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Cat of the Century

(Mrs. Murphy #18)

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  1,821 ratings  ·  218 reviews
Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen's beloved, tart-tongued neighbor Aunt Tally is about to turn the big 1-0-0, and the alumnae association of Tally's alma mater is throwing a big fund-raising bash in her honor. The plan is to celebrate Tally's centennial and recoup some much-needed school revenue lost in the cratered economy, but when a killer blizzard bears down and a board ...more
Paperback, 299 pages
Published January 25th 2011 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2010)
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Carol Read in order - and you can get the order from Goodreads. Your library should take requests from other branches or order from interlibrary loan if the…moreRead in order - and you can get the order from Goodreads. Your library should take requests from other branches or order from interlibrary loan if the do not have. Things do change in the Haristeen household and if you read ahead you will get spoilers. See 'other books in series.' The earlier books are also more satisfying in my opinion.(less)
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Average rating 3.66  · 
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Mar 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No. I mean this is about human catnip. Pewter expanded on her theme.
Sex. Love or money. Thats their catnip. Mrs. Murphy agreed with the gray cat. (page 101)

For the eighteenth time, Rita Mae Brown has teamed up with her dependable tabby, Sneaky Pie Brown, to pen another mystery starring her favorite humans and furry friends. I settled in to read Cat of the Century with my little sixteen-year-old tabby, Rainey Mae Dylan, AKA Cupcake, lovingly snuggled up on my lap. What could be more purrfect?
Dec 30, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It hurts so very much to write this review. I have read several of these books and it is exciting that this particular mystery is set at a college located only thirty minutes from where I live but this book was just not good. I found the anti-tax and anti-government diatribes unnecessary and annoying. Though all authors have biases I don't like it to be so apparant; or so overly blatant that it distracts from the story. Any character with liberal leanings was either described as unlikeable or ...more
Apr 26, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have read almost all of Rita Mae Brown's books since I first discovered her book "Rubyfruit Jungle" in a multicultural literature class in undergrad. I picked up the Mrs. Murphy series and it became a guilty pleasure. Unfortunately this book will be my last. The amount of political preaching which in her earlier books provided some texture to the storyline in this book reads like a disjointed rant.
This book decided me to give up on the series. The rather slender plot of murders involving members of a college alumnae board is defaced with wooden writing, and the author's apparent belief that her audience is interested in her political views. Since a note indicates the author is starting a new mystery series, out in October 2010, perhaps she's come to realize that these characters have been milked dry. Pity.
Brown needs to quit using her characters as an excuse to voice her own opinions on life. I had a hard time finishing this book because of the incredibly intrusive diatribes on everything from the economy to pollution to the dissolution of society. The editors need to proof their work betterlast time I checked Tally was Mims aunt, not Harrys. ...more
May 26, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have a soft spot for the Mrs Murphy books as this was the series that got me addicted to cozy mysteries, but the last five books havent been so great a trend that has continued with this recent addition.

The plot is that Aunt Tally is turning 100 and there are an abundance of celebrations, mostly centred around William Woods University alumnae association, one of whom gets murdered. She is joined by her best friend and Fairs mentor, Inez, who is a vet and an active member of the University
Jan Underhill
I downloaded this book after having read about 17 titles in the series, one after another, having become a bit attached to the characters and accustomed to a good bedtime yarn. Took a look at the reviews a nanosecond before the final step, and found it had been rather thoroughly panned, but I was willing to form my own opinion. Well, I hate to report that the review was sadly spot on. I had been skimming over some rather overt political sentiments intruding clumsily and pointlessly into the ...more
Jun 06, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the book I read to recover from Sam Lipsyte's "The Ask" while on vacation. The four star review is skewed up by that fact. Brown's mystery's are not deep, hard or challenging reads. Rita Mae Brown is unapologetic about writing books to sell books to support her lifestyle, but I do enjoy her output.

