Nine Lives to Die: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery
“. . . the pencil illustrations interspersed throughout the book are charming. Here’s hoping this practice spreads to other books, because even if this is old fashioned, it translates well to the Kindle!”
For lesbians and feminists who decry Rita Mae Brown’s turn away from political writing, here is a mystery in which to take heart.
Since the style of a “cozy” mystery is not to hit a reader over the head with social justice issues, author Brown takes a circuitous route, but in the end produces a book that tackles mental health, addiction, bullying, and poverty issues. She manages to create a book that will appeal to fans of the four footed talking detectives while keeping these social concerns front and center.
The unabashed loves of her life—rescuing animals, foxhunting and reading (she says reading is breathing for the mind)—are infectious. Perhaps because they are so clearly heartfelt, it’s easy to be swept up in the glory of her passions. And isn’t the way she lives her life a political statement?
It’s December in Crozet, Virginia, and this year the snowstorms start early and continue. Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen and her stalwart friends are making sure that all needy residents in the area get some much needed Christmas cheer: food and clothing in a holiday package. All the churches pull together to provide lists of folks in need, from Harry’s mainline Episcopalian to Miranda Hogendobber’s charismatic Church of the Holy Light. It’s refreshing to see all the religious organizations doing good works. There’s so much to do.
Other end of the year activities include the annual fundraising galas. The Silver Linings youth sports organization has always been a charity that deserves consideration.
Then bodies start turning up.
And severed human from those bodies fingers show up in odd places, a pencil jar in a bookkeeper’s office, and another set is hung like an ornament on a Christmas tree.
A new animal—Odin the coyote—is introduced and is so grateful for the food Harry’s animals leave out for him he returns the favor by directing the dog and cats to a skeleton on their farm.
As usual, the pencil illustrations interspersed throughout the book are charming. Here’s hoping this practice spreads to other books, because even if this is old fashioned, it translates well to the Kindle!