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Santa Clawed (Mrs. Murphy, #17)
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Santa Clawed (Mrs. Murphy #17)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  1,755 Ratings  ·  153 Reviews
As Harry well knows, there's hardly a place on earth cozier than Crozet, Virginia, at Christmastime. Snowflakes, carolers, it's all picture-perfect until Harry and her husband, Fair, find the tree they've chosen grimly decorated with a corpse. The tree farm is run by the Brothers of Love, a semimonastic organization whose members live atop the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains. ...more
Audio CD, 7 pages
Published October 15th 2008 by Recorded Books (first published 2008)
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It took me a ridiculously long time to read this book. That's because I started it somewhere not here, and then left it there, and then couldn't finish reading it (obviously.)

So the reason why "Santa Clawed" (OMG don't you just love the titles?) showed up on my "currently reading" list for nearly five months or so is not that Brown suddenly started to write deep, thought-provoking, hard-to-read social studies, but only disorganisation in my part.

No, Brown still writes funny, fluffy, easy-to-read
Mrs Murphy, Pewter and Tucker

This one of the best Mrs Murphy's book I have read as the are the MC's set against the background of Crozet and Harry's farm. The animals were normal except for talking to each other. It is Christmas time and the Brothers of have a Christmas tree lot to raise money for their programs. One of the Monks is found with throat cut on the lot. Harry begins wondered why. Mrs Murphy, Pewter and Tucker help Harry solve the murders.
Pearl Drolet
Jun 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
We are accustomed to talking about "summer reads," those light but compelling novels we have in hand on planes or at the beach, gulping down a few chapters on vacation or sunning at the park. In winter we like to turn to serious books, thick tomes to lose ourselves in, ideally sitting before a warm fire, snuggled in a favorite chair. But the holidays are times of rest and travel as much as the summer is, and snowy and cold days call for fun and well-written books as much as hot and humid days do ...more
Dec 28, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas, cat
This is another Christmas book where the author makes no attempt to introduce you to the characters. The assumption is that you have read at least some of the previous 16 books and already know the characters. I have never read any of this series and simply picked it up because it was a Christmas murder mystery and I like cats. I am about 70 pages in and about ready to give up due to not really understanding who everyone is.

I finally decided to stop trying to figure out who everyone was and jus
Christie Brumley
This book was recommended by my bestie and it took me a little bit to get into but after I did I couldn't stop. It's very different from my typical choice but nothing wrong with reading variety. I recommend to anyone looking for a change in reading scenery. Good quick read
Nov 16, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Santa Clawed was an enjoyable cozy mystery. But I have read so many of her Harry Haristeen and Mrs. Murphy mysteries that they are all beginning now to be very similar plot lines.
Nov 21, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Yeah This book is not my cuppa and not really too Christmassy and I won't be reading any more by this author. I'm sure lot's of readers will like this one but they won't include me.
2008, #17 Harry Haristeen, Crozet, Virginia; fantastical cosy/amateur sleuths. Not recommended for those who like their mysteries on the dark and gritty side. Recommended for those who enjoy a small-town cosy (with minimal bloodiness and just enough scurrilous detail) or are looking for a holiday treat for someone who does, as they'll find it very enjoyable. For long-time fans of the series it's a wonderful visit with old friends, and simply perfect for a quiet afternoon's read.

Review originally
Dec 28, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
Als Harry Harristeen sich, wie jedes Jahr vor Weihnachten, einen Baum aus der Baumschule der „Brüder in Liebe“ , die im kleinen Örtchen Crozet ihr Kloster gebaut haben, aussuchen möchte, stolpert sie dort förmlich über einen toten Mönch. Keiner kann sich erklären, warum jemand Bruder Christopher töten wollen würde und der gesamte Orden ist geschockt.

Harry aber kann sich nicht vorstellen, dass einer der Bürger von Crozet einen Mönch umgebracht haben soll und verdächtigt zunächst die Brüder selbst
Cheryl Gatling
This was the first Rita Mae Brown book I had read. I was jumping in in the middle of a series. It was a little like going to a party where everyone else already knows everyone else. There were quite a lot of characters who enjoyed catching up on the news of each other. Fortunately I had the author whispering in my ear, catching me up on the backstories, but I never lost the feeling that the social life of Crozet, Virginia would be more enjoyable if I had come in at the beginning. This book is a ...more
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: krimi, tiere
Von der Reihe um Mrs. Murphy hatte ich vorher noch nicht gehört, aber mir hat das Caver mit der süssen Katze so gut gefallen, dass ich mir durchaus vorstellen könnte, weitere Bände aus der Reihe zu lesen.