I've lived in both Virginia and Missouri so the settings in this book are very, very familiar. She place-name drops throughout her books, and having spent time in Charlottesville eating Crozet
I have enjoyed these mysteries but this one must have just been an obligation in Browns' contract. The main plot is centered around the 100 birthday of Aunt Tally and her University Alumni group use this occasion as a fund raiser. This adds lots of characters that we haven't met before and so didn't care about when they end up dead or accused of the crime. Also this just seemed like one rant after another. Everything from Anti - big government, anti big business, anti taxes etc. Her characters ...more
Alannah Davis
May 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Having been a fan of the Mrs. Murphy mysteries for years, I really wanted to like this one more. On the positive side, I liked the setting of the college far away from Crozet, Virginia. I enjoyed the idea of Aunt Tally's one hundredth birthday celebration, and I liked the focus on the trouble in the alumnae committee. The change of focus was refreshing. And of course, the animals' dialogue with each other is fun. I always crave more of that!

However, the ambiance of the story was marred by the
It wasn't the best book in the series, but it was like visiting old friends. It was good to see some of the characters such as Mrs. Murphy, Harry, Pewter, Tucker, Aunt Tally, and Fair. I was disappointed, however, that there wasn't any real sleuthing action on the part of Harry; also, Susan and Miranda were both absent (the former shows up in a very brief phone conversation, and the latter is very conspicuously absent). Even the Rev. Jones, Jim Sanbourne, and Blair were only mentioned but not ...more
Emily Von pfahl
Over the years, Brown has infused her own political point of view into this series, which normally doesn't bother me because 1)I tend to agree with her, 2)the opinions that are expressed are in keeping with the characters who express them, and 3)it is incorporated into the plot so as not to be jarring. That is, something has occurred that makes the character voice his or her opinion. However, in this particular novel, there seemed to be A LOT more of it than normal. The mystery was sound, and as ...more
May 13, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I made it to page 40 but I just couldn't take all the digs at politics. I miss the carefree and funny plots of her earlier books. Even the animals are underused in this book. This one just doesn't live up to her previous books so I'm sending it back to the library early. Maybe someone else will enjoy it more.
Apr 18, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was a little disappointed in this one. I've read all of these and this is the first one that did not have the "usual suspects" - regular characters as part of the story. I missed some of the regulars and the story was a little thin. I figured "who done it" before I was supposed to ---
Big Mim's famous Aunt Tally is celebrating her 100th birthday with a big to-do at her alma mater. Who would have guessed that murder would be on the program? Harry and her remarkable pets must solve the secrets of an ever-growing number of bodies lest Aunt Tally become one of them!

While I enjoyed this book overall, it was not up to the standard of the previous books. Like so many others, while I do not object to occasional political conversations (Lord KNOWS they abound these days), there was
Mar 24, 2011 rated it liked it
I liked this installment of the Mrs. Murphy mystery series, but I did not love it as I have the others in the series. What was the difference?

Well, I noted in one of my status updates that this one seemed a bit preachy. The preaching didn't stop. I'd be reading along, submersed in activities of the characters, then suddenly one would make a statement about the state of the world or how we should do such and such to save energy or comment on the state of the economy, etc. When these situations
Mikaela Cekalski
I read these books a long time ago and in the last 6 months I started back again at #1 and now I'm at Cat of the Century. I guess when I was younger and didn't understand much of what the characters talked about, it didn't really matter about how biased and preachy the books have become. Man do I notice now. It's been hard to get through the last five books or so without rolling my eyes a few times.

Also, RMB needs a better editor who will check continuity. If the books generally take place in
Oct 12, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Very disappointed and will probably not read any more. Ive been a faithful follower of the series, but the last few books have gotten on my nerves and this one has put me over the top. The out-of-context diatribes are really irritating. I can hear that on the TV if I wish. Its not what I buy the books for.

In addition, some inconsistencies are present the college was a two-year school when Aunt Tally attended and she graduated in 1931 and Inez in 1933. There was no way that they attended school
Jul 02, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been reading this series since about 1999, so I wasn't about to pass on the latest installment. The last several books, however, show some new differences in writing style that I find very annoying. When her characters refer to things in conversation, she'll add a sentence like, "Harry mentioned a beautiful insect-eating bird..." or "Terri cited the department store..." to explain what the characters are referring to. This strikes me as both clumsy and a little insulting, as if we ...more
May 17, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hardcore fans only
The Cat of the Century, the 18th in the line of Sneaky Pie Browne mysteries, concerns, as usual, murder.

