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Claws and Effect
Rita Mae Brown
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Claws and Effect (Mrs. Murphy #9)

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,246 Ratings  ·  78 Reviews
The Barnes & Noble Review
Harry (Mary Minor Haristeen) and her felony-finding felines are at it again (with a bit of canine help). From the six-footed writing team of Rita Mae Brown and her cat, Sneaky Pie Brown, comes another delightful mystery wherein Harry's curiosity is as dangerous as the proverbial cat's. This time out, the action centers around the town's hospita
Hardcover, Large Print, 433 pages
Published November 2nd 2001 by Thorndike Press (first published January 1st 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ok, I'm going to do a standard review for the rest of the Mrs. Murphy books I read, because I really can't think of something smart to say about every single one of them. Actually, it's hard to come up with something smart to say about any one of them, because they are not really smart books.

Though, no, that's not true. They aren't trivial as such, they aren't too easy - or, in other words, they don't hurt my brain while I read them. But I think we can all agree that they are also not "great li
Not my favorite of the Mrs. Murphy Mysteries. These are not exceptionally brainy mysteries. Very often one can figure it out before the end and even more often belief must be suspended to imagine the cats and dog are solving the crime and then leading the humans to the answer. I mean, I believe my cats and dogs are more than they seem, but I am fairly sure they would be unable to drive a car---a standard shift, in particular.

In this installment yet another Crozet resident (it's such a small tow
Great read

Another enjoyable book with the cats and corgi. I wish my cat had their insights. Very enjoyable book. I look forward to the next one.
Claws and Effect is the 9th book in the Mrs. Murphy series. If you haven't read the other books in the series some of what's going on may not necessarily make as much sense to you, but this is minor because most of these little things don't impact the main storyline. You also may not have any attachment to the characters - which I admit I have come to like. These are all very normal people, they could be any one of us (or our neighbors). Except for maybe Mrs. Murphy, Tucker, and Pewter - the ani ...more
Jun 24, 2014 Jan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I place this kind of book in what I call the "Murder She Wrote" category, where I would also place the Judge Deborah Knott series from Margaret Maron and the Caterer Goldy Schulz series from Diane Mott Davidson. As interesting as these series may be, and possibly well written, I can't get past the fact that the main character in each of these series has a woman living in a small town who seems to stumble upon murder after murder, which by the end of the book she of course, and not the police, so ...more
Steve Chaput
I wonder if other folks familiar with the Lilian Jackson Braun "Cat Who..." series picked up this book or others by Brown expecting more of the same. I don't want to say that I was disappointed, as I enjoyed the book, but it didn't strike me as special as the Braun series.

As in the Braun books we have a human who with the help of their two cats, and here a dog as well, solves various crimes in their communities. Unlike Braun's Kwill, the animals in the Brown series actually narrate part of the s
Jan 25, 2014 Cheryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cats
3.5 stars here. I would give it 4, but the things I liked best were not really related to the plot (an essential part of a mystery novel, IMHO).

I always enjoy spending time in Crozet with Harry and Miranda and Susan and Coop and all the animals (would have liked to see Simon the Opossum make more than a cameo appearance). I actually even enjoyed Big Mim in this book, which is a first. The mystery was pretty good, over all, but a lot of time was spent focusing on a red herring that really was not
Jan 05, 2010 Patt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series by Rita mae Brown will be a pleasure to anyone who has lived with a pet and enjoys mysteries that are of the "cozy" variety. The animal characters are fun; the characters engaging and the books an easy and pleasurable read.
Mar 25, 2015 Marti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, cozy-mystery
One thing I feel is necessary in a cozy mystery is great character development. Of course there will be a mystery to be solved but it's not the same as in a "serious" mystery. This series has been a bit uneven, primarily because I feel Ms. Brown tends to let her own conservative/libertarian political views creep into some of her novels. However, in this novel, there was the death of a recurring and beloved character. Ms. Brown infused this part of the story with the kind of heart that I apprecia ...more
M Harris
Jan 22, 2016 M Harris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably the most straightforward book and the most satisfactory as far as the resolution goes. There were no double identities, not complicated affairs, no illegal drugs, no secret pasts. Just murder. Though the motive would not be strong enough for me to think worth killing, I was very satisfied with the resolution. However, my only complaint carries for the whole series; not enough possible murderers. If there are 4 new characters introduced and 2 end up dead that only leaves you with 2. So y ...more
Hospital problems

