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Santa Clawed (Mrs. Murphy #17)

3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,543 Ratings  ·  140 Reviews
New York Times bestselling authors Rita Mae Brown and her feline partner, Sneaky Pie Brown, are back for the holidays in a new mystery featuring Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen, the sleuthing cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, and corgi Tee Tucker. Can they save the season from a killjoy who’s decided to gift the festive little town…with murder?

As Harry well knows, there’s hardly
Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published (first published 2008)
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It took me a ridiculously long time to read this book. That's because I started it somewhere not here, and then left it there, and then couldn't finish reading it (obviously.)

So the reason why "Santa Clawed" (OMG don't you just love the titles?) showed up on my "currently reading" list for nearly five months or so is not that Brown suddenly started to write deep, thought-provoking, hard-to-read social studies, but only disorganisation in my part.

No, Brown still writes funny, fluffy, easy-to-read
Dec 21, 2015 Betty added it
Mrs Murphy, Pewter and Tucker

This one of the best Mrs Murphy's book I have read as the are the MC's set against the background of Crozet and Harry's farm. The animals were normal except for talking to each other. It is Christmas time and the Brothers of have a Christmas tree lot to raise money for their programs. One of the Monks is found with throat cut on the lot. Harry begins wondered why. Mrs Murphy, Pewter and Tucker help Harry solve the murders.
Pearl Drolet
Jun 28, 2013 Pearl Drolet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
We are accustomed to talking about "summer reads," those light but compelling novels we have in hand on planes or at the beach, gulping down a few chapters on vacation or sunning at the park. In winter we like to turn to serious books, thick tomes to lose ourselves in, ideally sitting before a warm fire, snuggled in a favorite chair. But the holidays are times of rest and travel as much as the summer is, and snowy and cold days call for fun and well-written books as much as hot and humid days do ...more
Jan 01, 2012 Erin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas, cat
This is another Christmas book where the author makes no attempt to introduce you to the characters. The assumption is that you have read at least some of the previous 16 books and already know the characters. I have never read any of this series and simply picked it up because it was a Christmas murder mystery and I like cats. I am about 70 pages in and about ready to give up due to not really understanding who everyone is.

I finally decided to stop trying to figure out who everyone was and jus
Laurel Bradshaw
3.5 It's cute, it's cozy, it's Christmas. Actions of the animals are not really believable, and the mystery is easily figured out before the end. Nothing too taxing on the brain at a busy time of year! This is one of those series that I have fallen behind on, and plan to start over from the beginning. Not really great books, but if you like corgis and cats being heroes and other talking animals, and are in the mood for fluff, it has enough mystery and quirky characters to be entertaining.

Book De
Cheryl Gatling
This was the first Rita Mae Brown book I had read. I was jumping in in the middle of a series. It was a little like going to a party where everyone else already knows everyone else. There were quite a lot of characters who enjoyed catching up on the news of each other. Fortunately I had the author whispering in my ear, catching me up on the backstories, but I never lost the feeling that the social life of Crozet, Virginia would be more enjoyable if I had come in at the beginning. This book is a ...more
Tom Donaghey
Jul 30, 2015 Tom Donaghey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, suspense
SANTA CLAWED is a delightful mystery set around the Christmas holiday in Rita Mae Brown’s Crozer, Virginia. As usual, there are gatherings and celebrations and small talk galore, the doings of the small community are explored and even the animals will have a good time.
And there is murder. This time one of the brothers from the local monastery is killed and Harry, along with her husband and friends, are soon on the track of the murderer, When a second brother is found killed the suspicion goes
Nov 16, 2012 Loraine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Santa Clawed was an enjoyable cozy mystery. But I have read so many of her Harry Haristeen and Mrs. Murphy mysteries that they are all beginning now to be very similar plot lines.
Apr 11, 2015 Marti rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery
This one was a vast improvement over the previous story in this series. I might even have given it 4 stars if the one prior hadn't been so dreadful. In this one, someone is slashing the necks of brothers at a monastery close to Crozet. Of course, Harry and crew get involved. As the title implies, the season is Christmas and that gives an opportunity to have winter weather involved in several of the scenes. The action was fairly swift and the ending was fairly surprising. It's difficult to believ ...more
Nov 10, 2015 Alicia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, xmas
This is in a series. but written to be able to pick up without reading the others. (Although if you have time, and like pets, you might read the first one before this one.)

Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen works at the town post office. Her dog and cat can talk to each other, and other animals. They're pretty smart, but sometimes have a hard (but hysterical) time getting through to Harry.

