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Whisker of Evil (Mrs. Murphy #12)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  2,154 Ratings  ·  96 Reviews
Readers and critics agree that the pairing of Rita Mae Brown and her kitty partner, Sneaky Pie Brown, is nothing less than the cat's meow. Now they're back with another spectacular whodunit. A mysterious death in a Virginia farm town has the locals scratching their heads--while frisky feline Mrs. Murphy and her friends Fat-Cat pewter and Corgi Tee Tucker uncover clues as t ...more
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Published March 30th 2004 by Recorded Books (first published January 1st 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Athena
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: older Virginians, Thoroughbred lovers
Shelves: mysteries
2 stars for general mystery
3 stars if you like talking animal books

Disclaimer up front: Rita Mae Brown thinks genteel rural Virginia is the pinnacle of lifestyle possibilities and this series is written as outright propaganda to that end. All her characters are good-looking, intelligent, articulate and hard-working, no one lacks for money (even the wage-slaves) and the one or two less-genteel characters are usually tossed in to provide victim-fodder. That's just how this series rolls and that co
...more
Yvonne
Mar 31, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've always loved this series. Everything I love about cozies is involved - animals (particularly cats), a good mystery, a small town and great characters. I've come to love the people of Crozet from Mrs. Murphy to Pewter to Tucker to their "mom" Harry (the rest of the town isn't bad either).

The only problem I had is that the audio version is a bit more difficult for me to focus on then the printed book. I'm not sure if I'll try the next book as an audio or read it instead. I might give the nex
...more
Debbie
Sep 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite series and this installment was also very interesting because it delves into rabies and the effect on both animals and humans. The other theme that was important to the plot was horse breeding. I learned a lot from this fun cozy.
Nikki
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love mysteries and I especially love mysteries where cats take place in assisting to solve them. This book not only had two cats, but a Corgi as well! All the animals talked, but of course the humans couldn't understand, as we never do. I would love to read more of these as the town is sweet and quaint and I fell in love with the characters.
Felicity
Jan 21, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one. Ever.
Recommended to Felicity by: Redacted to protect the overly accepting
This is, I believe, the worst book I have ever finished. A full catalog of its crimes would take several pages, but I shall try to restrain myself.

It is written in cliche-ridden, awkward English that is often incorrect; its characters are thinly drawn and tiresome, and its heroine verges on Mary-Sueism, so competent, virtuous, and beautiful is she. After all, if she cared about dressing well, she'd be the prettiest gal in town, and her blond, muscular, broad-chested veterinarian ex-husband wants
...more
Cheri
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love all of her Mrs. Murphy mysterys, but this one was really good!
Beth
A fun and entertaining mystery set in a rural Virginia farm town. Harry and her beloved cats, Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, along with her Corgi, Tucker seek to solve the recent murders of 2 locals and a 30 year old cold case. The smart and sassy pets and their spunky owner are determined to find the answers. Even if it kills them........

Animal lovers and armchair detectives alike will enjoy this book.

Peggy Sinden
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tucker, Pewter and Ms. Murphey are back at it. This time the mystery theme is - what does it take to breed a champion horse for show, the derby or the art of foxhunting? Harry is once again involved in solving at least three murders that seem to overlap the answer to this question. Rita Mae Brown not only threads the needle of suspense but you really learn all there is to know about finding out the answer of 'who done it'.
Donna Burns
Cute book, easy read. I'd read more in this series, but it's not on my list of 'must read now'.
Vickie
Feb 22, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-challenge
I read this for the popsugar reading challenge prompt "A book with a cat on the cover" I like doing reading challenges to try out books and genres that I typically don't read. Sometimes I find something different that I really like, sometimes well... this was just not my cup of tea.

