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Sour Puss by Rita Mae Brown

Sour Puss (2006)

by Rita Mae Brown

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This was the first one of this popular series by Rita Mae Brown that I have read. It may not have been the best place to start. The author had done a lot of research into viniculture and diseases that affected grapes and the story was a little heavy on factual discussions on these subjects. This might have worked had the information been more clearly tied to the mystery itself, but it was not. The mystery was in fact rather simple, but events and motives were linked together without any hint of explanation or connection: the reader knew there was a problem, but the critical steps of how one starts with assumption A and finds evidence to support conclusion B were lacking. At other times, he author went overboard in over-explaining small emotional details that had little relevance to the actual mystery. In short it was an odd mix of too much information about nothing and not enough information to support the critical points in the development of the story.

It was not a bad book, I did enjoy reading it, but there was little meat and little to remember. ( )
  dooney | Apr 7, 2014 |
I used to love the Mrs. Murphy series - the characters, the animals, the stories. Quite a number of people say that the author inserts her politics too much into the books - I never really noticed it. Until this book. Too much politics, too much information that was just dumped on the reader (not integrated throughout the story), made it impossible for me to finish the book. ( )
  beaniebear | Feb 17, 2010 |
  whyteb | Jun 24, 2009 |
#15 Mrs. Murphy mystery, set in Crozet, Virginia. Mary Minor "Harry" Harristeen and her ex, Fair, have remarried and the second chapter of their life together starts with a bang--a couple of murders, of course. Winemaking has come to Crozet and surrounding areas, and Harry herself is getting in on it with a small plot dedicated to the grape as well as a partnered business with her friend Susan, growing nursery plants. Competition between some of the more prominent vineyards has become fierce, and when a lecturing professor of biology specializing in vineyard toxins disappears and one of the local vineyard owners ends up shot dead just minutes before Fair arrives at his farm to check out one of his animals, tensions rise even further. Was one of the vineyard owners really sabotaging the vines of the others with a virulent disease as the dead man, Toby Pittmann, claimed?

I've enjoyed most of the books in the series, some better than others. This was definitely low on the scale with too much technical information, characters jumping on various political bandwagons, not enough of the small-town sweetness and the characters we've come to know and love. Not even the stellar reading by Kate Forbes could totally save this book. I hope the author gets back on track with the next one! ( )
  Spuddie | May 22, 2009 |
Not very interesting. Weak voice characterization in the audio version with little help from the text made it hard to follow. The author gives us a lot of information about grapes and horses, but integrates it poorly with the story. ( )
  Kendall41 | Mar 9, 2009 |
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Dedicated to Patricia Kluge and Bill Moses Their many acts of generosity go unheralded in keeping with their sensitivity and kindness.
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"Mary Minor, wilt thou have this man to be thy wedded husband, to live together after God's ordinance, in the holy estate of matrimony?"
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553586815, Mass Market Paperback)

In this latest whodunit, Rita Mae Brown and her feline partner-in-crime-detection, Sneaky Pie Brown, return to the scene of their bestselling crimes—picturesque Crozet, Virginia. Love is in the air as spring comes to the small town, but no sooner has Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen remarried than she is rudely interrupted—by murder. And no sooner does the trouble start than curious cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, along with corgi Tee Tucker, sink their claws into the case.…

After an unexpected rekindling of their romance, Harry and her veterinarian ex-husband, Fair Haristeen, have happily remarried. But the excitement of their nuptials is quickly overshadowed by the murder of Professor Vincent Forland, a world-famous grape and fungal expert who was in town visiting the local vineyards.

Within days of giving a lecture on how distilled fungus and cattle diseases are the current basis of chemical warfare, Forland’s decapitated body is discovered. After their initial fright, the residents of Crozet believe that this was a political murder and settle back into their routines–until a local is also found dead, killed in the same gruesome manner as Professor Forland. Now residents can’t help wondering, is this really the work of an
outsider—or one of their own?

No longer working in the post office, Harry had just planted a quarter acre of grapes, which fuels her natural curiosity over just what the two murder victims knew and had in common. Once the warmth of spring arrives, the grapevines blossom and Harry’s furry entourage discovers the first critical clue. But how can they show the humans what they’ve learned? And how can they—or anyone—stop the killing?

From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:17 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In small-town Crozet, Virginia, Harry Haristeen is kindling her romance with veterinarian Fair when their bliss is threatened by the murder of Professor Vincent Forland, a world-renowned grape and fungal expert visiting local vineyards.

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