No-spoiler subset of the description:

As Harry well knows, there’s hardly a place on earth cozier than Crozet, Vir
Feb 22, 2015 Jennifer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books
I finished the previous one and the library had the next one and I was sucked in. The snow is like 5 feet deep here and it should be Christmas; so sue me, I read another novel that's the equivalent of candy corn for the brain. (And yes, I am mixing my holidays--the snow is driving me crazy!)

This novel had a bit less of the preaching that has become Ms. Brown's M.O. There was a good plot twist at the end and it was nice to see the characters celebrating Christmas.

I think I need a real book to rea
Emily Von pfahl
Very well done, the identity of the murderer took me by surprise, but still made sense, which is always nice. Crozet, as is described in the book, would be a very nice place to live if it weren't for all of the murders. Brown does have a tendency of late to have her characters verbalize what I can only imagine are her politics, so if you aren't liberal, don't read her books. In some of her previous books the animals really took over, but this time around there was a good balance. I do always wan ...more
Jan 03, 2015 Katja rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: krimi, tiere
Von der Reihe um Mrs. Murphy hatte ich vorher noch nicht gehört, aber mir hat das Caver mit der süssen Katze so gut gefallen, dass ich mir durchaus vorstellen könnte, weitere Bände aus der Reihe zu lesen.

Harry Haristeen und seine Bruderschaft, die in der St.-Lukas-Kirche am Strandrand von Crozet (Virginia) leben, suchen einen Weihnachtsbaum für das Fest der Feste, aber mitten in der Suche stossen sie auf die Leiches eine Mönches. Als dann auch noch ein zweiter Mönch zu Tode kommt, beginnt Harry
Andrea Guy
Santa Clawed is one of the most fun cozy mysteries I've read this holiday season. Harry and her brood of helpful animal sleuths are fabulous. I love Mrs. Murphy, Pewter and Tucker. These furrballs are some of the most well written animals in fiction.

The mystery involves the murder of two monks from the Brothers Of Love and a prominent doctor. There's a lot more to the Brothers Of Love organization than just spiritual life too, and that's what brings about many of the twists and turns in the stor
Dec 26, 2009 Robin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, womens
My first experience with Rita Mae Brown’s mystery series co-written with her cat, Sneaky Pie Brown. Set in a rural Virginia town, the characters are perhaps exaggerated, or perhaps just as colorful as in many small towns. In addition to human characters, the protagonist interacts with several animal characters: her two cats and corgi, and the owl and other animals that inhabit her barn. These animals have conversations and social structure among themselves, and of course are involved in solving ...more
Aug 15, 2013 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I only gave this book three stars because it didn't completely turn me off of the series, and my rule is a minimum of three stars if I'll keep reading. That said, I know Ms. Brown has a strong point of view, and although I often disagree with it, it's her book, her podium. However, this time I found some of her viewpoints and statements offensive, and I do not easily get offended when I'm reading fiction. I read and loved Dan Brown's books and other books that painted the Catholic Church in poor ...more
2008, #17 Harry Haristeen, Crozet, Virginia; fantastical cosy/amateur sleuths. Not recommended for those who like their mysteries on the dark and gritty side. Recommended for those who enjoy a small-town cosy (with minimal bloodiness and just enough scurrilous detail) or are looking for a holiday treat for someone who does, as they'll find it very enjoyable. For long-time fans of the series it's a wonderful visit with old friends, and simply perfect for a quiet afternoon's read.

Review originally
I love all the Mrs. Murphy books I've read, and I definitely enjoyed this one. I read it in December, and the Christmas theme, of course, makes it a perfect book for that time of year. And I liked the fact that the animals really do take charge in this book, and become major parts of the action rather than just silent witnesses. I do have a couple of quibbles. For one thing, the idea of having the plot revolve around the Brothers of Love group and their Christmas tree farm introduces a large num ...more
Apr 26, 2009 Judy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series of books are not profound. On the plus side, you can read any one of them in just a couple of hours. Rita Mae Brown writes the Mrs. Murphy series (this is book 17) with the help of her cat Sneaky Pie. Okay, right there you know that this is not going to garner the National Book Award. I mean, you have animals that talk to each other, but, thank heavens, the humans in the tale only hear animal noises. I mean, if the humans and the animals talked to each other to move the plot along, I ...more
Apr 17, 2009 Genie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Usually Christmas is a happy celebration in Crozet, Virginia but this year is the exception to the rule. While searching for a Christmas tree at the Brothers of Love Christmas tree farm, Harry, her husband and their three animal friends come upon a murdered monk. Brother Christopher, a former insider trader, had a slit throat. During the investigation of the scene by the county coroner, a Greek coin (an obol) was found under his tongue. Harry made a search over the internet and found out that in ...more
Feb 24, 2012 Bethj rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It is sad when a writer doesn't know when to give it up on a series. Although this one was not as "preachy" as the few before it, it still lacks what made the first ones in the series sparkle. I have been trying to find a word to describe what I feel about the ending, and I keep coming back to the word "offended", but maybe the more appropriate phrase would be "put off". I really didn't like the story line at all. I think there is enough human problems to delve into without bringing in an order ...more
Jan 08, 2013 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
Als Harry Harristeen sich, wie jedes Jahr vor Weihnachten, einen Baum aus der Baumschule der „Brüder in Liebe“ , die im kleinen Örtchen Crozet ihr Kloster gebaut haben, aussuchen möchte, stolpert sie dort förmlich über einen toten Mönch. Keiner kann sich erklären, warum jemand Bruder Christopher töten wollen würde und der gesamte Orden ist geschockt.

