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The Litter of the Law (Mrs. Murphy #21)

3.49 of 5 stars 3.49  ·  rating details  ·  596 ratings  ·  153 reviews
Rita Mae Brown collaborates with feline co-author Sneaky Pie Brown in a new mystery starring Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen, the curious cat detectives Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, and Tee Tucker, the valiant crime-solving corgi. Halloween arrives early this year to rural central Virginia, when a twisted killer will stop at nothing to protect a multimillion-dollar scheme.

Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 22nd 2013 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2013)
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Margaret Wilkening
I really used to enjoy the Mrs. Murphy books. Rita Mae Brown’s books had a snappy story line, and the animals’ viewpoints were fresh and provided an interesting voice to the narrative. However, a number of books ago, I found that they had lost their sparkle and it took a concerted effort on my part to slog my way through. When Netgalley gave me the opportunity to read a pre-release of her newest effort, The Litter of the Law, I decided to give the series another chance.

Unfortunately, the series
Periodically while reading this book I would forget I was reading a mystery - the author talks nonstop about the environment as well as Native American rights. Both of these are noble causes, but the tone of the writing was off-putting in its preachiness. There is little suspense because the murders seem to be an afterthought.
Received thru NetGalley

Full review coming soon

If you want to learn about crimes against indigenous tribes , organic gardening or certain types of politics instead of reading a cozy mystery, then this will be a great book for you.
I have stayed away from Ms. Browns work for a while now ever since she started taking the books into a new direction and infusing them with the authors opinions on politics, world views, religion et al.

I thought I would give this author one more try I am sorry I bothered. We are back to
Lis Carey
Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen and her husband, Fair, are out with their dog, Tee Tucker, and their cats, Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, when the animals find a very interesting scarecrow, apparently being torn apart by crows.

Why would crows be attacking a scarecrow?

It's a corpse. His name was Josh Hill, and he was shot through the heart before being dressed as a scarecrow and hung up in the field. It's the start of a frightening October, building toward Halloween and the annual hayride to raise money fo
Lily (Lily Pond Reads)
I got a copy of this book for free through Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

Halloween is coming. While the people of Crozet, Virginia are out and preparing their beloved home for the festivities, people are suddenly found murdered and dressed up in costumes.


A little disappointed with this book. Okay, quiet a bit disappointed with this one. I picked it up as a Halloween read because it was marked as a cozy mystery and had animals in it, and all the fun halloween stuff. Unfortunately
Barbara Ann
Fall is my favorite time of the year, and one way I can become immersed in the beauty of autumn is through books, vicariously experiencing the season through the story’s setting and characters. One of those novels that does exactly this is Rita Mae Brown’s The Litter of the Law. The series is set in a small rural farming community called Crozet, Virginia, which is also a real town. The Litter of the Law takes place in October and centers on the protagonist, Mary Minor Haristeen or “Harry” who fi ...more
Jean Coldwell
After a long absence from the world of Mary Minor “Harry” Harristeen and her friends and family (human and animal) in Crozet, Virginia, I picked up The Litter of the Law, the 21st of the Mrs. Murphy cozy mysteries by Sneaky Pie Brown and her human co-writer, Rita Mae Brown. Harry is one of those individuals who seems to stumble upon trouble at every turn, and she is always ready to stick her nose in to get to the bottom of things. Her pets, cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter and corgi Tee Tucker, are a ...more
I received this book from Net Galley to read and review. Up front, let me say that I have never read any books by the author before. This one was cute and flowed quite easily and smoothly from start to finish. The way the animal pets of Harry “spoke” and discovered clues in the mystery was endearing and fascinating. Too bad humans cannot really communicate with them, as it might save some time and effort (as this mystery proved). In the story, while out, Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen and her husb ...more
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. I have never read a book by this author before, so perhaps avid readers of these books can take my review with a grain of salt.

Personally, this book was not a good introduction to Rita Mae Brown's books.

