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Tail Gait

(Mrs. Murphy #24)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  1,394 ratings  ·  210 reviews
Theres nothing like a tail well told. Rita Mae Brown and her feline co-author Sneaky Pie Brown return with an all-new mystery featuring Mary Minor Harry Haristeen, crime-solving cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, and ever-faithful Tee Tucker the corgi.
Spring has sprung in Crozet, Virginiaa time for old friends to gather and bid farewell to the doldrums of winter.
Paperback, 416 pages
Published April 26th 2016 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2015)
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Pema Ozer I noticed this too. In the very early books she got her nickname because she had cat hair all over her and wanted to be called Harry (hairy). Some of…moreI noticed this too. In the very early books she got her nickname because she had cat hair all over her and wanted to be called Harry (hairy). Some of the horses change sex as well. That I noticed in the Sister Jane books
Laura I was also confused by the Harriet thing and also by the dates of the guys being in college. If they were in college in '59 they would be around 80 in…moreI was also confused by the Harriet thing and also by the dates of the guys being in college. If they were in college in '59 they would be around 80 in 2015, yet they were all still very actively working? I missed the usual cast of characters. (less)
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Start your review of Tail Gait (Mrs. Murphy, #24)

In this 24th book in the 'Mrs. Murphy' series, Harry Harristeen and her pets investigate the death of a history professor. The book can be read as a standalone, but familiarity with the characters is a bonus.


This cozy series - set in Crozet, Virginia - was once a favorite of mine. The main character, 'Harry' Harristeen, was a divorced postmistress and amateur sleuth. Harry solved mysteries with the help of her 'talking pets', two cats and a corgi. The lovable animals commented on Harry's
Sep 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cats and mysteries, what a purr-fect, cozy combo! Tail Gait, Rita Mae Browns twenty-third Mrs. Murphy mystery is co-written by Browns own tabby feline, Sneaky Pie Brown. Ms. Browns favorite Southern busybody and her furry friends once again poke their muzzles into some fur-ocious business in this new tail of murder and greed.

An early spring dinner party brings together a few alumni members of UVAs acclaimed 1959 football team, a retired history professor, Greg Ginger McConnell and his wife, and
The 23rd Mrs Murphy mystery uses a different method than other books in this series: the solution for the murder of a UVA history professor has a lot to do with what happened during the American war of independence. Thus, there are two storylines, the usual one which tells about what is happening in 2015 and another one which is set during the war. The reader has to get used to two sets of characters. The ones in the 18th century are described quite well and I really liked this storyline, how it ...more
My 24th Mrs. Murphy. I would have liked more Mrs. Murphy, Tucker and Pewter and less chapters set in the 1700s, but its still one of my favorite series! ...more
Apr 30, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I received an advance copy of this book through Goodreads as a First Reads winner.
I have been disappointed in the last few books in this series, but I thought I would give this one a try since I didnt need to spend money to buy it. I was disappointed in this one as well. The plot was predictable. Someone Harry knows is murdered. Harry risks her life solving it while the cops are a step or two behind. As soon as the crime happens it is obvious who committed it and why.
The chapters set during
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I would like to thank NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Bantam Dell for giving me the opportunity to read this book.

I have not read a Rita Mae Brown book in years. I loved Harry and the animals, Tucker, the Corgie and the two cats, Mrs. Murphy and Pewter. I always thought it would be funny seeing someone driving around and taking their cats places, the dog no problem. Don't forget the two horses, snake and opposum in the barn . It's cute how the author has the animals talk amongst
May 05, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had vowed when finished my last Mrs. Murphy book, to never read another - I obviously broke my vow.

While this book still doesn't live up to Ms. Browns earlier works, it is much better than the last book of hers I read. This book still tries to 'teach' us good things, but not as forcefully as the last few. There is less politicking and more about history, less about organic farming and the hazards of eating/using non-organics products and more mystery. And thank you Gods and Goddesses for
Rebecca Lewis
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good blend of then and now.