Harry aber kann sich nicht vorstellen, dass einer der Bürger von Crozet einen Mönch umgebracht haben soll und verdächtigt zunächst die Brüder selbst
May 11, 2009 Trina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of the Sneaky Pie Brown series of mysteries
Recommended to Trina by: Bantam Books
Shelves: first-reads
Goodreads Giveaway win!

I am a Rita Mae Brown fan from way back. Right now I am staring at the seven copies of her various books placed prominently and proudly on my shelf. I am asking myself, "What happened?" "Am I missing something?" This is a murder mystery where the animals help solve the crimes and have impromptu conversations with each other. Maybe my lack of enthusiasm for animals(I do not own a pet and the two dogs I have had in my life did not fit in the category of man's best friend)con
Lindsay (Santafefan)
Mrs Murphy mysteries are one of my guilty pleasures. I love the animal team & Harry. Ok, so Brown has gotten a bit preachy. I share her views. But probably what i love most is that the settling is familiar to me from my youth. We used to drive through Crozier on our way to Staunton. I wasn't part of the horse & hunt scene but had a friend who was. It's just familiar enough to evoke nostalgia without evoking bad memories.
Michelle Beteta
May 28, 2016 Michelle Beteta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you love to read mysteries and series and if you are an animal lover (a preference for cats doesn't hurt), you will love the Mrs. Murphy Murder Mysteries. The books are fun and easy to read. The author allows the reader to continue getting to know the characters that are recurring throughout the book series in funny, quirky plots - animals and humans alike.
Feb 04, 2016 Chazzi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Another cozy mystery from the series with Harry and her fur person, Mrs. Murphy, Pewter and Tucker.

Christmastime in Crozet, Virginia is something out of a picture book. Snow on the ground, the beauty of fresh Christmas trees on the lot and a body found among them. Hmmmm....

The tree lot is owned by the Brothers of Love. A monastic group of men whose focus is to provide care for those in need. But are they really what they claim to be. True they have been around for a number of years, but the bac
A return to Crozet! Well - like a few other mystery series, it's not really about the mystery (there is a pattern: Whoever is unknown before ends up either dead or the killer), or about the writing (I like Brown, there there are a few repeating things that bother me).
I look forward to, and enjoy, every new addition to the ongoing series because it's like catching up on well-known friends. Hearing the latest about people you have become to like. In that respect, it's radiates the same warm feelin
This is a title I borrowed from my public library via One-Click Digital. The audio quality was not great. In places it sounded like an LP that was scratched.

I had not read a book in this series for many years, but seem to remember a list of characters at the beginning of the book. This helpful list is not included in the audiobook.
Sep 08, 2013 Brittany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been a fan of Brown's Mrs. Murphy mystery series since I was in middle school --- naturally, I enjoyed the latest installment of this wonderful series - it's full of small-town secrets, sordid rumors, affairs, society class-ranking structure, Southern charm, and old South traditions long kept since the 1600s. The characters are like a pair of comfortable old shoes to me now, and I love revisiting them from time to time to bring back fond memories of my youth, and to relive those first few e ...more
Fun, cozy, rural VA setting with sleuthing pets to the rescue! I find her promotion of agendas a tad overdone. Tho I enjoy her food & home descriptions & the friendships portrayed.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #102 - Santa Clawed 1 1 Jun 02, 2016 04:30PM  
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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)
  • Claws and Effect (Mrs. Murphy, #9)
  • Catch as Cat Can  (Mrs. Murphy, #10)

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