Books by Rita Mae Brown

THE LITTER OF THE LAW by Rita Mae Brown
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 22, 2013

"An animal-centric cozy that settles for educating rather than preaching, a nice shift from Brown's recent outings (Sneaky Pie for President, 2012, etc.)."
Murders in a small town leave an armchair detective and her pet family with too few motives, or perhaps too many. Read full book review >
SNEAKY PIE FOR PRESIDENT by Rita Mae Brown
Released: Aug. 7, 2012

"Not especially funny as whimsy, no match for Animal Farm as political satire, and a mite overlong, like most speeches. You'll have to go to Sneaky Pie's real-life website, www.catprez.com, for the campaign slogan that makes the perfect punch line: "I can't do any worse.""
Fortified with the public-service experience he's garnered from solving 21 mysteries among his human companions (The Big Cat Nap, 2012, etc.), Sneaky Pie Brown throws his hat into the presidential ring in a tale with no mystery and very few people. Read full book review >
THE BIG CAT NAP by Rita Mae Brown
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 3, 2012

"Brown (Cat of the Century, 2010, etc.) spins a thin mystery in which top honors go to the author's love for her beloved Virginia countryside and for her animal characters, who as usual steal the show."
A Virginia farmer and her remarkable pets celebrate the 20th anniversary of their first appearance in print with—what else?—yet another case of murder. Read full book review >
MURDER UNLEASHED by Rita Mae Brown
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 4, 2011

"Fans of Brown's long string of popular series featuring animal sleuths (A Nose for Justice, 2010, etc.) will note that her latest is less mystery than political polemic."
The mortgage crisis meets murder in Reno, Nev. Read full book review >
HISS OF DEATH by Rita Mae Brown
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: May 3, 2011

"More likely to appeal to fans of sermons and Harry's personal life than to mystery mavens."
The Browns, human and feline (Cat of the Century, 2010, etc.), roll out another rambling tale. Read full book review >
A NOSE FOR JUSTICE by Rita Mae Brown
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 28, 2010

"Brown (Cat of the Century, 2010, etc.) has supplanted sassy cats with clever dogs, producing much the same results: a meandering mystery as much about ideology as anything else."
City dog meets country dog to solve crimes ancient and modern. Read full book review >
CAT OF THE CENTURY by Rita Mae Brown
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 6, 2010

"While many of the human characters seem interchangeable in their combination of down-home folksiness and tribal-elder gravitas, her animals are witty as ever."
Aunt Tally's centennial provides more excitement than anyone bargained for when alumni-association members get up to no good. Read full book review >
SANTA CLAWED by Rita Mae Brown
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 4, 2008

"Brown's legion of pet-smitten fans will no doubt overlook the preachiness of her latest in their eagerness to spend more quality time among her fearless feline and clever canine sleuths."
The holiday spirit takes it on the chin when a series of murders blemish picture-perfect Crozet, Va. Read full book review >
HOUNDED TO DEATH by Rita Mae Brown
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 30, 2008

"Yet another chatty tale of anthropomorphic pets and the beauties of Virginia hunt country (The Tell-tale Horse, 2007, etc.) with more obvious rewards for animal lovers than mystery lovers."
More than foxes are marked for death in and around a central Virginia hunt club. Read full book review >
THE SAND CASTLE by Rita Mae Brown
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 1, 2008

"Not much happens—there's just enough incident for a substantial short story—but Brown has a great ear for the way children argue, and a keen eye for the way their childish arguments shade off into the defining conflicts of a lifetime."
Brown follows the durable Hunsenmeir sisters (Loose Lips, 1999, etc.) to the seashore, where the younger generation carries on the aimless, benign, revelatory quarreling of their midlife elders. Read full book review >
THE PURRFECT MURDER by Rita Mae Brown
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Feb. 5, 2008

"While the humans philosophize over the big issues, the pets steal the limelight in a transparent mystery that will still offer pleasure to fans of animal sleuths."
The battle over abortion rights may provide a motive for a rural Virginia murder. Read full book review >
THE TELL-TALE HORSE by Rita Mae Brown
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 1, 2007

"More than we need to know about the lives of the rich and venal."
Fans will need a scorecard to keep track of a De Millean cast of characters—human, canine, equine, avian—in Brown's latest fox-hunting whodunit (Puss 'n Cahoots, 2007, etc.). Read full book review >
PUSS 'N CAHOOTS by Rita Mae Brown
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: March 6, 2007