Great characters! I like the way the 1700 and 1800 events played out along side current day events. Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown are two of my favorite authors. I did figure out who done it, but it was at the end and at the same time as Harry figured it out. No sitting around wondering why our hero was clueless. And, I always enjoy the conversations and thoughts of the four-legged, and in this case also slithering, characters. A well-written and much enjoyed
Bonnie Drummond
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rita Mae Brown gives us a look into what went on during the Revaluation War ( Prisoner of War ) camp and how we looked after them. And on the other hand we have two murders one of a famous Professed of History ( Revaluation War Camps ) and an Ex- FootBall Star ( All American ) both dead because of the Revaluation War Camp and The Deeds to the land; if that wasn't enough add one attempted murder and another death and you have your answer GREED. GRAB A COPY AND LEARN SOME HISTORY AND FIND OUT WHO ...more
Cyn Mcdonald
The B story is set during the Revolutionary War, mostly in a prisoner of war camp in Virginia. The history is interesting.

The A story is average for this series.
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
very enjoyable reading......I love that the 2 cats and the corgi help to. solve the!
Mary Brown
Aug 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Spring has sprung in Crozet, Virginiaa time for old friends to gather and bid farewell to the doldrums of winter. Harry and her husband, Fair, are enjoying a cozy dinner with some of the towns leading citizens, including beloved University of Virginia history professor Greg Ginger McConnell and several members of UVAs celebrated 1959 football team. But beneath the cloak of conviviality lurks a sinister specter from the distant past that threatens to put all their lives in jeopardy.

May 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you need another fix of a "cozy" mystery, the latest in the series featuring Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen and her corgi, Tee Tucker, as well as her two sleuthing cats, Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, is out this week. It is fun, fluff and fatalities all in one!

Rita Mae Brown (and Sneaky Pie) have added a "twist" to the story set in Crozet, Virginia by adding a cast of characters who lived at the time of the Revolutionary War. Their actions intertwine with contemporary events, including multiple
Feb 11, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
1.5 Stars.

I had two major issues with this book. First, I find that Brown adds in a lot of really unnecessary details. She gets bogged down in what characters are eating or wearing or how something works or who every single person is at an event, and it really draws me out of the story. My other big issue, which I also was bothered by in the other book I have read from the series, is that Brown puts a lot of her own opinions into the story, and I don't think she integrates them particularly
Mar 18, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read as an ARC from NetGalley.

