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. Sir H. (for Henry) Vane-Tempest, following multiple cuckoldings and a public argument with his former creature, arch-preservationist county commissioner Archie Ingram, is shot on the battlefield of a Civil War reenactment. Bad-boy flier Tommy Van Allen has already disappeared after walking away from the plane he and a companion set down in Tally Urquhart’s airfield and stashed in her barn; subsequent investigations indicate that Tommy didn’t walk very far at all. And there are hints of underhanded land deals, drug selling, wholesale adultery, and even a secret crime long buried by history. It looks like a job for postmistress Harry Haristeen’s tiger cat, Mrs. Murphy, and her corgi, Tee Tucker. Together with fat gray cat Pewter, on extended loan from shopkeeper Market Shiflett, they lead Harry to Tommy’s hidden airplane, recover the bullets Vane-Tempest was shot with, and get to the bottom of the land grab, though not soon enough to prevent still more casualties and an unusually untidy solution. 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.).