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Cat of the Century: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery (Mrs. Murphy #18)

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  1,067 ratings  ·  147 reviews
Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen’s beloved, tart-tongued neighbor Aunt Tally is about to turn the big 1-0-0, and the alumnae association of Tally’s alma mater is throwing a big fund-raising bash in her honor. The plan is to celebrate Tally’s centennial and recoup some much-needed school revenue lost in the cratered economy, but when a killer blizzard bears down and a board mem ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 25th 2011 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,728)
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Lily
I have read almost all of Rita Mae Brown's books since I first discovered her book "Rubyfruit Jungle" in a multicultural literature class in undergrad. I picked up the Mrs. Murphy series and it became a guilty pleasure. Unfortunately this book will be my last. The amount of political preaching which in her earlier books provided some texture to the storyline in this book reads like a disjointed rant.
Erin
It hurts so very much to write this review. I have read several of these books and it is exciting that this particular mystery is set at a college located only thirty minutes from where I live but this book was just not good. I found the anti-tax and anti-government diatribes unnecessary and annoying. Though all authors have biases I don't like it to be so apparant; or so overly blatant that it distracts from the story. Any character with liberal leanings was either described as unlikeable or ki ...more
Susan
This book decided me to give up on the series. The rather slender plot of murders involving members of a college alumnae board is defaced with wooden writing, and the author's apparent belief that her audience is interested in her political views. Since a note indicates the author is starting a new mystery series, out in October 2010, perhaps she's come to realize that these characters have been milked dry. Pity.
Kaye
I have enjoyed these mysteries but this one must have just been an obligation in Browns' contract. The main plot is centered around the 100 birthday of Aunt Tally and her University Alumni group use this occasion as a fund raiser. This adds lots of characters that we haven't met before and so didn't care about when they end up dead or accused of the crime. Also this just seemed like one rant after another. Everything from Anti - big government, anti big business, anti taxes etc. Her characters w ...more
Susan
This is the book I read to recover from Sam Lipsyte's "The Ask" while on vacation. The four star review is skewed up by that fact. Brown's mystery's are not deep, hard or challenging reads. Rita Mae Brown is unapologetic about writing books to sell books to support her lifestyle, but I do enjoy her output.

I've lived in both Virginia and Missouri so the settings in this book are very, very familiar. She place-name drops throughout her books, and having spent time in Charlottesville eating Crozet
...more
Jan Underhill
I downloaded this book after having read about 17 titles in the series, one after another, having become a bit attached to the characters and accustomed to a good bedtime yarn. Took a look at the reviews a nanosecond before the final step, and found it had been rather thoroughly panned, but I was willing to form my own opinion. Well, I hate to report that the review was sadly spot on. I had been skimming over some rather overt political sentiments intruding clumsily and pointlessly into the char ...more
Nicola
I have a soft spot for the Mrs Murphy books as this was the series that got me addicted to cozy mysteries, but the last five books haven’t been so great – a trend that has continued with this recent addition.

The plot is that Aunt Tally is turning 100 and there are an abundance of celebrations, mostly centred around William Woods University alumnae association, one of whom gets murdered. She is joined by her best friend and Fair’s mentor, Inez, who is a vet and an active member of the University
...more
Heather
It wasn't the best book in the series, but it was like visiting old friends. It was good to see some of the characters such as Mrs. Murphy, Harry, Pewter, Tucker, Aunt Tally, and Fair. I was disappointed, however, that there wasn't any real sleuthing action on the part of Harry; also, Susan and Miranda were both absent (the former shows up in a very brief phone conversation, and the latter is very conspicuously absent). Even the Rev. Jones, Jim Sanbourne, and Blair were only mentioned but not ac ...more
Alannah Davis
Having been a fan of the Mrs. Murphy mysteries for years, I really wanted to like this one more. On the positive side, I liked the setting of the college far away from Crozet, Virginia. I enjoyed the idea of Aunt Tally's one hundredth birthday celebration, and I liked the focus on the trouble in the alumnae committee. The change of focus was refreshing. And of course, the animals' dialogue with each other is fun. I always crave more of that!

