Santa Clawed by Rita Mae Brown
A Novel (Mrs. Murphy Mysteries)

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New York Times bestselling authors Rita Mae Brown and her feline partner, Sneaky Pie Brown, are back for the holidays in a new mystery featuring Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen, the sleuthing cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, and corgi Tee Tucker. Can they save the season from a killjoy who’s decided to gift the festive little town…with murder?

As Harry well knows, there’s hardly a place on earth cozier than Crozet, Virginia, at Christmastime. The snowflakes drifting lazily down, the soft glow of the winter light, the sound of old carols in the streets…even cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter get into the spirit batting ornaments and climbing the holiday tree. In fact, it’s this year’s tree that Harry and her husband, Fair, have gone to fetch when they find the one they’ve chosen grimly decorated with a dead body.

The tree farm is run by The Brothers of Love, a semimonastic organization that tends to AIDS patients. The brothers live in a monastery atop the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains. Harry is surprised to find an old high-school friend associated with The Brothers of Love. Christopher Hewitt wasn’t a bad man, but good works weren’t exactly one of his priorities. But then, if even Scrooge could turn over a new leaf, certainly Chris could. And after the scandal that all but destroyed his life, there were probably few in Crozet who needed the gift of a second chance more.

Harry knows she shouldn’t take it personally, but it was her tree that someone left the corpse under. Now, as the season grows merrier, a murderer is growing bolder. One by one, prominent men of Crozet are being crossed off Christmas shopping lists and added to the morgue. And if Harry and her four-legged helpers aren’t very good—and very careful—this Christmas may be her last.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Rita Mae Brown

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Rita Mae Brown is the bestselling author of the Sneaky Pie Brown series; the Sister Jane series; the first two books in her new Nevada 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 twenty previous Mrs. Murphy mysteries: Wish You Were Here; Rest in Pieces; Murder at Monticello; Pay Dirt; Murder, She Meowed; Murder on the Prowl; Cat on the Scent; Pawing Through the Past; Claws and Effect; Catch as Cat Can; The Tail of the Tip-Off; Whisker of Evil; Cat's Eyewitness; Sour Puss; Puss 'n Cahoots; The Purrfect Murder; Santa Clawed; Cat of the Century; Hiss of Death; and The Big Cat Nap, in addition to Sneaky Pie's Cookbook for Mystery Lovers.
Published November 4, 2008 by Bantam. 256 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Nature & Wildlife. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Santa Clawed

Nights and Weekends

Of course, the animals are important characters, too—characters who talk (though only their fellow animals can understand them), think, and take an active part in the story.

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