My grandmother lived for a while in North Carolina near the Blue Ridge Mountains. One time I was there visiting and I brought her and my aunts to the doctors office for their appointments. I remember sitting in the w
...more
Amanda
Jun 21, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I sense that Rita Mae Brown was growing bored with the series at this point. Part of that suspicion is the major life changes she throws at the characters. Even though I consider this series total fluff (talking cats, dogs, mice, etc? Total fluff, but just what I need sometimes), at some point even here some character development is a good thing. But in this installment, it's not just that that hints to boredom. It's been increasingly sneaking in as the series goes on, but this book was as of ye ...more
Marije
Jul 20, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was not for me.
It may be due to the fact that I read this book on its own, I didn't know it was part of a series. But still there were too many things to dislike about this book.

1. The plot was slow and predictable. Too many uninteresting details about horses. I get it, it needed to be explained since the crime concerned horsetrade, but first of all, that should not be clear from the start, and second, a good writer would work those facts in in a more natural and less pedantic style.

2. The
...more
Knight
I've liked most of the Sneaky Pie Brown books; in any series some are better than others. That's why I was surprised to read the negative comments about this book and the series.

I listened to the audio book on a long car drive. Being light reading, it was a good companion. I liked the reader, too. And now I'm going to read the book. Me, compulsive? NOooo.

The Commenter named Felicity mentioned bad grammar; perhaps I missed that because audio "reading" is more like conversation and I'm much more f
...more
Holli
Apr 29, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read all of the Sneaky Pie Brown mysteries. Even though they contain talking animals, they aren’t silly like some mystery series. I also enjoy the southern setting and the relationships between the characters. They are fun books, good entertainment for me. This one had a few twists, Harry’s resignation from the post office and her “reawakening affection” for Fair. I wonder where Harry will be in the next book . . . .

From Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Brown (The Tale of the Tip-off, etc.) and h
...more
Pearl Drolet
May 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
In the small central Virginia town of Crozet, animals speak to each other and understand what humans say even though those dumb Homo Sapiens can't understand the animals. Mary "Harry" Haristeen loves her two cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter and her dog Tee Tucker who she treats as if they were her children. They feel the same way about her and many a time they saved her life when she was in the middle of a homicide investigation.
One day while Harry is taking a walk in the woods she comes across horse
...more
Sanya Weathers
I actually like cozies, you know? And as befits any reader who cut her teeth on Valdemar, talking horsies (and kitties, and doggies) don't annoy me. I also sympathize with any author whose series goes on for longer than she may have originally planned or ever dares to hope.

This one was actually pretty good. Better than Tail of the Tip Off, for damn sure. /shudder

Where this one really loses its fourth star and barely clung to its third for me was the constant, CONSTANT political whining about how
...more
Oceana2602
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
...more
Samantha
Sep 21, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I think it may be a time to take a nice, long break from the adventures of Harry, Mrs. Murphy, Tee Tucker and Pewter. For one, they're getting a little preachy of the "country life is the only life worth living" opinion. I get it. It's great. Now back off! Don't shove it down my throat!

This installment finds Harry and the gang happening upon a man who is drawing his dying breath after having had his throat ripped out by an animal? A person? And he tested positive for rabies?! After a legnthy te
...more
Christine
Feb 26, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This book was a gift from my boyfriend, as advised by his mother, and I really wanted to like it, but this book is just overall disappointing.

It has a very old-lady-esque feel to it... The animals being a part of the mystery solving has charm, I suppose, but the slow pace, drinking tea, dislike of city folk, and general cat lady-ness makes me believe that only lonely old ladies would find this book enjoyable.

Plot-wise, the story was unimpressive. There were so many characters, it was impossible
...more
Ruth
Jun 27, 2007 rated it it was ok
I checked this audiobook out several months ago to listen to on my way to/from work. However, I soon discovered that I am way too sleepy (mornings) or brain dead (evenings) to listen to audio books most days. I managed to make it about halfway through the book before I had to return it. (Someone else had requested it.) So, then I checked out a paper copy of the book, and finished the rest.