Harry Haristeen und seine Bruderschaft, die in der St.-Lukas-Kirche am Strandrand von Crozet (Virginia) leben, suchen einen Weihnachtsbaum für das Fest der Feste, aber mitten in der Suche stossen sie auf die Leiches eine Mönches. Als dann auch noch ein zweiter Mönch zu Tode kommt, beginnt Harry
Apr 26, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series of books are not profound. On the plus side, you can read any one of them in just a couple of hours. Rita Mae Brown writes the Mrs. Murphy series (this is book 17) with the help of her cat Sneaky Pie. Okay, right there you know that this is not going to garner the National Book Award. I mean, you have animals that talk to each other, but, thank heavens, the humans in the tale only hear animal noises. I mean, if the humans and the animals talked to each other to move the plot along, I ...more
Apr 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Usually Christmas is a happy celebration in Crozet, Virginia but this year is the exception to the rule. While searching for a Christmas tree at the Brothers of Love Christmas tree farm, Harry, her husband and their three animal friends come upon a murdered monk. Brother Christopher, a former insider trader, had a slit throat. During the investigation of the scene by the county coroner, a Greek coin (an obol) was found under his tongue. Harry made a search over the internet and found out that in ...more
Sep 02, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I got caught up on the entire series in no time at all and waited impatiently for the next book..loved the idea of a Post Mistress with two cats and a dog, living on a small farm with horses and all kinds of good friends. As a city girl, it was delightful to read about Crozet's comings and goings.....then...all of sudden the series made a left turn and the editing was awful...small mistakes that eventually just added up to sloppy writing..shame on the publishers and the author.

When Brown took
Aug 15, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I only gave this book three stars because it didn't completely turn me off of the series, and my rule is a minimum of three stars if I'll keep reading. That said, I know Ms. Brown has a strong point of view, and although I often disagree with it, it's her book, her podium. However, this time I found some of her viewpoints and statements offensive, and I do not easily get offended when I'm reading fiction. I read and loved Dan Brown's books and other books that painted the Catholic Church in poor ...more
Laurel Bradshaw
Dec 23, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 It's cute, it's cozy, it's Christmas. Actions of the animals are not really believable, and the mystery is easily figured out before the end. Nothing too taxing on the brain at a busy time of year! This is one of those series that I have fallen behind on, and plan to start over from the beginning. Not really great books, but if you like corgis and cats being heroes and other talking animals, and are in the mood for fluff, it has enough mystery and quirky characters to be entertaining.

Book De
Andrea Guy
Santa Clawed is one of the most fun cozy mysteries I've read this holiday season. Harry and her brood of helpful animal sleuths are fabulous. I love Mrs. Murphy, Pewter and Tucker. These furrballs are some of the most well written animals in fiction.

The mystery involves the murder of two monks from the Brothers Of Love and a prominent doctor. There's a lot more to the Brothers Of Love organization than just spiritual life too, and that's what brings about many of the twists and turns in the stor
Sep 22, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of the Sneaky Pie Brown series of mysteries
Recommended to Trina by: Bantam Books
Shelves: first-reads
Goodreads Giveaway win!

I am a Rita Mae Brown fan from way back. Right now I am staring at the seven copies of her various books placed prominently and proudly on my shelf. I am asking myself, "What happened?" "Am I missing something?" This is a murder mystery where the animals help solve the crimes and have impromptu conversations with each other. Maybe my lack of enthusiasm for animals(I do not own a pet and the two dogs I have had in my life did not fit in the category of man's best friend)con
Feb 24, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It is sad when a writer doesn't know when to give it up on a series. Although this one was not as "preachy" as the few before it, it still lacks what made the first ones in the series sparkle. I have been trying to find a word to describe what I feel about the ending, and I keep coming back to the word "offended", but maybe the more appropriate phrase would be "put off". I really didn't like the story line at all. I think there is enough human problems to delve into without bringing in an order ...more
I love all the Mrs. Murphy books I've read, and I definitely enjoyed this one. I read it in December, and the Christmas theme, of course, makes it a perfect book for that time of year. And I liked the fact that the animals really do take charge in this book, and become major parts of the action rather than just silent witnesses. I do have a couple of quibbles. For one thing, the idea of having the plot revolve around the Brothers of Love group and their Christmas tree farm introduces a large num ...more
Dec 23, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, womens
My first experience with Rita Mae Brown’s mystery series co-written with her cat, Sneaky Pie Brown. Set in a rural Virginia town, the characters are perhaps exaggerated, or perhaps just as colorful as in many small towns. In addition to human characters, the protagonist interacts with several animal characters: her two cats and corgi, and the owl and other animals that inhabit her barn. These animals have conversations and social structure among themselves, and of course are involved in solving ...more
Tom Donaghey
Jul 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, suspense
SANTA CLAWED is a delightful mystery set around the Christmas holiday in Rita Mae Brown’s Crozer, Virginia. As usual, there are gatherings and celebrations and small talk galore, the doings of the small community are explored and even the animals will have a good time.
And there is murder. This time one of the brothers from the local monastery is killed and Harry, along with her husband and friends, are soon on the track of the murderer, When a second brother is found killed the suspicion goes
Oct 18, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, xmas
This is in a series. but written to be able to pick up without reading the others. (Although if you have time, and like pets, you might read the first one before this one.)

Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen works at the town post office. Her dog and cat can talk to each other, and other animals. They're pretty smart, but sometimes have a hard (but hysterical) time getting through to Harry.

No-spoiler subset of the description:

As Harry well knows, there’s hardly a place on earth cozier than Crozet, Vir
May 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Another cozy mystery from the series with Harry and her fur person, Mrs. Murphy, Pewter and Tucker.

Christmastime in Crozet, Virginia is something out of a picture book. Snow on the ground, the beauty of fresh Christmas trees on the lot and a body found among them. Hmmmm....

The tree lot is owned by the Brothers of Love. A monastic group of men whose focus is to provide care for those in need. But are they really what they claim to be. True they have been around for a number of years, but the bac
Sep 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been a fan of Brown's Mrs. Murphy mystery series since I was in middle school --- naturally, I enjoyed the latest installment of this wonderful series - it's full of small-town secrets, sordid rumors, affairs, society class-ranking structure, Southern charm, and old South traditions long kept since the 1600s. The characters are like a pair of comfortable old shoes to me now, and I love revisiting them from time to time to bring back fond memories of my youth, and to relive those first few e ...more
A return to Crozet! Well - like a few other mystery series, it's not really about the mystery (there is a pattern: Whoever is unknown before ends up either dead or the killer), or about the writing (I like Brown, there there are a few repeating things that bother me).
I look forward to, and enjoy, every new addition to the ongoing series because it's like catching up on well-known friends. Hearing the latest about people you have become to like. In that respect, it's radiates the same warm feelin
Nov 18, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murder-virginia
Another heavily whimsical book featuring humans Mary "Harry" Hairsteen, the animals Mrs. Murphy, Pewter and Tucker, and the lovable inhabitants of Crozet, VA. For such a cozy neighborhood, it's remarkable that people keep getting killed. In this case, victim number one is a local man who is atoning for his past as an insider trader by joining an order of monks who run a local hospice. An accidental discovery threatens Harry's life, but the animals bravely bring help--they know so much more than ...more
Apr 10, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery
This one was a vast improvement over the previous story in this series. I might even have given it 4 stars if the one prior hadn't been so dreadful. In this one, someone is slashing the necks of brothers at a monastery close to Crozet. Of course, Harry and crew get involved. As the title implies, the season is Christmas and that gives an opportunity to have winter weather involved in several of the scenes. The action was fairly swift and the ending was fairly surprising. It's difficult to believ ...more
Susan E
Feb 08, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-read
Sigh. I want to keep loving this series. I really do. I've gotten so attached to these characters. Yet the same issues remain for me. RMB uses these books as a soapbox for her pet issues (pun intended.) Some old characters who got a lot of attention in earlier books have been discarded. Random character names are introduced, probably because RMB offers to put someone's name in a book in exchange for a gift to a favorite charity. This book had so many characters that I couldn't keep the names str ...more
Oct 21, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got a free Advanced Reader's Copy from Goodreads. To be blunt, I don't think I was the target demographic that this book was meant for. Middle aged women and her pets solving mysteries is not what i go out looking to read. So, it wasn't really my favorite thing i've read recently. However, if i was into this style of murder mystery, I think I would have loved it. Rita Mae Brown has a whole series of these books, so obviously she has a good following of adorers.
The story was fun and exciting a
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #102 - Santa Clawed 1 1 Jun 02, 2016 04:30PM  
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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
More about Rita Mae Brown...

Other Books in the Series

Mrs. Murphy (1 - 10 of 26 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)