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Nine Lives to Die

(Mrs. Murphy #23)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  1,428 ratings  ·  206 reviews
Winter has come to Crozet, Virginia, bringing with it a fresh blanket of snow. Harry and her husband, Fair, are hip deep in their usual end-of-the-year activities: distributing food to needy residents, and shopping for outfits for the Silver Linings youth organization’s annual fundraising gala. But buried beneath the white stuff are dark secrets from Crozet’s past—and ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published June 24th 2014 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2014)
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Cynthia Adams I've just finished this book, and I really enjoyed it. I didn't finish her previous book (The Litter of the Law), because it was so preachy and…moreI've just finished this book, and I really enjoyed it. I didn't finish her previous book (The Litter of the Law), because it was so preachy and political. I hope that Ms. Brown continues her old way of writing! (less)

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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  1,428 ratings  ·  206 reviews

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Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016-challenge

2.5 stars

In this 23rd book in the 'Mrs. Murphy' series, two businessmen associated with a charitable organization are murdered. The book can be read as a standalone.


I've enjoyed many books in Rita Mae Brown's cozy mystery series that features amateur sleuth "Harry" Haristeen and her adorable talking animals - tiger cat Mrs. Murphy, chubby gray cat Pewter, and corgi Tucker. After a while Brown's series became more political diatribes than light mysteries and I stopped reading them. When I
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I can hardly believe I have finished the 23rd Mrs. Murphy. I will become current with the series soon and then I will have to wait until each time a new one comes out. Boo Hoo! Visiting with Pewter, Mrs. Murphy and Tucker is like having a relaxing massage with a few laughs thrown in!
Eva Müller
Mar 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, review-copies
Full review will be posted closer to the publication date. Now let me just say that after being very disappointed with the last few books from this series, that I read, I really enjoyed this one again.
Jun 29, 2014 rated it did not like it
entirely predictable, and suffocatingly religious.
Brown's older stuff was much better.
Jun 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-books
NINE LIVES TO DIE by Rita Mar Brown Another good visit with Harry and Mrs Murphy. Harry and Fair are helping with fund rising for Silver Linnings, a boy's camp for problem boys. They are delivering goods to the needy collected by the area's churches. While out exploring Mrs. Murphy and Tucker watch a coyote carrying am arm bone away. The arm has a glittering objects that fall off the arm. The object a gold bracelet and the animals decided to give it Harry for Christmas. Mrs Murphy works to get ...more
Jul 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Let me first say that I've been a fan of the series from the start. It's had it's ups and down, and while the last few have not been the best, this one returns us to those "ups". This was a well-crafted story and had me second guessing myself as to the guilty party. There were enough twists and turns to keep you on your toes and the ending will surprise you, and sadden you. If it weren't for the murder rate, I'd like to live there. On another note, I have to laugh at their reaction to a little ...more
Sep 08, 2014 rated it really liked it