It cold in Crozet, Virginia when this tale about Mrs Murphy and friends begins. Little Min is running for Mayor against her father. The head maintenance man at the hospital is found DEAD in the basement at the hospital. The administrator and the doctors are feuding over the equipment. Harry enters the hospital and hit in the head so naturally Mrs Murphy and Tucker checked the basement and find a hidden room. Now they must convince Harry and Coop to the basement so they can show
Shirley Worley
The local post office in Crozet, Virginia is the local hub for tidbits of gossip and postmistress Mary "Harry" Haristeen hears it all, day after day. When box patrons pick up their daily mail, she gets first-hand knowledge of the trouble brewing between those who work at the local hospital. When the plant manager is found murdered in the basement of the hospital. Harry can't curtail her curiosity, snoops about the hospital, and is attacked and injured herself. Then a well-loved elderly doctor is ...more
Jun 11, 2010 Jessika rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery, series
As my first Mrs. Murphy mystery, I have to admit that this was definitely the cute, cozy mystery I was looking for.

I picked this one up at my grandma's library sale because I had been hearing about Rita Mae Brown and wanted to try her out. I wasn't disappointed, even though I can't say that I loved this book. I genuinely enjoyed it though and will probably read the other Mrs. Murphy mysteries.

First of all, I thought they way she involved Harry's pets Mrs. Murphy, Pewter and Tucker was a very o
Mar 21, 2010 Dolly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Cat and Mystery fans
I brought this book along for a relaxing getaway weekend on Lana'i (at the Four Seasons, Manele Bay no less!) It was very nice to read some brain candy on the lanai (porch, actually balcony) of our hotel room, occasionally looking up to watch about a hundred dolphins spin and play in the bay. And to relax by the pool and read while the kiddos splash and play. Such luxury.

So I hate to say the book wasn't absolutely great. Decent brain candy, but nothing more. I get the feeling that I've read anot
Donna Rowe
Jan 22, 2016 Donna Rowe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cat-cozies
Again with the libertarian politics! I suppose I wouldn't mind it so much if I agreed, and the views are normal for Virginia, but it does have the effect of tossing the reader out of the story.

Speaking of the story, there is a heart-breaking development with one of the recurring characters. This gave the story a bit more emotional heft than the lighter, previous novels.

