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Whisker of Evil

(Mrs. Murphy #12)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  2,499 ratings  ·  117 reviews
A mysterious death in a Virginia farm town has the locals scratching their heads--while frisky feline Mrs. Murphy and her friends, fat-cat Pewter and corgi Tee Tucker, uncover clues as they curl their way around a cold-blooded killer.

This balmy summer in Crozet, Virginia, postmistress Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen has a lot to think about. Things have been pretty cozy
Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 25th 2005 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2004)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  2,499 ratings  ·  117 reviews

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Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: older Virginians, Thoroughbred lovers
Shelves: mysteries
2 stars for general mystery
3 stars if you like talking animal books

Disclaimer up front: Rita Mae Brown thinks genteel rural Virginia is the pinnacle of lifestyle possibilities and this series is written as outright propaganda to that end. All her characters are good-looking, intelligent, articulate and hard-working, no one lacks for money (even the wage-slaves) and the one or two less-genteel characters are usually tossed in to provide victim-fodder. That's just how this series rolls and that
Laurel Bradshaw
Not a review. Comments are for my own recollection and may contain spoilers...

Time: Takes place over June. Harry is still "late 30s". Four years since her divorce. Harry and Fair are in love again, but Harry isn't ready to commit. Lots of tension over the pending new post office, and Harry ends up quitting her job. So does Mrs. Hoggendobber.

Characters: All the usual, Susan Tucker, Big Mim, Little Mim, Boom Boom, Mrs. Hoggendobber, Tally, Rick and Cynthia, Fair, Blair, and new from the last book
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When a local man is found dead (by Harry Haristeen, no less!) of an apparent animal attack, people become alarmed. When it is discovered that he dies with, if not of, rabies, the alarm deepened, and when a second man dies horribly of rabies, the alarm become panic, with the populace all too willing to take potshots at anything on four legs! But Harry is convinced that there is a human behind the deaths, and no matter the danger, she will discover the culprit with the help of her remarkable pets, ...more
May 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My 12rh visit with the gang from Crozet, Virginia was delightful, as always. Unfortunately, I had to put it aside for a while due to health issues, but once I got back on track, it was great visiting with all the animals and their humans. Now on to number 13!!!!!!!
Jan 21, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one. Ever.
Recommended to Felicity by: Redacted to protect the overly accepting
This is, I believe, the worst book I have ever finished. A full catalog of its crimes would take several pages, but I shall try to restrain myself.

It is written in cliche-ridden, awkward English that is often incorrect; its characters are thinly drawn and tiresome, and its heroine verges on Mary-Sueism, so competent, virtuous, and beautiful is she. After all, if she cared about dressing well, she'd be the prettiest gal in town, and her blond, muscular, broad-chested veterinarian ex-husband wants
Mar 31, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've always loved this series. Everything I love about cozies is involved - animals (particularly cats), a good mystery, a small town and great characters. I've come to love the people of Crozet from Mrs. Murphy to Pewter to Tucker to their "mom" Harry (the rest of the town isn't bad either).

The only problem I had is that the audio version is a bit more difficult for me to focus on then the printed book. I'm not sure if I'll try the next book as an audio or read it instead. I might give the
Sep 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite series and this installment was also very interesting because it delves into rabies and the effect on both animals and humans. The other theme that was important to the plot was horse breeding. I learned a lot from this fun cozy.
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love mysteries and I especially love mysteries where cats take place in assisting to solve them. This book not only had two cats, but a Corgi as well! All the animals talked, but of course the humans couldn't understand, as we never do. I would love to read more of these as the town is sweet and quaint and I fell in love with the characters.
Susan Webb
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did not figure out who committed the crime. Was really surprised. Pretty good book. I like Harry. She is very independent.
Debra Scott
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really like these cozy mystery series.
Jun 21, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I sense that Rita Mae Brown was growing bored with the series at this point. Part of that suspicion is the major life changes she throws at the characters. Even though I consider this series total fluff (talking cats, dogs, mice, etc? Total fluff, but just what I need sometimes), at some point even here some character development is a good thing. But in this installment, it's not just that that hints to boredom. It's been increasingly sneaking in as the series goes on, but this book was as of ...more
Feb 22, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2017-challenge
I read this for the popsugar reading challenge prompt "A book with a cat on the cover" I like doing reading challenges to try out books and genres that I typically don't read. Sometimes I find something different that I really like, sometimes well... this was just not my cup of tea.