It’s December, and Harry Haristeen and her friends are hustling to prepare and deliver holiday gifts and food to the less fortunate in and around their town of Crozet, Virginia. Husband Fair and Harry are also helping with fund-raising for Silver Linings, a boys’ camp for problem teens. Winter arrives with a vengeance, and while the humans are up to their eyeballs in holiday preparations, their pets, Tucker, Mrs. Murphy, and Pewter are up to their furry ears in snow and mischief. They spot a
Oct 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
This 22nd mystery in the Mrs Murphy series is once again set in Crozet, Virginia. Winter has arrived and masses of snow are falling. In this snow chaos two members of Silver Linings, a local youth's organization, are found dead in their cars. Both deaths first seem natural, but then it is discovered that the bodies are each missing an index- and a middle-finger...
At the same time Harry's cats and dog discover a skeleton burried under a tree in the mountains behind Harry's farm. Who is the dead
Oct 14, 2014 rated it liked it
These books have been favorites of mine for many years until recently. Previous to this one, the author has filled her books with her political opinions and in the last one, the mystery was an afterthought. It was all about the main character dealing with breast cancer. In addition, I was tiring of hearing about her characters using their "fine china" every day, as well as her constant rhapsodic descriptions of her particular area being so much superior to the rest of the world. I even took the ...more
Apr 11, 2014 rated it liked it
What one finds here is simply “more of the same” --- in terms of this author and this series (“Mrs. Murphy”). This is light fare, entertaining, and by now quite formulaic. As a reader to participate in this particular series one must accept the author’s premise that animals can talk to each other, can talk to other animals of different species, can understand everything the humans around them are saying, and for the most part are more observant, logical, and grounded in common sense than the ...more
Becky Galambos
Jul 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
I am relieved to report the old Rita Mae I know and love is making a comeback in this book. An actual storyline, but I miss some of the characters that seem to have dropped off the face of the earth, like Miranda and Tracy, Big Mim, Boom Boom, etc!
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Someone is killing in Crozet, Virginia. T'is the season of giving, and Harry, along with husband, Fair, and all of their friends are hip deep in both snow and making sure that those less fortunate are taken care of at Christmas. ALL of the area churches are involved, and good will reigns...or it should. But bodies are turning up, bodies of men deeply involved in the community and charity work. AND they have their index and middle fingers missing! Who would do these horrible things, and WHY? Can ...more
Jul 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It is winter and Christmas is coming. People are busy with charitable works – a gala fundraiser and collecting items to deliver to needy families. But in the midst of all the hoopla, the unthinkable happens. A popular business man is found dead in his car under unusual circumstances. Author Rita Mae Brown along with Sneaky Pie do a masterful job in creating an intricate mystery that ties in present day murders with an unsolved missing persons cold case. Harry, along with her favorite felines and ...more
Karen GoatKeeper
May 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
The author keeps you guessing in this one. There is a lot going on and not all of it is connected except to St. Cyril's.
Odin is delightful. He is a coyote and hungry during a very snowy winter. Mrs. Murphy and crew need his help and a little bribery goes a long way. Odin sweet talks them but, for a coyote, trust is hard to win.
Nothing like a fallen tree to expose a skeleton of the past. The bones do get around.
Teenager Tyler is a geek and happy as a geek. It's his father who is unhappy and can't
Jun 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another good visit with Harry and Mrs Murphy. Harry and Fair are helping with fund rising for Silver Linnings, a boy's camp for problem boys. They are delivering goods to the needy collected by the area's churches. While out exploring Mrs. Murphy and Tucker watch a coyote carrying am arm bone away. The arm has a glittering objects that fall off the arm. The object a gold bracelet and the animals decided to give it Harry for Christmas. Mrs Murphy works to get the coyote to tell them where he ...more
Sep 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-reads
First of all, you should know that I am a sucker for these books, so I am already inclined to like them even before I open them.

In this installment, Harry and her animal friends are busy getting ready for Christmas, when two prominent businessmen in their town die suddenly. Was it because of the heavy snow? If so, why did each body have two fingers missing, and the same fingers at that?

And as far as the animals are concerned, where did the skeleton in the woods come from? Why is it missing part
Karen B.
This book reminded me of the earlier works of Rita Mae Brown. Mrs. Murphy, Pewter and Tucker return as what I think the most lovable characters. But the book is mainly about two mysteries: an old murder and two recent murders. The old mystery comes to light when a skeleton surfaces after a tree falls and is uprooted. Two men of Crozet, Va. are found dead in their cars ... murdered. Once again Mary (Harry) Harristeen helps to solve the mysteries along with Deputy Cooper, her neighbor and friend.
Ruth Ferguson
First book I read in the series and look forward to going back to the beginning and reading more. At times the mystery felt secondary to the interesting people and pets. Since it is the 23rd book in the series I am sure so Much was familiar to others. But the mystery itself was good and I didn't figure it out exactly. Love the way the story touched on faith and community.
Oct 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Cute & Sassy
A good plot with animals and humans working together. Well written. This is book #22! in the Mrs. Murphy series. A standalone book in the series. Well-developed characters. Enjoy! NetGalley and Bantam provided an advanced review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
Feb 20, 2014 rated it did not like it
This was my first book in this series and my first book by this author.