All-in-all, I've been enjoying the series so far in spite of the political statements. This book was no exception.
Sep 16, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One thing you learn about Crozet is if there is one dead body, most likely another one will soon follow. In this entry a body is found at the local hospital, and unraveling the mystery at the hospital could be the key to solving the murders. I gave this effort by Ms. Brown four rather than three starts because she bravely killed a much beloved character that has been present throughout the whole series. I also enjoyed the additional layers that were peeled away from the recurring characters. Thi ...more
Sep 01, 2012 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Claws and Effect was definitely my favorite book in this series so far. Unfortunately I haven’t read the books in this series in order, but I like that I can jump in at any book that captures my interest and get welcoming characters and a great story. Brown does such a great job at making Crozet feel like a home away from home with her small town and the characters that make that town feel welcoming. I am also enjoying that Brown gives you the point of view of the town’s animals. The overall mys ...more
sherry wilder
Rita Mae Brown is another one of those mystery writers who indulge in the use of animals to help solve crime. But my sensibilities became insulted when the main crime was the slashing of a man's throat in the basement of a hospital. It doesn't bother me so fact it's kind of actually know what the animals are saying one to another, but to try solving such a bloody and horrendous murder suspended my disbelief beyond its capacity. This piled on top of the fact that the murder tak ...more
Sep 02, 2015 Jessie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I will say that the reason behind the murders was not what I was expecting but (SPOILER ALERT) I am still bummed about the death of a beloved character in the town. There was a lot of emotional soul searching for some of the characters and it was nice to see a new side of them.
Sara M.
Apr 16, 2015 Sara M. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-lust-1
While the mystery is fun, the gimmick of the animals solving the mystery seems forced. Not only is 1/3 of the book full of unimportant information to the crime and solving it, that same third happens at the start of the book. That means you read 1/3 of the book before anybody dies. I have read another in this series and the same thing was done. The animals rarely contribute anything other than bickering and begging. Even more annoying is that certain plot points are a big deal, like this chain l ...more
Jeannine Stewart
I think I read this series because I love the characters and the setting even though the evolvement of the animals is a bit over-the-top at times. The plot is good, the pace is fast and it makes me smile. Very entertaining.
Paul Lunger
In "Claws & Effect", Rita Mae Brown explores a murder that occurs in Crozet Hospital & our cast of characters are there to help solve the crime. The story is set around Valentine's Day & there really isn't much of a plot outside of 3 murders & foxhunting. The animals which tend to steal the show in most of these books do the best they can within yet another relatively weak plot. The book itself is as easy to read as previous installments in the series although at times Brown seem ...more
Aug 24, 2012 Alexia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Typical, boilerplate "cozy mystery" - one really does not have to think while reading these books. Which can be a good thing. I had been a tad underwhelmed by the previous two books in this series and was pleasantly surprised to find this book to be more enjoyable. While there is a formula to these books, the author mixes things up a bit and in this book no character is safe. Marilyn attempts to stand up to her parents. Harry opens her mind a bit to Fair. The only part I found lacking was the mo ...more
Oct 30, 2014 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Kept me wondering about the murderer until the last minute. Hate that she killed off the doctor.
May 25, 2013 Luseride rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Something strange is going on in Crozet and of course Harry Harristeen, along with Mrs. Murphy, Tee Tucker, and Pewter, just must get involved. When the head of maintenance at Crozet Hospital is murdered Harry can not help but investigate and almost becomes a victim herself.

Through a deep freeze Murphy, Tucker, and Pewter make observations and do all they can to keep Harry on the green side of the grass.

Includes a couple of good fox hunts and acute observations about human nature. A fun mystery
May 09, 2014 Emma rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bad-books
can you rate books less than 1 star? because this book would probably be in the negatives
Jan 13, 2016 Sandy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My good story but too much of the hunt and horse details.
Jun 02, 2015 Debbie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a favorite series of mine and they never disappoint.
Why do I read these? It's a casserole series with a few staples and a dash of spices. The recipe: Southern town in fox & hounds country; "cracker-barrel" P.O.; one Lutheran minister; a few eccentrics; cheerful, fearless protagonist horsewoman with loyal pals and a vet for a friendly ex-husband; domesticated and wild critters including two cats and a Corgie who help solve the mysteries. Enough clues are dropped so the intellect isn't strained and there's a brief bio of characters for the ment ...more
Oct 03, 2015 Alondra marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
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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.

Brown was born illegitimate in Hanover, Pennsylvania. She was raised by her biological mother's female cousin and the cousin's husband in York, Pennsylvania and later in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Starting in the fall of 1962, Brown attended the Un
More about Rita Mae Brown...

Other Books in the Series

Mrs. Murphy (1 - 10 of 25 books)
  • Wish You Were Here (Mrs. Murphy, #1)
  • Rest in Pieces (Mrs. Murphy #2)
  • Murder at Monticello (Mrs. Murphy #3)
  • Pay Dirt (Mrs. Murphy, #4)
  • Murder, She Meowed (Mrs. Murphy, #5)
  • Murder on the Prowl (Mrs. Murphy, #6)
  • Cat on the Scent (Mrs. Murphy #7)
  • Pawing Through the Past (Mrs. Murphy, #8)
  • Catch as Cat Can  (Mrs. Murphy, #10)
  • The Tail of the Tip-Off  (Mrs. Murphy, #11)

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