"PAY DIRT: Or, Adventures at Ash Lawn" by Rita Mae & Sneaky Pie Brown Brown

"PAY DIRT: Or, Adventures at Ash Lawn"

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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). Instead, the apple of discord in sleepy Crozet (pop. 1,733) is LA biker Michael Huckstep, who roars into town looking for a young woman named Malibu--and then is incontinently shot. The benighted denizens of Crozet--postmistress Harry Haristeen, her buddies Susan Tucker and Miranda Hogcndobber, and the other regulars--train their practiced tongues on a computer virus that throws the Crozet National Bank into panic via a $2 million shortfall, and on bland bank executive Norman Cramer's inability to decide between Kerry McCray, his former fianc‚e, and Aysha Gill Cramer, his new wife. And the police simply batten on Kerry, especially when she's found clutching the murder weapon at the site of a second homicide. So it's up to Harry's tiger cat, along with Mrs. Murphy and her corgi, Tee Tucker, not only to help clear Kerry but to apprehend the real killer. Mrs. Murphy's fourth caper will be lapped up like half-and-half by the faithful. Since only the animals have anything on the ball, though, new readers might want to skip the bits in which humans appear. Ten pen-and-ink drawings, with nary a human face.

Pub Date: Nov. 15th, 1995
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Bantam