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Catch as Cat Can

(Mrs. Murphy #10)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  2,869 ratings  ·  89 reviews
Spring fever comes to the small town of Crozet, Virginia. As the annual Dogwood Festival approaches, postmistress Mary Minor Harry Haristeen feels her own mating instincts stir.

As for tiger cat Mrs. Murphy, feline intuition tells her theres more in the air than just pheromones. It begins with a case of stolen hubcaps and proceeds to the mysterious death of a dissolute
Paperback, 334 pages
Published February 2003 by Bantam Books (first published 2002)
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Heather Gahres Yes but I would recommend starting at the beginning. They all can be read stand alone but you get a better feel for the characters if you have some…moreYes but I would recommend starting at the beginning. They all can be read stand alone but you get a better feel for the characters if you have some history. Hope that helps!(less)

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Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,869 ratings  ·  89 reviews

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Mar 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Catch as Cat Can is the tenth of twenty-five Mrs. Murphy books by Rita Mae Brown and her feline co-writer, Sneaky Pie Brown. Somewhere along the line, I missed a few of these gems, so I was backtracking, and it was a joy to read one of the older stories of the series (I had the audio version for this one). Do not expect a realistic, serious, heart-thumping read from Ms. Brown and her tabby cat. This is Murder, She Wrote, Southern style with talking animals to boot. Note that they talk to each ...more
Feb 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
I love these books. People giving them one star - its a book about a cat solving a murder. Were you expecting Tolstoy? Great for mindless reading just for the fun of it.
Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great visit with the gang from Crozet, Virginia!! I will be reading #11 soon!
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Rita Mae and Sneaky Pie Brown treat readers to another delightful installment of the cozy Mrs. Murphy series in Catch As Cat Can. We meet the OBannon brothers, Sean and Roger, who own and operate Crozets salvage yard after their father passed away. During a party hosted by the towns reigning matriarch, Aunt Tally Urquhart, Roger slumps over in his chair, dead. From there, the residents are left to wonder if his unhealthy lifestyle caught up with him, or if something sinister is afoot.

My favorite
Laurel Bradshaw
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not a review. Comments are for my own recollection...

Time: Spring, early April. Harry is "late 30s". It has been "about" 5 years since Fair and Boom Boom had an affair. Brooks is still in high school.

Characters: Aunt Tally, Boom Boom, Fair, Mrs. Hoggendobber, Susan, Roger and Shawn O'Bannon (of the junk yard), Lottie Pearson (new?), Don Clatterbuck (the taxidermist), Diego - a visiting dignitary from Uruguay.

Animals: Tee Tucker, Mrs. Murphy, Pewter, Pop Tart, Simon, the owl, the blue jay, "Pope"
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Spring has sprung in Crozet, Virginia, and spring fever is running amok. So amok, in fact, that there are not one, but TWO murders. Harry (Mary Minor) Haristeen is hot on the trail of a cold-blooded killer with the able assistance of Mrs. Murphy, her tiger cat, Pewter (gray and a bit zaftig), and Tee Tucker, an incorrigible Corgi. The animals are determined to help, especially since they know just how much danger Harry, herself, is in. If only Harry would learn to listen when they talk to her!
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
Animal as a Point of View character - always a challenge. In this case, 3 animals, although "Mrs. Murphy" is the chief cat. "Catch as Cat Can" is the 10th in Rita Mae Brown's murder mystery series featuring her critters as detectives of a sort. I read the first one a couple of years ago. This one was printed in 2002. Kind of in the "cozy mystery" CATegory. The books are a quick read, and formulaic. No surprise here. But she writes really well and is fun to read.
Aug 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, cats, dogs
Harry and her friends including her lovable corgi, Tucker; Mrs. Murphy, her pretty tiger cat; and Pewter her pretty silver cat. Murder comes in threes and the pets try to give their human mom clues. Recommended.
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Mrs. Murphy and company are always enjoyable. I know that some folks don't care for talking critters, but I do like the perspective from the floor.
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy, spring
Another good one about Mrs. Murphy and the gang. My favorite character was Pope Rat, who called everyone "Nipsh!@#."
Margo Sinks
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
The animals are beginning to take over. A pleasant read for a cold evening.
Terralyn Brown Barfield
3 1/2- 4 Stars. I love the human and animal characters in this series and Im very picky when they have speaking parts in particular. A fun read. ...more
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another fun Mrs. Murphy mystery

I wanted something fun tho read after reading several weighty non-fiction books and this was perfect . Love the talking animals.
Susan A Horton
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Always enjoy her mysteries. This was an interesting mystery within mystery.
Nothing Like A Good Book!!!! wood
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Watch the sugar bowl, Mrs. Murphy.
Barbara Dunkle
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Do you love animals?