Sure, for a mystery book, there were a lot of head scratching moments...but in a bad way. The animal dialogue is really cheesy and served no real purpose. The animals did nothing to help solve the mystery (which I was expecting), and
In a word...disappointing. I've been reading the Rita Mae Brown/Sneaky Pie books since the first one was published and have always thought of her as one of my favorite authors. I've read several of her other books as well, including Bingo, Venus Envy, Riding Shotgun, Rita Will, the Sister Jane series and more, but Harry and the animals have always been my favorites.
Well, Ms Brown seems to have hit a bump in the road with this book in the series, as well of some of the previous ones. Out of the l
As an ailurophile, I’ve always enjoyed cats in books. I was first introduced to Rita Mae Brown through some of her early fiction, so when she first began her mystery series co-authored by her cat and starring two cats and a dog, I had to try it. I’ve happily followed the animals through twenty-one books now, and The Litter of the Law is a welcome addition. I confess I did not follow the agricultural elements of the novel very closely, so the resolution of the mystery was not obvious to me. Harry ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kurt Springs
Harvest time has reached old Virginia and Halloween is just around the corner. Harry, her husband, Fair, their cats Mrs Murphy and Pewter, and their Welsh Corgi Tucker are getting ready for a Halloween Hayride when they come across a scarecrow being pecked at by crows. It turns out to be the body of a local accountant and he proves to be only the first. Can Mrs Murphy and her friends protect their beloved humans from a deranged killer, especially with Harry having a nose for mystery?

Litter of th

Halloween is one of my favourite holidays so, when I saw The Litter of the Law on Netgalley, how could I resist. This is one of those books I found hard to review because I am torn in my opinion. There was a lot of stuff I liked but a lot I didn’t.

I have never read another book in the series and, given their popularity, perhaps this isn’t the best example but this is the one I read so here goes...

I found the premise really interesting, dead bodies hidden in Halloween decorations. Okay, not part
Karen Kalbacher
When I picked up this book it seemed like it would be from the POV of the animals. It wasn't. It was only partially from their view and their view didn't add anything to the story. The mystery was okay. I actually enjoyed the easy writing style. The characters were well written. The animals just seemed an afterthought. Whatever they knew they couldn't tell the humans around them or even lead the humans to clues. So.....what was the point of them? Their thoughts were entertaining color commentary ...more
I love Crozet, Virginia. I blame Rita Mae Brown, who invented the place - it's full of caring and creative people, and interesting things happen there. It's home to Mrs. Murphey, perhaps the smartest grey tabby ca ever, and her fat friend Pewter, and Tucker, a corgi of some renown! All these creatures, and many more, help keep Harry Harriston safe as she sticks her nose in right where it doesn't belong - into the business of the Albermarle Sheriff's office homicide investigations. Why such a won ...more
Caroline Mcphail-Lambert
Enjoyed it, but it took me far longer to read than anticipated which means the story wasn't capturing my attention enough to finish it faster which tells me far more than anything else.

I have read other Rita Mae Brown books, in the distant past, and enjoyed them more, so thought I would enjoy this one as much. I think this is more the type of story to be read on a warm summer day escaping the heat & sun, and not one to curl up with in the middle of the cold, long winter.

If, as a reader, you
This was one of my least favorite in this series. The mystery element of the novel seemed an afterthought. The primary element seemed to be a lecture on the evils of development and non-organic farming. I understand the author has strong opinions, and her earlier works, with varying degrees of success, have interwoven her ideas with the mystery narrative. This book just felt lazy and more like a vanity piece. I have it 3 stars because I still love the characters, and I'm sure I will revisit them ...more
Rita Mae Brown and her co-author, Sneaky Pie, are excellent writers but I wish Ms. Brown would spend less time on her soap box about various societal and political issues. We actually don't see much of Sneaky Pie in this book, which may be part of why it was not a great read. I hope the author stops using this series as a vehicle for lecturing the reader and, with her co-author's help, gets back to creating a great cozy mystery where the animals, led by Sneaky Pie, are crucial to solving the puz ...more
Thought this might be a fun new series to explore...not if this book is indicative of the others. Brown uses that literary device where characters divulge background information during casual conversation with each other resulting in the most improbable and stilted communication possible! And having the cast of animals speak could have been a clever addition if those conversations hadn't been so inane. Other reviews have mentioned that the earlier books in this long series were better...might tr ...more
I have read several books in Brown's Mrs. Murphy series although not in order, and The Litter of the Law proved to be another wonderful addition to the series. I always enjoy returning to the world of Harry, Mrs. Murphy, Pewter, Tucker, and the other wonderful characters of Crozet, and this book proved to be another fine adventure. I absolutely love how Brown takes her animal characters and brings them to life and gives them not just a personality of their own but also their own voice. This seri ...more
Jenni Fae
I was a bit disappointed with this book. It was the first of the Mrs. Murphy books I've read, and it seems there are better ones out there so I will give the series another chance. I saw this book come out in time for Halloween and thought it looked cute, I especially liked the concept of the animals being a part of solving the mystery. I guess I expected the story to be written more from the animals' perspectives but it was all narrative and the animals didn't really speak as much as I thought ...more
Kat Lebo
The Litter of the Law
By Rita Mae Brown & Sneaky Pie Brown
A Mrs. Murphy Mystery

Rita Mae Brown is a prolific author, having authored 8 books in the Sister Jane Arnold series, 2 in the Mags Rogers series, this Mrs. Murphy series, plus several other fiction and non-fiction works.

