabitants. The way Brown allows her characters to tell key background points is somewhat artificial, as one might not expect people who have known each other so long to speak this way. So, there is some unevenness there. The mystery also seems somehow secondary. In the end, the loose ends are tied up rather abruptly, but the book is mostly entertaining.

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Also by Rita Mae Brown: [Southern Discomfort] [Murder at Monticello]

[Other Mystery Books]

[Other Books set in the American South]

[Other Women Authors]