Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
In bestseller Brown's rambling sixth Mrs. Murphy mystery (after 2017's A Hiss Before Dying), Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen and her menagerie of opinionated animal friends are drawn into a murder investigation after she witnesses architect Gary Gardiner being shot to death by a black-clad figure on a speeding motorcycle. When an old book of building codes disappears from Gary's office, Harry is convinced that the missing volume holds the key to his murder. A second death seems to have little connection to Gary's-except that both the victims were interested in dinosaurs. A parallel story, set in the same Virginia county in 1787, shows plantation owner Ewing Garth and his family managing horses and slaves and worrying about what kind of government is being created as the constitutional convention grinds on in Philadelphia. The modern-day mystery is only connected to the 18th-century story by a bone. Series fans will know exactly what to expect: animals who talk to one another, Brown's personal views on an array of topics, and a healthy dose of Virginia history. Agent: Wendy Weil, Wendy Weil Agency. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
A friend of Virginia postmistress Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen, who anchors this long-running series (A Hiss Before Dying, 2017, etc.), is gunned down by a motorcyclist. Could the reason be tied to 18th-century tales of corruption?In concert with her friend Gary Gardner, an architect, Harry's working on a new shed, a gift from her husband, Fair. Though Harry tries to be abstemious in her design choices, Gary's just the person to talk her into some sensible upgrades that will at least make her companion animals more comfortable. While Mrs. Murphy, Harry's wise tiger cat, and her corgi, Tee Tucker, aren't high maintenance enough to have their own requirements, plump diva cat Pewter won't settle for anything less than the best. Before Gary can complete his plans, though, he's shockingly gunned down by a mystery rider on a Ducati. Harry's not sure whether Gary's death is connected to a local construction project, and she can't help but wonder whether Lisa Roudabush, the head of Charlottesville's Nature First office, knows anything that could help her solve the mystery. Interspersed with Harry's investigation (and Pewter's investigation of the spider in Gary's office) is the 18th-century story of John Schuyler and Catherine and Rachel, his young adult daughters, who are trying to find their ways in the world. As Harry's search heats up enough to put herself and others in danger, her pet family prepares to protect her and maybe solve the mystery. The animal crew, joined by a surprising new addition, is in rare form, though a lack of a strong thread linking past and present makes the interwoven stories read like two separate books.Beautiful illustrations bring the pet personalities to life. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.