It has been awhile since I last read a book by Sneaky Pie Brown and her human (Rita Mae Brown) . This is a very enjoyable addition to the series. Beloved history Professor Ginger MacConnell is murdered on the golf course. His former students, who live in the UVA area, are mostly all successful business men. They are making money in various parts of land development, building high end homes. Harry and her pets are still sleuthing their way through these books and
Karen B.
I really enjoyed this book because it kept switching from present day to the Revolutionary War in Virginia. I loved the history, especially the account of the prisoners of war "barracks". Harry is saddened by the murder of an old friend and then the murder of a town drunk. What did the two deaths have in common? Why would someone want both dead? Harry's curiosity once again has her on the hunt to find the relation and then to find the killer. One of the things I like about these Mrs. Murphy ...more
May 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Rita Mae Brown's Sneak Pie and his animal friends, Tee Tucker, Pewter and Mrs. Murphy, who all appear in the books. I believe that this is the 25th book in this series. I have read all of them and hope that there are many more to come. I keep thinking that the book that I am now reading is the best so far until I get to the next book and decide that this is the best ever. The introduction of all the characters that Ms. Brown takes the time to list is really very handy. This book was ...more
Feb 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books
Over the years I have enjoyed reading about antics of Mrs Murphy, Pewter and Wee Tucker their comments between themslves and the other animals the snake, opossum, owl, coyote and fox. I like the comments on their human companions. This book did not disappointed. I found both stories extremely interesting and well written. I did not like the format as it disrupted the thread of the stories. It is a lesson on how events that occur in the pass effect what happens today. I would recommend this book ...more
Anne Nerison
Aug 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very satisfying mystery. I do so enjoy these Mrs. Murphy mysteries. I particularly enjoyed what I believe is a new aspect in this series: two parallel stories, one taking place near the end of the Revolutionary War and the other modern-day (so we still get to see what Harry gets herself intoand what Tucker, Mrs. Murphy, and Pewter have to save her from). It was fun hopping back and forth in time, knowing the stories must be connected, but how? Rita Mae Brown (and Sneaky Pie Brown, of course), ...more
Aug 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tail Gait is the 24th book in Rita Mae Brown Mrs. Murphy series! I think that this might be my favorite book in this series. While it's always a pleasure to catch up with all of the regular characters in Harry's world, I enjoyed this book because of it's simplicity...only a few of the regulars are in the story. With the interweaving of the two story lines and her descriptive, easy flow writing, Rita Mae has proven once again why she's an masterful storyteller. I love both this series and the ...more
Jun 17, 2016 added it
Shelves: mystery
I love Rita May Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown's mysteries. With her companions, Tucker the Corgi, Pewter and Mrs. Murphy, the cats, she out to solve the latest murder in her neck of the woods. The long term characters are enduring and reading one of her stories set in Virginia is like visiting an old friend who has exciting news.
Aug 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent crime, I just love reading about the area I've grown up in. So interesting being able to relate and know many of the places she writes about. And love the animals tboughts and inpact on each story, simply wonderful. Highly recommend these books, I can't wait to read more!!! ☺☺
Carolyn Roys
These books have become so preachy, and yet I always read them. Amazing that she talked about transgender with Kaitlyn Jenner coming out. Especially knowing that this book was in the works well before that happened.
Sue Phillips
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nice mix of Revolutionary war era and modern era!
Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This installment of the Mrs. Murphy series was a fun divergence from the previous books. In addition to the present-day events (the murder of a prominent history professor), we get to read about a prisoner-of-war camp in Virginia during the Revolutionary War. I liked the dichotomy of the two storylines and figuring out how they tie into one another, and of course the sweet relationship between Lieutenant Charles West and his faithful corgi Piglet was endearing.

This novel also touches on the
Jane Irish Nelson
Who could possibly have wanted to kill beloved history professor Greg "Ginger" McConnell? Harry can't help but wonder if the answer might be buried in the past, so she digs into his research, but can't seem to find the connection, though she believes it must be related to a property where British prisoners were kept during the Revolutionary War. The present day story is interspersed with the story of some of those prisoners. The characters in both times periods are very well-drawn and ...more
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's glorious Spring in Crozet, and life is beginning anew everywhere. Unfortunately, some lives are ending, most inappropriately! A beloved history professor is shot and killed on a local golf course, leaving behind nothing but questions. Then, a homeless alcoholic is found (by Pewter and Tee Tucker, of all things!) dead, as well. Other than the fact that the professor taught the homeless man decades ago, what could they possibly have in common, or are the two deaths unrelated? Something tells ...more
Deborah Fenton
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another good read by Rita Mae Brown. I love her "Sister" series, but her "Mrs. Murphy" series is very good too. I enjoy cozy mysteries and these are great examples of this genre. Her mysteries are engaging and the characters are interesting. If you're an animal lover, you'll really enjoy the voices she gives to the animals in the stories. Tail Gait involves the unexplained murder of a beloved professor and the main character, Harry, who pieces all the unconnected clues together. Harry's beloved ...more
Cameron Toney
I've been really disappointed with the last few Mrs. Murphy Mysteries I've read. They have largely gone from being charming to being flat, and sometimes rather preachy. But I'm an optimistic sort, so I keep picking them up and reading them.
This was was not as bad as the last few I read, but I found the murder motive to be an afterthought, and not very plausible. And the chapters that cut away to the revolutionary war didn't really add anything to the plot, or enhance the story at all.
I don't
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beloved history professor is killed, and the police are investigating everyone in proximity. But to solve this case, they will need to go back some years, actually, a lot of years. In this well-constructed mystery, Rita Mae Brown clearly illustrates that something done decades before can impact the future, in ways unpredicted. Told in past and present times, this mystery is a wondrous tale of war and greed and of true love. Truth, eventually, will come out, one way or another.
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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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