This book was an interesting read/listen. There are LOTS of characters, and it was difficult for me to keep
...more
Genie
Feb 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story begins with Mary Minor "Harry" Harristeen, postmistress of tiny Crozet, Virginia, coming across a dying man whose throat has been slashed. A major complication is that he also had rabies. While checking out the crime scene, Harry finds a ring that belonged to a long-missing woman. The question is: are the two cases connected and if so, how? Many interconnected puzzles begin to unfold with one of the strangest being the disappearance of a famous studhorse. As an addition to the story, B ...more
Paul Lunger
May 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Whisker of Evil" is one of the longer & yet better done books in the Rita Mae Brown series. In this entry from 2004, we start with the discovery of Barry Monteith who has been killed apparently by a wild animal & delve much further into paranoia & other things when the cause of death appears to be rabies. The story also deals with a 2nd murder of Mary Pat Reine who disappeared along with her horse 30 years ago. Brown does a very good job with characters both human & animal & ...more
Sherrill Watson
Sep 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Almost gave this three stars, because of the horse breeding history and the ending. I love horses, but it was just too much. I know Ms. Brown is an avid horsewoman, but . . . Plus the ending? Nope. A horse is too big . . .

Loved the animal dialogue and personalities. Didn't know Ms. Harry was postmistress. Finding the ring was fortuitous, and the animals finding more bones helped A LOT! Hope Harry re-marries Fair, haven't read all the books yet, so maybe??? But the ending. NO! Nada! For 25 YEARS?
...more
Donna LaValley
Many years ago I read two books of this series, and was somewhat underwhelmed then, as well. Maybe it was because at that time I was so enjoying "The Cat Who..." series, and also discovering Maeve Binchy and Dorothy Gilman 2 favorite authors). I'm afraid Rita Mae Brown's series didn't have a chance with me at that time. Giving it another try was, unfortunately, a confirmation that this series and these characters don't resonate. In this book, one learns about horse breeding and a lot about rabie ...more
Brandi
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
another fun read. Something happens in this one so I just checked out #13 to find out what happens next!!
Jennifer
What I loved about this book: that it was in a south-central rural area, lots of discussion about horses and breeding, and scenes with only the animal characters. What was disappointing: the reading as lackluster. I may read another book in this series but I won't listen to another one by the same reader.

I have just started this book-on-CD; selected it because it is co-authored and co-stars a cat. How bad can that be? Although it is a little slow getting started, but that may be he southern aspe
...more
Marji Laine
Aug 22, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
It's been about 2 years since I read these, so I'm not sure I've pegged the correct one for this review. Since I seldom dislike books, I felt I needed to explain my low rating for this one. I'm not spoiling the ending by telling who the culprit is, but I will say how disappointed I was that the murderer got clean away! Even though the proof was there in front of the authorities, the criminal was left to live rich and untouched. I kept thinking I would read in a later book that the beast was take ...more
Marti
Mar 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery
This was a good one. This series is a bit uneven but in this novel, there was some very interesting bits of medical information included. It fit well into the story line because two victims wound up having died of rabies. The story line also had one of the characters researching horse bloodlines and genetics. I found that interesting and, again, Ms. Brown did a nice job of incorporating this information logically into the story line. I enjoyed reading this novel and would recommend it to people ...more
Madeline
While the Sneaky Pie series isn't exactly going to win any awards, I love the simplicity and simple guilty pleasures of these books. Fast and easy to read mystery with a focus on horses and talking animals? I'll take it. Whisker of Evil provided a great afternoon of entertainment as I sat cozily inside during a pet sitting gig. While many have complaints that Rita Mae Brown's Sneaky Pie series is too "cutesy" and "contrite", I think they're taking the books far, far too seriously. Call me easy t ...more
Bonnie
Apr 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2012
Talking animals who know much more than the humans.
A laid back southern town.
Lots of information on horse breeding.
Even more information on rabies.
A murder... or two... or three...
A romance... or two...

Makes for a cozy mystery to knit to.

It's been a long time since I read a Mrs Murphy mystery and must say I wasn't disappointed. This was a fun, light listen. Nice to find out what the Crozet, VA community has been doing since I last read about them many years ago.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: Whisker of Evil 1 4 Apr 20, 2012 06:14PM  
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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
More about Rita Mae Brown...

Other Books in the Series

Mrs. Murphy (1 - 10 of 26 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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