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"Pay Dirt" or "Adventures at ASH Lawn"


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About the Author

Rita Mae Brown is the bestselling author of the Sneaky Pie Brown series; the Sister Jane 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 numerous Mrs. Murphy mysteries--in addition to Sneaky Pie's Cookbook for Mystery Lovers and Sneaky Pie for President.


The first word of this fourth collaboration of Rita Mae Brown and her cat (following Murder at Monticello) is, appropriately, the italicized ``Cozy.'' The dog days of summer in sleepy Crozet, Va.-where postmistress Mary Minor Haristeen, aka Harry, lives with her tiger cat, Mrs. Murphy, and her Welsh Corgi, Tee Tucker-are disrupted by a computer virus and the arrival of a drugged-up biker looking for a woman named Malibu. A few days later, the biker turns up murdered. Meanwhile, the computer virus seems to have hit Crozet National Bank, which suffers an inexplicable $2-million shortfall. Harry's stumbling onto a small clue to the bank troubles inadvertently leads to another murder, which is quickly followed by a third. One detects coauthor Sneaky Pie's self-serving little paw as Mrs. Murphy-helped by Tee Tucker and their pal Pewter, the grocer's fat cat-not only leads Harry to the truth about the murders and the money but also rescues her from the killer. As usual, the Browns have fun with a supporting cast of eccentric characters (both two- and four-legged), whose foibles and quirks flavor what is the best Mrs. Murphy adventure yet. Author tour. (Dec.)

"Mrs. Murphy's fourth caper will be lapped up like half-and-half by the faithful." --Kirkus Reviews

"The best yet." --Publishers Weekly "If you must work with a collaborator, you want it to be someone with intellignce, wit, and an infinite capacity for subtlety--someone, in fact, very much like a cat...It's always a pleasure to visit this cozy world...[t]here's no resisting Harry's droll sense of humor...or Mrs. Murphy's tart commentary."--The New York Times Book Review

Once again murder and mayhem have come to Brown's (Wish You Were Here, LJ 11/1/90) sleepy little town of Crozet, Virginia, heralded by the arrival of a leather-clad biker who storms up to historic Ash Lawn (James Monroe's home) demanding to see the "thieving slut" Malibu and upsetting the docents. Later, when the biker's body is found in Sugar Hollow, postmistress/detective Harry Haristeen, accompanied by the incorrigible cat Mrs. Murphy and Welsh corgi Tee Tucker, finds herself in the middle of the investigation. A computer virus that threatens the local bank and two love triangles are only some of the complications that spice up the plot. For fans and those who dote on cute, cozy mysteries, this is the ticket.-Cynthia Johnson, Cary Memorial Lib., Lexington, Mass.

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