My grandmother lived for a while in North Carolina near the Blue Ridge Mountains. One time I was there visiting and I brought her and my aunts to the doctors office for their appointments. I remember sitting in the
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: give-away
As a fan of RMB & SPB mysteries I have to say this writers series is going down hill. There are a few bits and pieces that are intriguing and series changing in whiskers of evil, but over all it is very easy to put this book down. Not sure if something is going on with our writer or if a ghost writer has stepped in, but the style is less mystery and more soapbox than ever before. On a humorous note, it is funny to see Fair go back and forth between 64 and 65. Also funny to see ages of some ...more
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love all of her Mrs. Murphy mysterys, but this one was really good!
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favorite Mrs. Murphy books are the ones that educate me on topics with which Im unfamiliar. This one had a lot of fascinating information on thoroughbred horse breeding and horrifying facts about the rabies virus.

The sudden death of Barry Monteith, a local horse breeder, rattles the small town of Crozet, Virginia, when its discovered that he was infected with rabies. Shortly after, his associate Sugar Thierry becomes feverish, delirious, and weak, and he is also diagnosed with rabies before
Karen GoatKeeper
Harry, Susan and the animals are helping get Aldie ready for some big days of beagle and basset hound rabbit hunting contests. Storm damage left plenty of clean up to do. Cleaning up leaves a corpse with his throat cut.
St. Luke's is planning a homecoming for parishioners. Money is a consideration and several members are pressing to sell the very valuable string of pearls found on a corpse left on a casket back in 1786. Harry wants more time to try to find out more about this necklace and earring
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read a Mrs. Murphy book in many years Reading this was like visiting old friends. Crozet is still as charming, and the usual cast of characters were all present and accounted for. The plot was solid and kept me guessing (at least part of the way), and I liked the fact the some of the characters are experiencing major life changes. I will note that, although this book can stand alone, the many characters may be confusing to the uninitiated, and I would suggest reading the early books ...more
Peggy Sinden
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tucker, Pewter and Ms. Murphey are back at it. This time the mystery theme is - what does it take to breed a champion horse for show, the derby or the art of foxhunting? Harry is once again involved in solving at least three murders that seem to overlap the answer to this question. Rita Mae Brown not only threads the needle of suspense but you really learn all there is to know about finding out the answer of 'who done it'.
3/5 stars

Its classic Mrs. Murphy and the gang. In this particular installment (aside from a new mystery - tied to an old mystery) we also see some changes going on in Harrys life - both in her work and personal life. It is always enjoyable to catch up with the characters after following the series for so many books. The books arent superb or stand-out but they are comfortable and pretty solid mysteries.
A fun and entertaining mystery set in a rural Virginia farm town. Harry and her beloved cats, Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, along with her Corgi, Tucker seek to solve the recent murders of 2 locals and a 30 year old cold case. The smart and sassy pets and their spunky owner are determined to find the answers. Even if it kills them........

Animal lovers and armchair detectives alike will enjoy this book.

Morgan Thomas
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this installment of the series. Harry goes through some big changes in this book and finally starts to show some emotion. We also see another side of Fair. The sections about horse breeding were interesting (and at times confusing).
Overall I enjoyed it, but the early books are still my favorite.
Aug 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, cats, dogs
The three musketeers of the feline and canine world are back to help their human solve a couple of mysteries. I love the dog and cat characters(and sometimes horses, owls, and possums, as well.) There are also some changes with the main characters. The illustrations are nice as well. Recommended.
Kim Bardon
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Twists and turns as you gallop through this story. Racing towards the finish as the animals listen to the humans but who will be first to figure out who the murderer is. Greed, love and rejection this story has it all.
Anne louise
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
People and fun animals!

Was a fun book with enough mystery to make it interesting. Have bought several of her books in the store but am glad I can get some on my Kindle. If you like fascinating people with some outrageously fun and smart cats and a dog, this is for you.
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-books
I learned a lot about breeding and horse blood lines. It was interesting. As always, the characters and the animals are awesome. Cant wait to read the next one. ...more
Diane Large
A delightful cozy mystery with talking animals.
Donna Burns
Cute book, easy read. I'd read more in this series, but it's not on my list of 'must read now'.
Kris Kizer
Interesting plot but all the animals talking to each other????
Joyce Carpentier
Hate reviews.

I hate wrting reviews. I like to read and nothing else. Love Rita Mae Brown just don't ask me to review the books. We are done here.
Harry Addington
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love this cozy series. Turn of events causes Harry to leave her job at the post office after 16 years. Interesting facts about horse breeding is provided. I did guess the murderer early on.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Whisker of Evil 1 4 Apr 20, 2012 06:14PM  

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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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