However, the ambiance of the story was marred by the co
...more
Linda
This book is a loser. I have a rule that I'll give a book 50 pages, and if it hasn't grabbed me by then, well, there are just too many other books out there and time is too short. It was a struggle to go the 50 pages. Such a disappointment as I've always loved the Mrs. Murphy books. As others have said, this is a political harangue, and very boring. I'm done.
Janet
Brown needs to quit using her characters as an excuse to voice her own opinions on life. I had a hard time finishing this book because of the incredibly intrusive diatribes on everything from the economy to pollution to the dissolution of society. The editors need to proof their work better—last time I checked Tally was Mim’s aunt, not Harry’s.
Diane
I made it to page 40 but I just couldn't take all the digs at politics. I miss the carefree and funny plots of her earlier books. Even the animals are underused in this book. This one just doesn't live up to her previous books so I'm sending it back to the library early. Maybe someone else will enjoy it more.
Jane
I was a little disappointed in this one. I've read all of these and this is the first one that did not have the "usual suspects" - regular characters as part of the story. I missed some of the regulars and the story was a little thin. I figured "who done it" before I was supposed to ---
C.J. Prince
I do love a series of books and getting to know the characters. This one, written by Rita Mae Brown & Sneaky Pie Brown (a very astute cat) is #18 in the series. I read as many as had been published and drifted away for a few years. So when I found this one, I just jumped in, unaware that I've probably missed four or five books. No matter.

There is no way that you will not be charmed by the dog and two cats and Rita Mae Brown's skill at showing disruption between people, what annoys them, what
...more
Julia
Mrs.Murphy is one of my favorite series. Until this one. I finished it, but it wasn't nearly as good as the previous 17.
Lisa
Much too predictable for my tastes, though I've been reading a far number of mysteries these days so I may just be hypersensitive to the whodunnits. This is the only one of this series I've read thus far, so I can't judge the entire series on this one book. I may try another in future...I guess I was expecting something similar to the "Cat Who" series w/J Qwilleran...

As a side note, I appreciated the quick character intros in the beginning. There were way too many characters to keep track of wit
...more
Rococo
Gave up on this halfway through, once the materialism and Republican-libertarianism became totally unbearable. When did Rita Mae Brown become Ayn Rand?

Also mildly irksome is the inclusion (quite briefly, and apparently only introduced as an accessory for the protagonist) of a "token" black character. His description in the cast of characters-- "He is also an African American. Garvey's many white friends don't see him as a black man..."-- frankly comes across as outdated and a bit unenlightened.
...more
Leslie
Reading any of the books in this series is like visiting with old friends, and this was no exception. There are some new faces in this story--mostly not terribly likeable people who are either in financial planning or run a store. People die; we know because the gifted animal companions clue us in...they always smell death, while their people never do!

In this story, Harry's beloved Aunt Tally turns 100 and her alma mater holds a huge fete for her--also a fundraising opportunity, which rankled me
...more
Melissa (ladybug)
Aunt Tally is turning 100. While attending a party/fund raiser for her Alma Mater, someone turns up missing. Everyone will be wondering what could be happening. Aunt Tally is also curious about an old unsolved murder that happened in the 60s.

Like other reviews I wanted to say great things about this book, but I cannot. (view spoiler)
...more
Jackie
Very disappointed and will probably not read any more. I’ve been a faithful follower of the series, but the last few books have gotten on my nerves and this one has put me over the top. The out-of-context diatribes are really irritating. I can hear that on the TV if I wish. It’s not what I buy the books for.

In addition, some inconsistencies are present – the college was a two-year school when Aunt Tally attended and she graduated in 1931 and Inez in 1933. There was no way that they attended sch
...more
Xyra
I liked this installment of the Mrs. Murphy mystery series, but I did not love it as I have the others in the series. What was the difference?

