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I’ve long been a fan of Rita Mae Brown’s Mrs. Murphy Mystery Series, co-authored with her cat Sneaky Pie Brown. Hiss and Tell is the 31st book in the series. The original Sneaky Pie was rescued by Ms. Brown at her local SPCA.

From the publisher:

When a series of mysterious deaths spoil the Christmas season in Crozet, Virginia, Mary Minor “Harry” Harristeen and her beloved cats and dogs lend the police a helping paw in this exciting holiday mystery. Harry’s friend on the police force, Cynthia Cooper, warns that the season can bring an uptick in crime. Her words prove tragically prescient when Harry and Susan discover the body of a man by the side of the road, dead, without any clues to his identity. One suspicious death is bad enough, but when Cooper reports that two more bodies have been found, also unidentified, Harry knows trouble is afoot. The autopsies for all three bodies reveal the presence of a deadly drug. Could their deaths have been accidental, or is a devious killer on the prowl?

With help from her feline sidekicks, Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, as well as Tee Tucker the corgi and Pirate, Harry vows to find the answers and stop the spate of deaths so that all of Crozet can have a very merry Christmas.


It’s always a joy to visit with the familiar characters, and the plot, as usual, kept me reading. I loved that this installment was set around Christmas time. Michael Gellatly’s charming illustrations add an additional element of delight to this book.

The only thing I wasn’t crazy about is that Brown weaves in a second, 18th century plot line. She started doing this a few books back, and I didn’t particularly enjoy the two separate, albeit connected timelines. I confess that with this book, I skipped chapters set in the past, and only read the chapters related to the current mystery. I probably missed out on what connected the timelines in the final chapter, but that in no way diminished my enjoyment of the book.

Hiss and Tell is available from Amazon.


*Purrs of Wisdom is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. This means that if you decide to purchase through any of our links, we get a small commission. We only spread the word about products and services we’ve either used or would use ourselves. I received this book from the publisher. Receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. All reviews on Purrs of Wisdom will always reflect my honest opinion, or, as the case may be, Allegra’s honest opinion.

1 Comment on Review: Hiss and Tell (A Mrs. Murphy Mystery)

  1. This book sounds interesting. I don’t usually mind dual timelines if they keep the momentum of the story going. I have read some book where they tend to be confusing until the very end of the book. I like to know what’s going on all the time.

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