Sunday, May 18, 2014

Nine Lives to Die: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery by Rita Mae Brown

It's the deep dark dead of winter when a coyote finds a skeleton's arm and drags it away to chew on it.  A bracelet falls from the arm and Mrs. Murphy claims as a present for Harry, her owner.  She knows she'll love it.  She just didn't expect it to be found so soon...

Bantam and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 24th, so make a note.

Harry and Fair are very busy in the community right now.  Baskets of food are being distributed by the churches and merchants to make it a Merry Christmas for everyone.  It amused me that they had codes for the folks they were delivering to.  They ran from loud, drunk, violent, odd to the best of homes.  All kinds were down on their luck this year.

Harry ran into an elderly lady who didn't leave her house much and she was definitely odd.  She thought her sister was trying to kill her.  Not far away, they found an old alcoholic man that didn't keep a very clean house and was glad to see them leave.  Those two characters become more important at the end of the story.

When the skeleton is discovered, it's still too ugly weather to retrieve it; it's too hard to get there by vehicle.  Going back after some snow has melted finds the spot under the tree empty; the skeleton is gone.  Then they find the skeleton sitting next to the barn.  Someone is playing with them.  Who could the dead person be?  You don't become a skeleton overnight buried in the mountains.

You never really know the people you work with or befriend.  All of us have secrets.  But most aren't hiding a murder.  This murder was from Harry's school days and the murderer is someone she knows well.  Small town jealousies can breed trouble.  Solving a cold case takes a lot of work by all, but solve it they did.

One of my favorite parts of Ms. Brown's stories are the interactions between the animals.  She gives them voices only you hear and it's believable.  My cats talk to me.  They also understand what I tell them.  This is part of why I like her mysteries.  They're always a good read.


BarbRad said...

I love the Mrs. Murphy books. I've been waiting for one I haven't read yet. Thanks for reviewing it.

Journey of a Bookseller said...

Doing good with you today, Barb. Two out of two! We both enjoy the same kind of books, which is cool.