I enjoyed the plot-line part of this mystery, as always--a little light and not too hard to figure out who did it, but enjoyable.

I am coming more and more to object, however, to the endless preaching of Rita Mae Brown on whatever her current political agenda happens to be. This book was by far the worst in that respect, and while I think it's proper as an author to include your own
Bridgette Griffith
I've been reading this series since middle school when my mom and I discovered the audio books for our many road trips. I just started catching up on the series. The books don't really feel the same. I'm ok with politics being a part of fiction. These books are set in our world and I feel like the characters would have opinions. I'm fine with that. I've just noticed that over the past few books it feels less like detail and fleshing out of the characters and more like Rita Mae Browns soapbox. ...more
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this 18th Mrs. Murphy story (I'm working my way through all of them chronologically), we learn that Mrs. Murphy, Tucker and Pewter all love egg salad. This made me laugh out loud because 2 of my three cats also love egg salad. God forbid I make an egg salad wrap and eat it by myself. No matter where JaeWook and Chanel may be (upstairs, downstairs, asleep), they come running to get their fair share (Cheddar shows no interest.) Their fair share is half a teaspoonful....I assume they like the ...more
Aug 13, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Like the book I read before this, Harry (Mary Minor) Haristeen is not a professional investigator - she was the former postmistress of the town, but now concentrates on farming her homestead. However, I can deal with Harry getting involved in mysteries, as she isn't as foolhardy and aggressive as most heroines of the cosy mysteries seem to be. Also, it is really her animals, two cats, Mrs. Murphy and Pewter and a dog, Tucker a Welsh Corgi, that are most interested in solving the mysteries.

Sep 18, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Mrs. Murphy books used to be humorous murder mysteries in which a Virginia post-mistress, Harry Harristeen, solved murders with the help of her "talking animals," two cats - Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, dog - Tucker, and various other pets and friends.

This book Cat of the Century has a very thin, uninteresting plot. Instead, it seems to be a vehichle for Brown to expound upon her personal and political views. The boring characters yammer on and on about the government being too big, taxes too
Sue Merrell
Aug 08, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first time in a long time that I have ripped a CD out of my car because I couldn't stand to listen to another word. I am sure I have read Rita Mae Brown's cat lover mysteries before but I've never noticed the story so overwhelmed by the author's political commentary. Through the discussions of her characters she blames the government for all problems. The constant complaining sounded more like the Rush Limbaugh show than a good mystery. But the last straw was when her characters ...more
Taxes are bad! Taxes are bad! Taxes are bad! Oh yeah, some people got murdered, but that'll sort itself out. Definitely not my favorite of the series--way too much angry soapbox-ranting about taxes and regulations and drugs and the state of society. Enough already--we know your political opinions! The animal characters and even the murders themselves seemed to take a back seat to the ranting. I miss the early books that were just good old cozy mysteries solved by talking animals that I could ...more
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Paul by: Animal in the title
Books featuring animals often catch my eye, particularly when I am looking to share one with my wife, but this one disappointed both of us. Featuring an implausible storyline and unlikely characters, this book had us scoffing at the writing more often than not. I wouldn't recommend it. Besides the poor writing, the minimal involvement of the animals disappointed me, especially given the title. The plot was generally hard to follow, but the author's preferences were not: favoring cats, horses, ...more
Feb 15, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a loser. I have a rule that I'll give a book 50 pages, and if it hasn't grabbed me by then, well, there are just too many other books out there and time is too short. It was a struggle to go the 50 pages. Such a disappointment as I've always loved the Mrs. Murphy books. As others have said, this is a political harangue, and very boring. I'm done.
Apr 21, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Mrs.Murphy is one of my favorite series. Until this one. I finished it, but it wasn't nearly as good as the previous 17.
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aunt Tally is one of my favorite characters in the Mrs. Murphy series, and this book is a wonderful example of why. As she nears her one-hundredth birthday, Aunt Tally is as fearless as ever. She runs the world, and woe be to anyone who stumbles in her way.
Aunt Tallys alma mater, William Woods University, is hosting a celebration and a fundraiser in her honor, and an April blizzard bears down on the city of Fulton, Missouri. On her birthday, a tempestuous alumnae board member, Mariah DAngelo,
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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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