"Not the Browns' best mystery, but fans of the cunning animal sleuths will enjoy their antics and the spot-on descriptions of the horse-show circuit."
Murder at a horse show is catnip for feline sleuths Mrs. Murphy and Pewter and their canine sidekick, Tee Tucker. Read full book review >
THE HOUNDS AND THE FURY by Rita Mae Brown
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 17, 2006

"As fast-paced as the foxhunts Brown clearly loves, with Sister an older version of Harry Haristeen in the popular Mrs. Murphy series (Sour Puss, March 2006, etc.). Though the villain's not hard to find, Brown makes the hunt enjoyable."
The quarry is human when a murderer joins the foxhunt. Read full book review >
SOUR PUSS by Rita Mae Brown
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: March 7, 2006

"Perhaps too much on the burgeoning wine business, but the delightful banter between the animals is sure to please fans who don't mind watching interesting human characters take a back seat to clever critters."
Rivalries between vintners cause blood to flow like Italian red in the viticulture region near Crozet, Va. Read full book review >
THE TAIL OF THE TIP-OFF by Rita Mae Brown
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: March 4, 2003

"Charming, although as usual (Catch as Cat Can, 2002, etc.), the cats have all the best lines, and a carbo-loading possum gets the tastiest snacks."
Although they don't attend the women's college basketball game with their beloved but (by animal standards) dimwitted owner, Harry Haristeen, the postmistress of Crozet, Virginia, Tucker the soulful-eyed corgi, Pewter the prototypical fat cat, and Mrs. Murphy, feline sleuth extraordinaire, all know exactly what will happen the moment they learn that the game has ended with philandering building contractor H.H. Donaldson dead in the arena parking lot: Harry will soon be wondering (1) how that lethal bump got on his neck without anybody noticing, (2) whom he was having his latest affair with, and (3) whether archrival builder Matthew Crickenberger, pertinacious building inspector Fred Forrest, and Donaldson's long-suffering wife Anne can produce alibis. Read full book review >
HOTSPUR by Rita Mae Brown
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Dec. 1, 2002

"Just right, as usual, for readers who like this sort of thing."
Resurrecting the gabby hounds, foxes, horses, owls, pussycats, and humans of Charlottesville, Virginia (Outfoxed, 2000, etc.), Brown has them all talking about the latest travail in the sanguinary history of the Jefferson Hunt Club: A morning ride under the auspices of Master of the Hunt, septuagenarian "Sister" Jane Arnold, accidentally unearths a corpse that's been interred for 21 years. Read full book review >
CATCH AS CAT CAN by Rita Mae Brown
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: March 5, 2002

"Like its forebears (Claws and Effect, 2001, etc.): catnip to some, treacle to others."
Crozet, Virginia, divided equally between First Families who settled there soon after Pocahontas freed John Smith, weekenders from nearby Washington's diplomatic corps, and pets, livestock, and ferals who archly critique the resident humans, is gearing up for the Dogwood Festival and the Wrecker's Ball. Read full book review >
ALMA MATER by Rita Mae Brown
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 1, 2001

"Sketchy characterization and desultory writing don't exactly fill in the blanks between sex scenes, and the college-lesbian romance seems awfully dated—when not embarrassingly rapturous."
Twosomes and threesomes at an ivy-covered Virginia college, from the author of Rubyfruit Jungle (1983), etc., and the popular Sneaky Pie Brown mystery series. Read full book review >
CLAWS AND EFFECT by Rita Mae Brown
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: March 6, 2001

Mrs. Murphy, the sleuthing cat who solves the murders of Crozet (Virginia) postmistress Harry Haristeen's less endearing acquaintances, pits her ninth life (Pawing Through the Past, 2000, etc.) against the miscreant who sent out fundraising letters for the hospital threatening divine retribution against skinflints who didn't contribute—and then, just to make sure the recipients got the point, killed the hospital director. Read full book review >
PAWING THROUGH THE PAST by Rita Mae Brown
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: May 9, 2000

"Sporadically interesting for people more interested in people."
Another visit to Crozet, Virginia (Cat on the Scent, 1999, etc.), and the farm where postmistress Mary Minor ("Harry") Read full book review >
OUTFOXED by Rita Mae Brown
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Jan. 1, 2000

