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The Big Cat Nap

(Mrs. Murphy #20)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  1,737 ratings  ·  213 reviews
Its mid-May and murder is once again in full bloom in Crozet, Virginiaor so it seems to Mary Minor Harry Haristeen. The trouble begins when Harrys dear friend Miranda Hogendobber takes her on a leisurely drive that ends in a narrow drainage ditch. The chaos continues when the Very Reverend Herbert Joness Chevy pickup also abruptly goes kaput. But these vehicular mishaps ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 30th 2013 by Bantam (first published April 3rd 2012)
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Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,737 ratings  ·  213 reviews

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Sep 15, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, cats-mystery
First I must note that I am a great fan of Rita Mae & her animal friends; therefore, I was wildly anticipating this book, the "20th Anniversary" of Mrs Murphy, sleuth cat. However, the animals are much less involved this time around and don't even save any lives! Seriously, the cats and dog involvement here is minimal, mostly they are observers, and frankly, I find them more interesting than some of the human characters. (Oh, by the way, WHAT is with all the animal fighting in this book??? ...more
Jun 14, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
The title sums it up. I love Rita Mae Brown and this has always been a fun, comfort-read series for me. I was very disappointed in this one - almost felt like someone much less experienced was writing it. Rather than letting the characters develop there was the constant "narrating" of background and thoughts on behalf of the characters. There were also many "statements" made in the book generally on "behalf" of Harry, but even though I have to say I agreed with the various statements, they ...more
Sep 01, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dear Sneaky Pie: Thank you, thank you, thank you. I wrote you earlier after reading Hiss of Death asking you to please convince Rita Mae to tone down her political rants in what are admittedly your books. I don't know if the two of you had a heart-to-heart or whether you have used your little editing paws aggressively, but the difference is impressive. While I still am aware of Rita Mae's political attitudes, I didn't feel that I was being hit over the head with them in this book. Kudos. On to ...more
Susan Webb
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I like hearing the cat's and dog's conversations! Harry is an enigma. A very different kind of heroine. She is funny and hard-working, loyal to her friends and she is nosy. She asks questions and searches for clues that tend to get her in trouble, but she solves it in the end.
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mrs. Murphy, Pewter, Tucker and their mistress get involved in car parts theft and murder. Some good fights between Pewter and everyone else. Always fun when the big black snake, Matilda, scares Pewter! Number 20 and still going strong!!! ...more
I liked it, dragged on in places, but I loved the end!
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Spring has sprung in Crozet, Virginia...and so has a mystery! Why are perfectly good cars wrecking for no good reason? Even more to the point, why have three, count 'em, three mechanics at a local garage been murdered? Harry and her troupe of remarkable animal friends must solve this mystery, or die trying...and they very well might! Will Mrs. Murphy (redoubtable tabby cat), Pewter (gray, zaftig and sassy feline) and Tee Tucker (Pembroke corgi extraordinaire) be able to help Harry solve these ...more
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I so enjoy this series and the animals that Harry has. If you know these animals....well Pewter is such a drama queen in this adventure, I mean she always is....but so much more in this book. This is a fun must read series for all animal and cozy lovers.
To be fair to this book is really not my cup of tea. I chose it because I wanted to try a cozy mystery and the concept of cats helping to solve a mystery seemed cute. Unfortunately the cats have very little to do with the mystery at all.

However for me I found the plot to be unfocused and the author's narrative voice to be inapt. The characters for the most part all seem to share the same manner of speaking and the same views. This made it hard for me to tell them apart and made the dialog read
Apr 03, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
When several of Mary Minor Harry Haristeens friends have minor car accidents that end up with their cars needing major repairs, Harry becomes more than a little suspicious about the repair shop. Harry, being Harry, starts asking questions but before she can learn much, one of the mechanics is murdered. Soon the bodies start piling up and Harry is determined to find out what is going on. However, she needs to be careful or her curiosity may get her killed.