Well, I noted in one of my status updates that this one seemed a bit preachy. The preaching didn't stop. I'd be reading along, submersed in activities of the characters, then suddenly one would make a statement about the state of the world or how we should do such and such to save energy or comment on the state of the economy, etc. When these situations ar
...more
Lora King
May 30, 2010 Lora King rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: animal lovers
Shelves: fiction
18 Mrs. Murphy books has taken me through about 14 yrs. Found this series and fell in love. Book is written with the animals being able to communicate with each other but of course not humans. They help their owner Harry Harristeen (femal)solve murders in the Virginia town of Crozet. (Mrs.Murphy a "Mary" cat like Koshka and Yoko; Pewter a gray fat cat; and Tucker a cute little Corgi)

I love knowing these characters and watching the changes that have happened to them through the years. This is lik
...more
Mikaela Cekalski
I read these books a long time ago and in the last 6 months I started back again at #1 and now I'm at Cat of the Century. I guess when I was younger and didn't understand much of what the characters talked about, it didn't really matter about how biased and preachy the books have become. Man do I notice now. It's been hard to get through the last five books or so without rolling my eyes a few times.

Also, RMB needs a better editor who will check continuity. If the books generally take place in th
...more
Amanda
I have been reading this series since about 1999, so I wasn't about to pass on the latest installment. The last several books, however, show some new differences in writing style that I find very annoying. When her characters refer to things in conversation, she'll add a sentence like, "Harry mentioned a beautiful insect-eating bird..." or "Terri cited the department store..." to explain what the characters are referring to. This strikes me as both clumsy and a little insulting, as if we couldn' ...more
Spuddie
This review applies to the audio version.

#19 Mrs. Murphy mystery also featuring Mary Minor "Harry" Harristeen in Crozet, Virginia. Harry is off on a road trip with her pets to help Aunt Tally celebrate her 100th birthday at her college alma mater back in Missouri. One of the organizers disappears, and another lets "slip" that the missing woman has probably done a runner since she knows of some shady business practices that have gone on. Once back in Virginia, the accuser ends up dead, believed
...more
Sally
I had forgotten that I have lost my interest in the Sneaky Pie Brown series as it moves to the author's podium for political discourse. It's not that I agree or disagree with her sentiments, I just get enough of that in the media. The mystery in this story is definitely the side story and there is little of Tee Tucker and Mrs. Murphy solving a murder. The stories were better when Harry was still the post mistress.
MissJessie
Jun 19, 2010 MissJessie rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hardcore fans only
The Cat of the Century, the 18th in the line of Sneaky Pie Browne mysteries, concerns, as usual, murder.

I enjoyed the plot-line part of this mystery, as always--a little light and not too hard to figure out who did it, but enjoyable.

I am coming more and more to object, however, to the endless preaching of Rita Mae Brown on whatever her current political agenda happens to be. This book was by far the worst in that respect, and while I think it's proper as an author to include your own political/e
...more
Barbara
The Mrs. Murphy books used to be humorous murder mysteries in which a Virginia post-mistress, Harry Harristeen, solved murders with the help of her "talking animals," two cats - Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, dog - Tucker, and various other pets and friends.

This book Cat of the Century has a very thin, uninteresting plot. Instead, it seems to be a vehichle for Brown to expound upon her personal and political views. The boring characters yammer on and on about the government being too big, taxes too hi
...more
E.
Aunt Tally is having her 100th birthday and a major celebration is being held at her alma mater, William Woods University (or College, depending on one's year of matriculation). The formerly unisex institution has an active alumnae association filled with the requisite factions and normal bickering but it is shattered by startling disclosures on the eve of the grand celebration. Harry Haristein and her intrepid furry backup team (Tucker the corgi and Mrs. Murphy & Pewter the cats) end up in ...more
Barbara
Like the book I read before this, Harry (Mary Minor) Haristeen is not a professional investigator - she was the former postmistress of the town, but now concentrates on farming her homestead. However, I can deal with Harry getting involved in mysteries, as she isn't as foolhardy and aggressive as most heroines of the cosy mysteries seem to be. Also, it is really her animals, two cats, Mrs. Murphy and Pewter and a dog, Tucker a Welsh Corgi, that are most interested in solving the mysteries.

I thi
...more
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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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