Second in Brown's ``Mrs. Murphy'' mystery series. The liveliness evident in Brown's earlier novels (Rubyfruit Jungle, Southern Discomfort, etc.) ripples on in the twit and josh among old acquaintances in the small hunt-club-Waspy town of Crozet, Virginia, but readers will need a twin tolerance: animals that talk amongst themselves, and grue piled higher and deeper as a corpse is discovered--first a hand, then more until the full corpse doth appear in--aargh!--a Halloween pumpkin. As in Wish You Were Here (1990), Harry--a 30-ish postmistress and horsewoman--leads the way in puzzling over the murders of an unknown vagrant and then a bank manager, amid mailed threats, a lost earring, and gossip about a handsome new neighbor. The animals--Mrs. Murphy the cat, Tucker the dog, Simon the possum, etc.--talk things over and save ``Mom's'' life, too. Animal-lovers know better, but will probably be hooked in anyway. An adequate mystery, with plenty of jolly chat.