Cover image for Claws and effect
Title:
Claws and effect
Author:
Brown, Rita Mae.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Prince Frederick, MD : Recorded Books, [2002]

â„—2002
Physical Description:
8 audio discs : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
Summary:
Set in the quiet town of Crozet, Virginia. In the middle of a particularly dull winter, nobody pays much mind to rumors of bad blood among the staff of Crozet Hospital, until a member of the hospital staff turns up dead. So much for the uneventful season. Harry can't resist doing some investigating of her own, but it's her sleuthing feline whose nose sniffs out the biggest clue. Co-written by the smartest cat to ever put paw to typewriter.
General Note:
Compact disc.
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
Added Author:
ISBN:
9781402534768
Format :
Audiobook on CD

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Summary

Summary

Claws and Effect


Author Notes

Rita Mae Brown was born in Hanover, Pennsylvania, on November 28, 1944. She received an associate's degree from Broward Junior College in 1965, a B.A. in English and classics from New York University in 1968, a Cinematography Degree from the School of the Visual Arts in 1968, and a Ph.D. in English and political science from the Institute for Policy Studies in 1976. She was the writer-in-residence at the Women's Writing Center of Cazenovi College and a visiting instructor teaching fiction writing at the University of Virginia.

After publishing two books of poetry, she published her first novel, Rubyfruit Jungle, in 1973. Her works include The Hand that Cradles the Rock, Sudden Death, Venus Envy, Loose Lips, and Rita Will: Memoir of a Literary Rabble-Rouser. She writes the Mrs. Murphy Mystery series and Foxhunting Mysteries series. She also writes screenplays and teleplays including Sweet Surrender, Room to Move, Table Dancing, and The Long Hot Summer. Her work on TV earned several Emmy nominations and she received the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Variety Show in 1982 for I Love Liberty.

(Bowker Author Biography) Rita Mae Brown is the author of many novels, including "Outfoxed" & "Loose Lips". She & her collaborator, Sneaky Pie Brown, have written eight previous Mrs. Murphy mysteries, most recently "Pawing Through the Past".

(Publisher Provided)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Brown's last two Mrs. Murphy novels reveal the series unevenness. Pawing through the Past [BKL My 1 00] was one of the series' best, and the latest effort is one of the worst. The problem is simply a weak plot. The action centers on Crozet (Virginia) Hospital, where a disliked administrator is found murdered in the basement. Then Mary Minor "Harry" Harristeen is hit over the head, and a popular doctor is shot to death. What--or who--ties these crimes together? As usual, the inferior humans must rely on Harry's talking felines, Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, to figure it out. Two potentially interesting subplots--one involving the hospital's connection to the Underground Railroad--fizzle, and Brown's attempt to add ballast in the form of detailed descriptions of fox hunting isn't likely to enthrall her animal-loving readership. Gone, too, are the rich portraits of Crozet's citizenry that made Pawing a winner. So what's to recommend? Only the charming felines and the fact that their fans won't want to miss a single adventure, even a weak one. --Jenny McLarin


Publisher's Weekly Review

Mrs. Murphy, the incomparable feline sleuth with attitude, returns to captivate readers in her ninth outing (Pawing Through the Past; etc.). Ice and freezing temperatures have given the inhabitants of Crozet, Va., a bad case of the Februaries with little to discuss with postmistress Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen but the weather. However, when the cantankerous Hank Brevard, plant manager of the local hospital, is found murdered in the hospital basement, the focus of attention quickly shifts. Spurred by her natural curiosity and the age-old rumors that the basement had been part of the Underground Railroad during the Civil War, Harry visits the scene only to be attacked herself. When a beloved physician becomes the next victim, Harry is convinced that the crimes are connected and that something is sorely amiss at the hospital. Fearful for her mistress's safety, Mrs. Murphy and her cohorts, fellow cat Pewter and the lovable corgi, Tucker, take matters into their own paws, snooping and sniffing to discover the secret behind the mounting body count. The personal anecdotes and perplexing predicaments of the human and nonhuman characters enhance an intriguing and well-executed mystery. Particularly of note are the descriptions of the fox hunts that are so much a part of life in rural Virginia. Grateful fans will relish this charming addition by a master of the cozy cat genre. (Mar. 6) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-When the plant manager of the Crozet Hospital is found dead, Harry and her three pets start to hunt for clues to the identity of the murderer. Later, when Harry's friend Dr. Johnson is also killed, their search moves into high gear. Of course the animals find answers long before the humans do. Their speech, humorous dialogue, and the expressive illustrations make this series entertaining. Some teens will relate to the pros and cons of living in a small town where the residents think they have a right to know everyone else's secrets.-Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

