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Whiskers in the Dark

(Mrs. Murphy #28)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  139 ratings  ·  60 reviews
Death stalks the Blue Ridge Mountains as a centuries-old mystery resurfaces and murder mars the lead-up to an annual beagle competition, in a thrilling new tale from Rita Mae Brown and her feline co-author Sneaky Pie Brown.

"As feline collaborators go, you couldn't ask for better than Sneaky Pie Brown."--The New York Times Book Review

A massive nor'easter has hit northern V
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by Bantam
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4.02  · 
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 ·  139 ratings  ·  60 reviews

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Apr 27, 2019 rated it liked it

Ricki Lake as 'Harry Haristeen' with Mrs. Murphy (cat) and Tucker (dog)

In this 28th book in the 'Mrs. Murphy' series, amateur sleuth Harry Haristeen investigates several unnatural deaths with the help of her cadre of 'talking pets': the cats - Mrs. Murphy and Pewter; the corgi - Tucker; and the half-grown Irish wolfhound - Pirate.


The story, set in northern Virginia, ping pongs between the present (2018) and the time right after the Revolutionary War (1787).

In the present, Harry Haristeen
May 15, 2019 rated it liked it
This was an interesting mystery set in two time periods - present day and 1787. There are suspicious murders in both time periods. In the present day scenario Harry Harristeen and her pets - cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter (love this name for a cat) and two dogs Tucker and Pirate - investigate both the present day and the 1787 murders. The talking animals are adorable - I enjoyed them. The setting is against a backdrop of an annual Hounds F4R Heroes beagle and basset hunting competition at an estate ...more
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
As a cozy mystery, Whiskers in the Dark may seem cute with cats and dogs that talk to one another and try to help their person, Mary Minor Haristeen (known affectionately as Harry), when trouble comes her way. Having read most of Rita Mae Brown’s 28 books in this series, I have grown quite fond of Harry, her cats Pewter and Mrs. Murphy, and her Corgi, Tee Tucker. Now there is a new pup in the family as well, Pirate. We don’t see much at all of Harry’s veterinarian husband Fair in this one, but ...more
Kate Baxter
3.5/5 stars

Four murders, two time periods, a lovely Virginia estate, a hunting hound competition and a bunch of retired former members of the diplomatic corps, military and CIA. Sound interesting? Sure enough, it truly was.

A fully clothed African American woman's body bedecked with a stunning pearl necklace and pearl earrings surrounded by diamonds, had been hastily buried atop two freshly buried caskets...back in 1787 in the local graveyard. In 2018, with so little information on which to draw,
Merrilee Gibson
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have been a fan of the Mrs. Murphy series by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown from the very beginning, and I always look forward to the latest story.

As with several recent Mrs. Murphy books, this one features a dual story line: a new, current story in April, 2018, the other an ongoing story from September 1787, resulting in a multi-layered, multi-century piece that brings historical perspective to the present day.

The historical material is thought-provoking. For me, it strikes a chord as m
Coralee Hicks
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rita Mae Brown is so much more than just a writer of mysteries. Social commentator, rabble rousing feminist, and long time resident of Virginia. She brings a great depth to her long running Mrs Murphy series. All lovers of this series know it is co-authored by Sneaky Pie Brown (her cat.)

The 28th volume of the Mrs Murphy Mysteries is set primarily at the headquarters of the National Beagle Club in Aldie VA. The Beagle club will soon be hosting a fundraiser called Hounds F4r Heroes. This is an act
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found an easy to read text and a nice flow between the the two time periods. Very little about animals for which I read the series. There are a number of excellent pictures showing some of the events. The graveyard near St Luke's church is vandalized an in the grave an unburied skeleton is found with a rope of pearls around her neck.