I used to read Rita Mae Browns Mrs.
Suspense Magazine
Jun 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Its incredible that The Big Cat Nap (love the title!) is the twentieth anniversary collaboration between tiger cat Sneaky Pie Brown and her human, Rita Mae Brown. This delightful series has more than 4.5 million copies in print, and has frequently been on the New York Times bestseller list. With good reason.
The twentieth adventure begins with a series of inexplicable car accidents in the picturesque town of Crozet, Virginia. Theyre all attributed to driver error, but lead character and
With this book and also with "Hiss of Death" Rita Mae Brown is (almost) back to her old standards again! After 5+ years of mediocre novels she has written two pretty good ones again. They still aren't as good as the very old ones - I really miss the times when Harry was still Crozet's postmistress - but the logic in the murders is back.
In their 20th adventure Harry and her feline/canine friends are confronted with several brutal murders in a local garage. Harry's passion for cars and her usual
Jul 27, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What I enjoy about this series is that they are nice fast reads, very light. Usually the heroine stumbles upon a mystery, gets in too deep, witty banter ensues, her pets save her butt. Cheesiness is inherent to the cat mystery, and I'm down with that. I tend to read these out of order, generally according to whichever one happens to be on the library shelf, so perhaps more recent books in the series have devolved, but I was surprised by the lack of effort in this one.
It was terribly predictable;
Aug 05, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
That part in Lord of the Rings where Gandalf and the Balrog are locked in a death spiral and neither one will let go even though it means doom for them both? That's how it is with me and cat mysteries.
Aug 14, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries

Too many "we interrupt this mystery for an opinion from our author" moments.
Feb 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
A cute whodunnit with talking animals thrown in.
Oct 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a good Mrs Murphy mystery. Typical of the genre. Brown never dissapoints.
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After having recently been diagnosed in remission from Stage 1 breast cancer, Harry Harristeen has a new appreciation for life. Spring has arrived in Crozet, Virginia, bringing with it the blooming flowers, singing birds, and the murder of a mechanic at ReNu, a local auto repair shop. When the victim's coworkers provide the Sheriff's Department with nearly-identical statements, Harry begins to wonder if they might be involved. And of course, her two cats and dog, Mrs. Murphy, Pewter, and Tee ...more
Luanne Clark
Why did I commit to reading this series? Each installment makes me ask myself this question. Her animals and characters are endearing and well rounded, but she is the Queen Of Info-Dumping! If she cant legitimately use some of her resource information she brings it up in obvious and contrived conversations between characters. Please pass the salt, and did you know China makes more counterfeit car parts than any other country? Sheesh. And I get it, Rita, youre a Conservative Southerner. But this ...more
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Ive tried this series before and forgot I dont enjoy it. It feels written in the 70s even though its modern day. Maybe thats Virginia?? I dont know. I feel like Harry is 60 not 40 (my age).
For this story, there was A LOT of filler with car information. There was a lot of filler in general. The pets werent very involved as they have been in past books, which was a disappointment for me. The plot wasnt even that interesting. Overall, I wouldnt recommend this one.
Oh and lets not forget all the fat
Jan 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries, tbr17
Unconquerable curiosity and a love of cars and machinery leads farmer/sometime detective Harry Haristeen into involvement with a dangerous series of crimes. The book has the usual mix of detection and country life, the usual cast of human and animal characters, and the usual humorous interchanges, which makes it a little predictable. ...more
Sep 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, cats, dogs
This is the 20th anniversary of the "Mrs. Murphy" series. Harry's curiosity almost gets her killed when she puts two and two together about suspicious deaths which have a common denominator. Her corgi and two cats don't figure as prominently as far as helping solve the mystery in this one although they are along for the ride. Illustrated as usual. Recommended.
Fred Nachbrunn
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An exciting mysyery

A well thought out mystery with enough subplots to keep the readers guessing who did what.
A true action ending.
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Harry scores again! My goodness there was a lot of research done on vehicles, ins., etc. for this story.
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is good book
to not get bored
no time
This was a tough read. It was very dry, even with all the murder.
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-books
Another interesting mystery, this one centered around the auto parts industry and auto insurance. I always feel like a little something and I love the characters and animals.
Jul 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was okay- not the best or worst
Rebecca Burke
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent Mrs. Murphy mystery
Harry Addington
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable mystery with Harry and her 3 helper friends.
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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)
  • Catch as Cat Can  (Mrs. Murphy, #10)

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