And I didn't like it. I found the story line difficult to follow. Are the animals talking? or are humans talking? It seemed to switch around a lot and just wasn't that good.
Jul 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
This book takes the series back to its enjoyable roots, leaving the recent preachy tone behind. Light on plotting, with some big leaps, the strength is in the recurring characters, who are easy to like. This is a bonbon, but since the last few have been castor oil, a bonbon is welcome.
Tom Franklin
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
While the two murders constituted an interesting mystery, the rest of Brown's book failed to support them. This was a comfortable book, another literary time spent with fictional friends and their lives and their times together rather than a true mystery. The characters felt incredibly familiar with each other and their habits; the wintery setting and various (expensive) charity events felt like social obligations and just part of their lives together.

As a "Cosy" this presented nothing too
Nov 27, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the early books in this series. Over time, the quality declined, but I kept reading because I was hooked on the regular characters, and the evolving relationship between Harry and her ex-husband, Fair. Then, about 10 volumes ago, I stopped reading the series. Too much the same, too shallow, and the writing was declining.

Recently, I've wanted to re-visit Crozet and the fun characters that Brown populated the series with. I picked this volume because it seemed to be the last before the
Alexa Hamilton
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audio, adult, mystery
There is a time and a place for a cozy mystery, and my time is December and the place is usually my house, while I putter around doing boring chores. Sure, I could listen to more stimulating audio but I like Harry and Fair and the animals solving the mystery. Rita Mae Brown continues to drop very blatant references to her politics and view of the world into these books, although perhaps less so than a few books earlier. It doesn't matter, I'll probably listen to the whole series because everyone ...more
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very quick, engaging read that I began because the Kindle was charging.

Harry, Pewter, Mrs Murphy and Tucker are at it again. A harsh winter, the holiday season, one long dead secret and two very new bodies. The usual cast of characters in Crozet, although not much from a few of them.

Enjoyable. The mysteries are usually not top notch, this one was no different, but Rita Mae Brown tends to tell her stories with just a bit of a political twist. Enough to keep you interested and happy to come
Gretchen Fatouros
So, it is Christmas Day. We are at a hotel to enjoy a relaxing holiday & I have finished my last book on Christmas Eve. Down in the lobby is a bookshelf with some books you can borrow. I tried this one. Almost finished before heading home...

It was okay. Definitely not written like a typical mystery. Weird when the animals start talking to each other (at least the people don’t understand them)
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
This author, together with another author Lilian Jackson Braun, were suggested to me by another GR reader. I found this book to be a most interesting light mystery, easy and relaxing to read whilst holding your attention. It featured two cats and a dog amongst others - a twist I always find entertaining. Some mysteries overtake you demanding your attention. This is happily not in that category rather enjoyable and refreshing.
Sep 15, 2018 rated it liked it
I think I'm beginning to be too critical of fun cozy mysteries, but when the dialog in this paragraph includes person C, and the dialog in the next paragraph in about person C, shouldn't that person have some further things to say?

Mmmmm, perhaps not. Still, a great read. I love Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown. I have been binge reading this series the last couple of weeks, trying to move my stack of book in the "I need to read pile" to the done pile!
Christine L
Jul 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Charming characters as always but I think the storylines have gotten a little slow and boring for me. This is the 23rd book in the series and I have read all 23 so perhaps the appeal has simply run its course.
Laurie Niestrath
Sneaky Pie Brown, Pewter and Tucker always delight. It's a fun read particularly for those who live in the area. Kate Forbes who reads the books in this series will be on stage this week at the Heritage Theater. I can't wait to see her perform!
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #196 - Nine Lives to Die 1 1 Dec 03, 2014 10:43AM  

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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)