Two cat and a dog talk to each other so you get this storyline from their prospective as well as from a human prospective.
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-books
This is an interesting mystery. I still like the continuing characters the best. I like the setting and the animals involved.
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
good book... will definitely be on the lookout for more of this series
Jan 18, 2015 rated it liked it
When a mechanic dies a quiet death at a party in the small town of Crozet, Virginia, things are about to get very interesting. Harry, who works at the post office, has a habit of getting in the middle of police investigations, just because she is so curious. Although, her 2 cats and 1 dog may also have something to do with it.
This book is one of many in a detective series about one of the cats Mrs. Murphy. It is an interesting way of telling a story and it certainly had me compelled, since the
I grew up reading (and loving) Agatha Christie's Miss Marple and Dorothy Sayer's Lord Peter mysteries. But the moral dilemma raised by the amateur sleuth subgenre of murder mysteries is that it tends to reduce the act of murder, the ultimate act of human evil and depravity, to a parlor game. This book takes that problem to the extreme, with Brown having two cats and a dog contribute to the murder investigation and a sheriff's deputy casually dropping details about the investigation into ...more
Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo

Catch as Cat Can starts very slowly and if it wasn't for Mrs. Murphy, Pewter, and Tucker, I think I probably would have put this cozy mystery down. But the action finally picks up and the story line moved along quite nicely. I loved the animals' antics - they made me laugh. I now wonder what my two cats are saying. This may not have the book to introduce me to Harry Haristeen and Crozet, Virginia, but I will try another book in the Mrs. Murphy Series.


Spring has finally come to
Pearl Drolet
May 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Catch As Cat Can is the 10th Mrs. Murphy Mystery by Rita Mae [and Sneaky Pie] Brown, and this time Mrs Murphy, Pewter [the cats], and Tee Tucker [the dog] are helping their companion human, Harry Haristeen, postmistress of Crozet, Virginia, snoop around the local salvage yard. BoomBoom Craycroft, woman of ample bosom, rich widow, and Crozet's most famous sampler of lifestyles, has taken up welding sculptures out of junk metal AND sets Harry up with a Uraguayan diplomat. Miranda, Harry's helper ...more
Feb 08, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery-crime
This book was what I can only describe as "precious." Perhaps it was the fantasy world of Virginia small town life as according to the author/goddess, but more likely it the idea of pets calling their owner "Mom." That made me want to yak profusely. Equally disturbing to me was that discovery that in this book animals talk. All the time. To each other. At the same level of intelligence as middle school girls who announce their cell phone conversations on public buses. I ignored all this mess in ...more
3.5/5 Stars

Catch as Cat Can is the 10th book in the series, its a quick, easy read with a cast of characters that grows on you (through the series). I think one of the great strengths of this series is that I can read a book from the series at any time with no problem (whereas some other genres - I have to be in the mood for). Like the other books in the series, expect detailed imagery (specifically of setting) and the mischievous sleuthing trio of animals, and their human. The mystery involves
Jul 14, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: cat lovers with a sense of humour
Rita Mae Brown's cat mysteries are my guilty reading pleasure. From what I hear she is quite successful with her thrillers. I've read one and was bored to death. I was just like any other common crime story I've ever read, nothing special, not even a special mystery, and the writing style was trivial. But her cat mysteries are charming. Brown knows how to create characters and how to tell a story. Sure, the more well-read among us will see the tricks she uses to get the reader where she wants ...more
An Odd1
Mar 10, 2011 rated it did not like it
* "Catch as cat can" is a feline Mrs. Murphy mystery by Rita Mae Brown, requiring a leisurely, gossipy chin-wag frame of mind. The afore-mentioned Mrs. M., a fellow cat, and a corgi converse copiously, while their pretty owner postmistress Harry gets set up on a double date by her vet ex's voluptuous ex-girlfriend Boom-Boom with an exotic South American, for the Virginia small-town spring festival. After extensively detailed events: a woodpecker corpse delivered to the taxidermist, stolen 1961 ...more
Sep 20, 2012 rated it liked it
As Spring comes to Cozet, a new beau is introduced to compete with Fair for the postmistress's affections as well as a new mystery to compete for her attention. Like the earlier entries, this is a quick, enjoyable read; however, I found this mystery to be a little too far-fetched. I still gave it three stars because there also appeared to be a little less "preaching" about how rural life is far superior to urban life. I also enjoyed the continual evolution of Boom Boom and Miranda. One of the ...more
Aug 12, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery
Catch as Cat Can by Rita Mae Brown must be a lonely 40 year old women whose only friend is a cat since the co-auther is a cat. This Murder, She Wrote and Doctor Dolittle combo does not try very hard to make a murder mystery. It was very cuties and laid back, more along the lines for somebody who has nothing better to do than pet her 20 kitties. In the Beginning it actually lists all of the character and vast conversations between the 3 pets and other animals. Of course Harry is just your average ...more
M Harris
Jan 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Just bam, bam, and two dead. Seemed like a true mystery at the beginning. As the sleuth work started with the deal in kentucky, however, it became more evident that there was some sort of widespread deal going on with Dwayne and that somehow Roger & Don were involved. Sean would be too obvious, so **spoiler** I thought "What if the foreigner, Thomas is in on it?" Events proved me right. A little far fetched that all of those fancy cars could be so effectively stolen and disguised and that ...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.

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

Other books in the series

Mrs. Murphy (1 - 10 of 30 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)
  • The Tail of the Tip-Off  (Mrs. Murphy, #11)

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