Emmy Award winner Rita Mae Brown and her felicitous feline Sneaky Pie craft the 17th entry in the mega-selling Mrs. Murphy mystery series. When murder befouls the idyllic winter wonderland of Crozet, Virginia, amateur sleuth Harry Haristeen takes up the investigation. Also on the scent are Harry's intrepid, four-legged friends - who never met a mystery they couldn't solve.More
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Typical for the series
This is another Rita Mae Brown Sneaky Pie mystery. This one was set at Christmas time in Crozet, Virginia. I mostly enjoyed it despite having the same basic criticisms of all her books. The author does use these books as an opportunity to present views on various political and ethical topics. I find it just a tiny bit annoying that the author is "using" my interest in these cats to subject me to her views on things. Actually this book is probably worse than most in that regard. In Santa Clawed, the local monastery, home to the Brothers of Love was central to the plot. The brothers were made up mostly of ex-cons who are paying their debts to mankind by being monks and working in the hospice. This is actually a good idea as it gives the opportunity to have a large number of characters with shady backgrounds as possible suspects (a suspect shortage is often a problem in this series). I don't think Brown makes use of this nearly as much as she could/should have. I don’t want to include any spoilers I will just say that the resolution to the mystery had more to do with Brown making a point about people than with writing the best story. I didn't figure it out and enjoyed following along the mystery but certainly a better book could have been written. People without a soft spot for animals in mysteries definitely shouldn't bother.
- Karen "Likes: Cozy mysteries (cats a plus), personal memoirs,not too dark fantasy, books about the brain. Dislikes: Torture, animal cruelty."
- Tina L.