"People tell me things. Of course, I have a kind face and I'm a good listener, but the real reason they tell me things is they think I can't repeat their secrets. They couldn't be more wrong." "People tell me secrets." The corgi looked up at Mrs. Murphy, the tiger cat, reposing on the windowsill at the post office. "You're delusional. Dogs blab." She nonchalantly flipped the end of her tail. "You just said people think you can't repeat their secrets but they're wrong. So you blab, too." "No, I don't. I can tell if I want to, that's all I'm saying." Tucker sat up, shook her head, and walked closer to the windowsill. "Well, got any secrets?" "No, it's been a dull stretch." She sighed. "Even Pewter hasn't dug up any dirt." "I resent that." A little voice piped up from the bottom of a canvas mail cart. "Wait until Miranda finds out what you've done to her garden. She hasn't a tulip bulb left, Pewter, and all because you thought there was a mole in there last week." "Her tulips were diseased. I've saved her a great deal of trouble." She paused a moment. "And I was careful enough to pull mulch over the hole. She won't find out for another month or two. Who knows when spring will come?" "I don't know about spring but here comes Mim the Magnificent." Tucker, on her hind legs, peered out the front window. Mim Sanburne, the town's leading and richest citizen, closed the door of her Bentley Turbo, stepping gingerly onto the cleared walkway to the post office because ice covered much of central Virginia. Odd that Mim would own a Bentley for she was a true Virginian, born and bred, plus her family had been in the state since the early 1600s. Driving anything as flashy as a Bentley was beyond the pale. The only thing worse would be to drive a Rolls Royce. And Mim didn't flaunt her wealth. Miranda, who had known Mim all of her life, figured this was a quiet rebellion on her friend's part. As they both cruised into their sixties, not that they were advertising, this was Mim's salvo to youth: Get Out Of My Way. People did. Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen smiled when Mim pushed open the door. "Good morning." "Good morning, Harry. Did you have trouble driving in today?" "Once I rolled down the driveway I was fine. The roads are clear." "You didn't ask me if I had trouble." Miranda walked up to the counter dividing the post office staff from the public. As she lived immediately behind the post office, with just an alleyway in between, she slipped and slid as she made her way to work on foot. "You haven't broken anything so I know you're fine." Mim leaned on the counter. "Gray. Gray. Cold. Hateful." "Four degrees Fahrenheit last night." Miranda, passionate gardener that she was, kept close watch on the weather. "It must have been colder at Dalmally." She mentioned the name of Mim's estate just outside of town. As some of Mim's ancestors fled to America from Scotland they named their farm Dalmally, a remembrance of heather and home. "Below zero." Mim strolled over to her postbox, took out her key, the brass lock clicking as she turned the key. Curious, Mrs. Murphy dropped off the windowsill, jumped onto the wooden counter, then nimbly stepped off the counter onto the ledge that ran behind the postboxes, dividing the upper boxes from the larger, lower boxes. She enjoyed peering in the boxes. If a day dragged on she might reach in, shuffle some mail, or even bite the corners. Today she noticed that Susan Tucker's mailbox had Cracker Jacks stuck on the bottom of it. Mim's gloved hand, a luscious, soft turquoise suede, reached into her box. Murphy couldn't help herself; she peered down, then took both paws and grabbed Mim's hand, no claws. "Mrs. Murphy. Let me have my mail." Mim bent down to see two beautiful green eyes staring back at her. "Give me your glove. I love the smell of the suede." "Harry, your cat won't let me go." Harry walked over, slipped her fingers into the mailbox and disengaged Murphy's paws. "Murphy, not everyone in Crozet thinks you're adorable." "Thank you!" Pewter's voice rose up from the canvas mail cart. Harry gently placed her tiger on the counter again. A pretty woman, young and fit, she stroked the cat. Miranda checked the bookshelves for cartons. "Mim, got a package here for you. Looks like your coffee." Mim belonged to a coffee club, receiving special beans from various world-famous cafes once a month. "Good." She stood at the counter sorting her mail. She removed one exquisite glove and slit open envelopes with her thumbnail, a habit Harry envied, since her own nails were worn down from farm work. The older, elegant woman opened a white envelope, read a few sentences, then tossed the letter and envelope in the trash. "Another chain letter. I just hate them and I wish there'd be a law against them. They're all pyramid schemes. This one wants you to send five dollars to Crozet Hospital's Indigent Patients Fund and then send out twenty copies of the letter. I just want to know who put my name on the list." Harry flipped up the divider, walked over to the wastebasket, and fished out the offending letter. "Sister Sophonisba will bring you good fortune." She scanned the rest of it. "There is no list of names. All it says is to pass this on to twenty other people. 'If you wish.'" Harry's voice filled the room. "Send five dollars to Crozet Hospital's Indigent Patients Fund or your microwave will die." "It doesn't really say that, does it?" Miranda thought Harry was teasing her but then again ... "Nah." Harry flashed her crooked grin. "Very funny." Mim reached for her letter again, which Harry handed to her. "Usually there's a list of names and the top one gets money. You know, your name works its way to the top of the list." She re-read the letter, then guffawed, "Here's the part that always kills me about these things." She read aloud. "Mark Lintel sent five dollars and the Good Lord rewarded him with a promotion at work. Jerry Tinsley threw this letter in the trash and had a car wreck three days later." Mim peered over the letter. "I seem to recall Jerry's wreck. And I seem to recall he was liberally pickled in vodka. If he dies he'll come back as a rancid potato." Harry laughed. "I guess he has to get rid of that old Camry somehow so he decided to wreck it." Excerpted from Claws and Effect by Rita Mae Brown, Sneaky Pie Brown All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.