Rita Mae Brown’s Mrs. Murphy mysteries are always fun. I have all but one of the Mrs. Murphy books – all of the fiction, but I didn’t purchase the Cook Book. This is the 22nd novel in the series. By now, I almost feel l
The Litter of the Law is the 21st (!!) book in Rita Mae Brown's Mrs. Murphy mystery series. In it, Harry, her inquisitive tabby cat Mrs. Murphy, chubby cat Pewter and loyal corgi Tee Tucker stumble into a spooky Halloween murder mystery. While The Litter of the Law follows Brown's usual Mrs. Murphy formula, it was as much of a quick, fun read as the first 20 books in this cozy mystery series.
Brown's latest installment in the Mrs. Murphy mystery series is set during Halloween and makes use of the
Very much enjoyed this latest Mrs. Murphy book!
I have a growing appreciation for Rita Mae & Sneaky Pie Brown, especially taking note that woven into the cozy mystery are learning about farming and the challenges and changes. I had not realized that so much went into planning, calculating the coverage of water and fertilizers, and many other details. I have read many books of this series but it has been a while since I've picked one up. It is definitely time to catch up!
The characters are gr
A Mediocre Halloween Mystery

Harry Haristeen and her animal friends are back. Out driving with Fair, her husband, they find a scarecrow in a field that turns out to be a dead body. The body is close to the vegetable stand run by Hester Martin, an eccentric cmiddle-aged lady. She's planning a Halloween Hayride and Harry and her pals are involved in the set up. Everyone seems eager to be frightened, but a little wary because of the murdered man dressed as a scarecrow.

Usually, I love the Sneaky Pie
Krystle Kouture
Disclosure: Review is based on a free sample.

Enjoyability: 4

I really liked reading about small town life and hearing the animals chitchat. The pace was leisurely.

Re-Readability: 2

Character Development: 3
The human characters did not seem to have much depth. The animals on the other hand where much more developed! I've never read any other Rita Mae Brown books and I found it really hard to keep track of who was who. When the murderer was revealed I said:Wait who was he/she again?

Complexity: 3

The Mrs. Murphy series was always one of my favorites. The setting is beautiful Virginia horse country, with great well fleshed out characters, some talking animals and a good mystery at the heart of the story, but unfortunately in recent installments Ms. Brown has chosen to shoe horn her political and social beliefs into every story. Sometimes subtly and sometimes with brute force.
It's become a real turn off and I'm thinking this will be the last time I read one of these books.

Kathleen Huben
The 21st volume in the Mrs. Murphy mystery series occurs as the small town of Crozet, Virginia is getting ready for Halloween. After finding a scarecrow that is really a murder victim, Harry and her friends, both animal and human, are drawn into an investigation involving land use and American Indian tribal recognition.
I've always enjoyed Rita Mae Brown's writing style and she continues to be a good writer, but the plot is weak and there is very little in the way of mystery.
Anna Hanson
True to the light-hearted tone of the previous books in this series, the most entertaining part for me is the dialog between the animals. It's intriguing to think they can understand us better than we do them, although I'm not entirely sure I want to know what my cats would have had to say to me! Normally I don't concern myself with "whodunnit" as I read a mystery, happy to let the author lead me along. But this time I had it figured out - okay, half of it - but still enjoyed the resolution.
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Rita Mae Brown is a prolific American writer, most known for her mysteries and other novels (Rubyfruit Jungle). She is also an Emmy-nominated screenwriter.
More about Rita Mae Brown...
Rubyfruit Jungle Wish You Were Here (Mrs. Murphy, #1) Murder, She Meowed (Mrs. Murphy, #5) Murder at Monticello (Mrs. Murphy #3) Rest in Pieces (Mrs. Murphy #2)

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