Mary Minor “Harry” Harristeen joins the volunteers at Aldie, the National Beagle Club for spring clean up before the trials. There was a damaging spring storm that
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Whiskers in the Dark by Rita Mae Brown has two murders—one current day and one from the eighteenth century. I loved all the animals written about and involved in this story. It took me a bit to get fully invested in the storyline, and there were several characters to keep track of, but it was relatively easy to follow. The mystery held my interest. I liked the way the author unfolded the story from current day 2018 and the older story in 1787. I enjoyed the characters in the 1787 setting and the ...more
Tracy Cavanah
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A massive nor’easter has hit northern Virginia, where Mary Minor “Harry” Harristeen joins groundskeeping efforts at the National Beagle Club at Aldie as the date for its springtime Hounds for Heroes veterans’ benefit approaches. Harry’s fellow volunteers, including her oldest friend, Susan Tucker, comprise a spirited group of hunting enthusiasts, some former service members themselves. But things take a sinister turn when, after a routine tree cleanup along the Club’s hunting trails, retired for ...more
Jun 09, 2019 rated it liked it
In the 28th outing of this mystery series set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, 'Harry' Haristeen and her friend Susan have joined a crew of workers who are cleaning up the weather-damaged site belonging to the National Beagle Club of America in Aldie, Virginia which is about to host an annual competition put on by Hounds F4R Heroes. Just days before the event occurs, one of the volunteer workers is found brutally murdered, but his wife insists the annual event must go on. When another de ...more
JoAnne McMaster (Any Good Book)
Harry and her friend Susan are helping out clearing the grounds for the Hounds for Heroes run for Bassets and Beagles. Along with other volunteers, they find a problem on the road that needs the help of a tractor, and one of their friends, Jason Holzknect, sets off to find one. But when he doesn't return, they set off to find him...and they do, with his throat slit. While Harry is convinced someone at the club killed Jason, everyone wants her to let the police handle the case. And when another b ...more
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
It is pure delight to visit Harry, best friend Susan, and Harry’s pets and horses! The setting is interesting, with the backdrop of hunting to raise funds for a worthy cause, Hounds F4R Heroes, present day Crozet, historical events, and the intriguing mysteries occurring before and after the hunts.

We visit Aldie, VA, as Susan, Harry, and a group of huntsmen prepare the National Beagle Club of America for the upcoming event that will raise money for military veterans to have sports events. Anythi
D.B. Moone
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to D.B. by: NetGalley
Rita Mae Brown began writing poetry before she wrote her first novel, Rubyfruit Jungle in 1973. I read Rubyfruit Jungle shortly after its publication. The second Rita Mae Brown book I read was Starting from Scratch: A Different Kind of Writers’ Manual, published in in 1988. Brown has written more than 60 books which include several series: Sister Jane Mysteries (11), Runnymede (4), Mrs. Murphy Mystery Series (28), and, Mags Rogers Mystery Series (2), as well as 14 novels, and four nonfiction boo ...more
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Whiskers in the Dark is a cozy mystery set in rural Virginia. There are two mysteries in this book: one involves a body from the 1700's that was recently discovered in Virginia, and then in present day, retired foreign services officer Jason Holzknect is murdered. The present day storyline takes place at a Hounds for Heroes benefit held by the National Beagle Club.

I wanted to read this book as soon as heard about it. I read, and enjoyed, the Mrs. Murphy mysteries for years. I have not read the p
Andrea Guy
I have read several of the now 28 books in this series over the years. Its hard to believe its already 28 books. Of course, I say that about Stephanie Plum too as her series is pretty high up there too.

This mystery is set in two time periods, which is very cool for a cozy. If you are familiar with this series, the pets are all very much part of the series. They are talking pets. Really! I find it so adorable.

Harry is working to solve a new and an old mystery with the help of her friends.

This was
Jordan Stivers
May 31, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery, net-galley
I just really didn't like it. For a cozy mystery, it's neither cozy or much of a mystery. A significant amount of the story was focused on teaching the reader historical facts about American history and how hound hunting works. The mystery didn't even begin until I was one-third into the book and even then it seemed to remain on the back burner until the last 20 pages or so. I really enjoyed the animals and thought the way the author wrote their dialogue alongside the humans was really neat but ...more
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a slow-moving story that takes place on two time lines – first in 2018 Virginia where Harry Harristeen and her friends are getting ready for the spring Hounds for Heroes benefit – assuming the weather cooperates – hosted by the by the National Beagle Club. The second storyline takes place in 1787 Philadelphia where the Founding Fathers have gathered to create the Constitution.

Both storylines are well told but for the unsuspecting reader, perhaps the one who doesn’t pay attention to chap
Jun 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Harry and Her Animal Sleuths Are Faced with Murders Past and Present

Harry Haristeen and her friend Susan Tucker are helping with clean up at the National Beagle Club at Aldie for the Hounds for Heroes Benefit. Their efforts are hampered when a major nor’easter his Northern Virginia. Although the weather is not cooperative, Harry, Susan and her pets persevere and cleanup is well underway when Jason Holzknect, a retired foreign service officer is found dead.

Soon another murder occurs and Harry an
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arcs
This is the 28th book in the Mrs. Murphy mystery series.

I should have gone with my first instinct and passed this ARC right on by. I knew I might not like talking animals in my stories and I was right. But there was so much more wrong with this than the talking animals. The author used this as a study in American History and did a pretty good job of shoving a whole lot of it down our throats every chance that came around.

