New York Times bestselling authors Rita Mae Brown and her feline partner, Sneaky Pie Brown, are back for the holidays in a new mystery featuring Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen, the sleuthing cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, and corgi Tee Tucker. Can they save the season from a killjoy who’s decided to gift the festive little town…with murder?
As Harry well knows, there’s hardly a place on earth cozier than Crozet, Virginia, at Christmastime. The snowflakes drifting lazily down, the soft glow of the winter light, the sound of old carols in the streets…even cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter get into the spirit batting ornaments and climbing the holiday tree. In fact, it’s this year’s tree that Harry and her husband, Fair, have gone to fetch when they find the one they’ve chosen grimly decorated with a dead body.
The tree farm is run by The Brothers of Love, a semimonastic organization that tends to AIDS patients. The brothers live in a monastery atop the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains. Harry is surprised to find an old high-school friend associated with The Brothers of Love. Christopher Hewitt wasn’t a bad man, but good works weren’t exactly one of his priorities. But then, if even Scrooge could turn over a new leaf, certainly Chris could. And after the scandal that all but destroyed his life, there were probably few in Crozet who needed the gift of a second chance more.
Harry knows she shouldn’t take it personally, but it was her tree that someone left the corpse under. Now, as the season grows merrier, a murderer is growing bolder. One by one, prominent men of Crozet are being crossed off Christmas shopping lists and added to the morgue. And if Harry and her four-legged helpers aren’t very good—and very careful—this Christmas may be her last.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of Science Fiction eBook: Santa Clawed|
|Release Date: 11-04-2008|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group||Store Sales Rank: 5646|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||Santa Clawed|
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St. Luke's, a beautiful stone church on the outskirts of Crozet, Virginia, appeared even more stunning than usual given the fresh snow on the rooftops, the windowsills of the parish office, and the pastor's living quarters across the now-white quad. Plumes of smoke rose from the great hall, which formed one side of the quad, and smoke spiraled from the parish office. The church was built in 1803, and it was clear that those early Lutherans needed many fireplaces. Over the centuries the buildings had been wired, vented, and plumbed. The modern conveniences served to enhance comfort. The structures had to last for centuries and no doubt would endure more improvements over ensuing centuries.
As Harry Haristeen walked across the large quad to the great hall, her two cats and corgi behind her, she wondered if people today could build as securely as our forefathers did. Seemed like things were built to fall apart. Grateful that she lived in an old farmhouse built about the same time as the church, she paused on her way to the work party long enough to make a snowball and throw it up in the air.
Tucker, the corgi, jumped up to catch it. As she did, the snowball chilled her teeth, so she dropped it.
"Dumb!" Pewter, the portly gray cat, laughed.
"I knew it would do that, but if she throws a ball, I have to catch it. That's my job," Tucker defended herself.
Harry decided to sprint the last two hundred yards to warm up.
The tiger cat, Mrs. Murphy, shot past her. The shoveled walkway was covered with inches of fresh snow but easily negotiable.
Pewter, hating to be outdone, couldn't get around Harry so she l