"Original, funny, poignant, irresistible: Brown's best work in years. (Author tour)"
Some of the people are wise, some foolish, some murderous. Read full book review >
LOOSE LIPS by Rita Mae Brown
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 13, 1999

"The frequent one-liners often seem more sitcom than novel material, going nowhere and telling less, but there are still good laughs along the way."
Brown brings back the wacky Hunsenmeir sisters attended by all the good and not-so-good folk of Runnymede (Six of One, 1978; Bingo, 1988), as middle age and war give a new edge to their chronic if overhyped sibling rivalry. Read full book review >
CAT ON THE SCENT by Rita Mae Brown
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: March 9, 1999

"The scattershot mystery aside, human frailty is balanced against animal wisdom with the same puckish humor as in Mrs. Murphy's first six cases (Murder on the Prowl, 1998, etc.)."
Once again, parvenus are tainting the patrician neighborhood of Crozet, Virginia, not because they're running down property values—on the contrary, they're doing everything they can to drive them up—but because they're piling scandal on murderous scandal. Read full book review >
MURDER ON THE PROWL by Rita Mae Brown
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 13, 1998

"(Author tour)"
Crozet (Va.) postmistress Harry Haristeen and her cat, Mrs. Murphy (Murder, She Meowed, 1996, etc.), share detecting honors for the sixth time in the case of a killer whose victims have to die twice – first in bogus obituaries submitted to the local newspaper, then on more emphatic, but equally cozy terms. Read full book review >
RITA WILL by Rita Mae Brown
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 6, 1997

"But for the better-than-truth version, and to spend time with someone more likable than the real Brown, go back to Rubyfruit Jungle, the only-slightly-autobiographical novel that made her famous. (Author tour)"
 A novelist's autobiography shows that truth is not always as much fun as fiction. Read full book review >
MURDER, SHE MEOWED by Rita Mae Brown
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Dec. 1, 1996

"The author's loyal admirers will no doubt love every minute of this fifth in the series. (Author tour)"
 Yet another visit to Crozet, Virginia, where postmistress/horsewoman Mary Minor Haristeen (``Harry'') lives with her cat, Mrs. Murphy, and a corgi named Tucker—talkative sleuths both (Pay Dirt, 1995, etc.). Read full book review >
RIDING SHOTGUN by Rita Mae Brown
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 1996

"Brown's meticulously researched descriptions of Virginia's colonial life, as well as her dead-on ridicule of modern-day bad behavior, bring vigor to a tale that's otherwise not a coherent whole."
 The prolific Brown (Pay Dirt, 1995, etc.) takes a high-risk plot device—time travel—and attempts to meld it with reincarnation, romance, and contemporary satire. Read full book review >
PAY DIRT by Rita Mae Brown
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 15, 1995

"Ten pen-and-ink drawings, with nary a human face."
 Ash Lawn is the Virginia home of James Madison and his wife Elizabeth, but although several of the characters work at the home as docents, there's nothing presidential about this gossipy sequel to Murder at Monticello (1994). Read full book review >
MURDER AT MONTICELLO by Rita Mae Brown
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 15, 1994

 Old sins indeed—a murdered corpse is discovered buried beneath the slave quarters on the grounds of Thomas Jefferson's storied home. Read full book review >
DOLLEY by Rita Mae Brown
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 20, 1994

"Unusually prudish work sabotaged by the author's admiration for her subject. (Literary Guild alternate selection)"
 This pallid historical novel explores Dolley Madison's tenure as first lady, focusing in particular on the year 1814 and conflict with the British. Read full book review >
VENUS ENVY by Rita Mae Brown
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 15, 1993

"Death is like a punctuation mark, a period at the end of a sentence,'' etc.), but her sexual frankness and flippant humor are as refreshing as always. (First printing of 75,000)"
 More frothy fun from the queen of southern sexual farce—this featuring a former debutante who comes out of the closet in gossipy, backstabbing Virginia. ``Dying's not so bad. Read full book review >
REST IN PIECES by Rita Mae Brown
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 17, 1992

"An adequate mystery, with plenty of jolly chat."
 Second in Brown's ``Mrs. Murphy'' mystery series. Read full book review >