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Cat of the Century

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Cat of the Century

Mrs. Murphy Mystery Series, Book 18
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BONUS: This edition contains excerpts from Rita Mae Brown's Hiss of Death and A Nose for Justice.Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen's beloved, tart-tongued neighbor Aunt Tally is about to turn the big 1-0-0,...
BONUS: This edition contains excerpts from Rita Mae Brown's Hiss of Death and A Nose for Justice.Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen's beloved, tart-tongued neighbor Aunt Tally is about to turn the big 1-0-0,...
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Description-
  • BONUS: This edition contains excerpts from Rita Mae Brown's Hiss of Death and A Nose for Justice.

    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 member goes missing, it falls to Harry and her menagerie of mystery solvers to track down the truth behind what is rapidly becoming a perfect storm of embezzlement, political corruption, and the kind of long-smoldering enmity that can explode into murder. Does the key lie in a forty-year-old unsolved death? If so, Harry and her four-legged friends better find it or--even at a hundred years old--Aunt Tally may outlive them all.

 
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Excerpts-
  • Chapter One

    Alone figure walked along a shoveled- off bricklaid path. The dormant gardens glimmered with frost. The skies seemed low enough to touch.

    Aunt Tally, two weeks away from her one- hundredth birthday, called her Gordon setter, Doodles.

    As the young dog joyfully returned to his master, Aunt Tally leaned on her silver- headed cane, the head being in the graceful shape of a hound. Apart from having to use that cane--thanks to the usual involuntary dismounts all horsewomen take--she betrayed few signs of her advanced years. Had you seen her peering at the ground as she walked along, you would have pegged her at eighty, perhaps.

    "More snow coming." She squinted at the sky this March 11, Wednesday.

    Doodles, who had sharper senses, replied, "Before sundown." Aunt Tally stroked the dog's head upon hearing the little yodel. Tightening her cashmere scarf, she continued on.

    A deep rumble alerted Doodles, who recognized the motor's signature sound as well as the sound of the tires. Identifying a vehicle by its tire sound and motor is easy for dogs. Humans can't do it. Doodles wagged her tail as she bounded up to the front of the house, where Marilyn "Big Mim" Sanburne, Tally's niece, had parked her brand-new Dodge half- ton.

    The two walked to the back of the house to join Tally.

    Big Mim, teasingly called "The Queen of Crozet," was a formidable woman. However, even Big Mim could be backed off by the small, lean Tally.

    "What are you doing out here? It's 24°F."

    "Checking for my crocus. A shoot here and a shoot there and I get to thinking about the redbuds."

    Big Mim put one gloved hand on her hip. "Redbuds aren't going to be in full flower until about April fifteenth. You know that."

    "Of course I do. That doesn't mean I can't check them." She tapped her cane on the old brick. "I'm longing for spring. By this time of the year I've had enough."

    "You really will have enough if you don't come in out of the cold. You'll catch your death."

    "It's not a baseball," the old woman replied.

    "You know what I mean," Big Mim said, sounding tolerant. "Are you ready to go, or do you need anything from the house?"

    "Just need to put up the dog." Aunt Tally walked to the back door, opened it, and Doodles scooted in, happy for the warmth.

    "Purse?" Big Mim raised an eyebrow.

    "My wallet's in my coat pocket. Purses are a pain. Even if I find one that slings just right over my shoulder, sooner or later it drops down. Hard to carry a purse with a cane."

    "Guess it is." Big Mim walked to the passenger side of her blue truck and opened the door for Tally, who climbed in unassisted. Once out on the road, the two chattered as only two people who have known each other all their lives can. Aunt Tally had been pushing thirty when Big Mim was born. It was a day of celebration. Aunt Tally, thanks to a disastrous love affair when young, shied away from marriage but not affairs. She treated Big Mim as her own daughter, which had occasioned some arguments with Tally's late, loved sister. A brother to Big Mim followed later, but he died on the hideous Bataan Death March. Apart from rage and grief, the result was that no Urquhart of any succeeding generation would buy a Japanese car or any product if they could help it. As with all old Virginia families, regard less of generations of marriages on both the male and female sides, they generally referred to themselves by the surname of the first European to settle on Virginia soil. In this case, the Urquharts.

    "Speech?"

    Aunt Tally, staring straight ahead, raised her voice a bit. "Oh, Mimsy, I make notes. I read...

About the Author-
  • Rita Mae Brown is the bestselling author of several novels, including the Sneaky Pie Brown series, the Sister Jane series, Rubyfruit Jungle, In Her Day, and Six of One, among many others. An Emmy-nominated screenwriter and a poet, Brown lives in Afton, Virginia.

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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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Mrs. Murphy Mystery Series, Book 18
Rita Mae Brown
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Mrs. Murphy Mystery Series, Book 18
Rita Mae Brown
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