History has its place in a story, I think. But I don’t think I need to reli
John Presler
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mary Minor "Harry" Harristeen and her best friend, Susan Tucker, have traveled to northern Virginia to help with a clean-up effort at a local Beagle club in preparation for the annual Hounds for Heroes benefit event. The weather is definitely not cooperating and the hunt trails are in a real mess. While preparing to move a large tree root, Jason Holzknect, one of the volunteers and a club member, goes to get a tractor to haul the tree roots away from the trail area. When Jason fails to return, t ...more
Judy Beetem
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Harry, Mrs. Murphy, Pewter and Tucker are back in a new mystery! I was pleased and honored to read an ARC- I love Rita Mae Brown and the Mrs. Murphy mysteries. In this newest mystery, Harry Harristeen joins clean-up efforts in northern Virginia. A fierce storm ran through the National Beagle Club and Harry, best friend Susan, and their loquacious critters are helping to clear the area before the annual Hounds for Heroes benefit begins. While clearing trees from the trails the group uncovers a bo ...more
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rita Mae Brown writes of history during the colonies’ struggles and about the people, free, slave, honest, cruel, intelligent and cunning in both good and bad. She writes of today’s world and brings out in the characters of Harry, Susan, Arlene and others the same traits. Her story is rich in fact as well as enjoyable in fiction. The animals ponder humans and although they despair of them at times, they love and defend.
In this setting, Harry and Susan are helping with the basset and beagle trial
Anam Cara
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I always enjoy the Mrs. Murphy Mysteries, although I have never figured out what real part the animals play except to tell a little bit of what is happening that Harry is unaware of.

When the series began years ago, I wanted to BE Harry and work in a small town post office. I enjoyed watching the main character grow through the various stories. This one is no exception.

While getting ready for a Hounds4Heros event in Aldie (which I know, living in in Northern Virginia) one of the crew working to
Diane Hernandez
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Set at a National Beagle Association event, Whiskers in the Dark is another satisfying entry in the Mrs. Murphy cat cozy mystery series.

Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, crime solving cats, plus Tee Tucker, a Corgi dog, and Pirate, an Irish Wolfhound puppy, get clues to two mysteries from a ghostly beagle only they can see. In current day, a man is found murdered before the annual Hounds for Heroes benefit hunt. Then, a woman’s skeleton from the 1780s is found with a broken neck and wearing an expensive n
Karen Seibert-Combs
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another investigating adventure for Harry Harristeen and her four four legged companions and fellow investigators. Harry is helping to clean up the grounds of the National Beagle Club Grounds to prepare for the Hounds F4 Heroes competition event. Harry discovers the body of a committee member with his throat slit. Harry is convinced that the murderer is another committee member and much to her companions' chagrin she begins investigating. Meanwhile, at Harry's church a disturbed grave leads to t ...more
Laura Reading
Rita Mae Brown has a very loyal following. Her mysteries have been enjoyed and loved for years.
Her characters have been adopted by readers. Especially endearing to them are the chattering animals.

This book fits the Amateur Sleuth genre, but has elements of a harder, classic mystery. With elements of historical fiction, political intrigue, it tells the tale of two time periods. The reader does have to focus and may need to read between the lines. In the end, each reader must draw their own ethica
Apr 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Spring has arrived and volunteers are getting the National Beagle Club grounds ready for the first hunt of the season. Winter, however, hasn’t gotten the memo and a snowstorm is coming and completing the work will have to wait for another weekend.

The next weekend brings two murders to the forefront as one of the volunteers is found murdered and a long buried woman is buried after her body was discovered in another family’s plot. Here the story line splits to tell both stories from the 1780s and
***** A fully dressed skeleton complete with obviously expensive jewelry and a neatly snapped neck is found atop a coffin buried in 1787. While preparing the field and kennels after a violent storm prior to the annual competition hosted by Hounds F4R Heroes, a local huntsman well known to the usual participants is discovered almost immediately after having had his throat cut.
The investigation into these two murders is followed in alternating narratives to bring each to resolution. Of course Mr
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have heard so much about The Mrs. Murphy Mysteries and this is the first one that I read. I was expecting the elements of a typical cozy mystery: quirky characters, somewhat comedic situations, and stealthy sleuthing set in a tight-knit, small-town vibe. Instead, I got schooled in the dog and horse culture of VA hunt clubs, cold-war espionage, and life in the Antebellum South. Oh, there were murders, but not actual sleuthing to figure out whodunit. Obviously, as fans of Ms. Brown seem to love ...more
Kalendra Dee
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
What the heck was this book about? In between truly tedious hunting scenes that never seemed to end, a convoluted “mystery” and American history lessons in every sequence from the 1700s that was was jammed between present day scenes, I truly wanted to scream. I’ve read this series from the beginning and loved the human characters and especially love the animal characters, but this series has really devolved over quite a few of the last books into a mishmash of weird storylines with unrelated and ...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 Un

Other books in the series

Mrs. Murphy (1 - 10 of 28 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)