The Purrfect Murder

October 18, 2009 - The Purrfect Murder (Rita Mae and Sneaky Pie Brown). Another in the series of novels that Brown purports to co-write with her cat, Sneaky Pie. In this outing, the community of Crozet, Virginia is captivated by the murder of a well-liked OB/GYN who performs abortions. Then, one of the community's well-to-do newcomers is killed and a popular architect is the main suspect.

As usual, the main character, Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen, ends up in danger and needs help from her furry friends to escape. But, overall, Harry takes a backseat as some of Crozet's other citizens move to the forefront. In this case, those other citizens include Tazio, the aforementioned architect; Big Mim Sanburne, the first lady of Crozet; and her daughter, Little Mim, the town's vice mayor.

While those characters are given more attention than usual, other members of the supporting cast are marginalized. For example, Miranda Hoggendobber, who normally serves as Harry's spiritual touchstone, can barely get a Bible verse in edgewise. And Susan, Harry's best pal, is relegated to the role of chauffer. Even the animals, who normally find some way to help Harry solve the mystery, aren't given a whole lot to do here.

Overall, I found The Purrfect Murder to be a less than perfect book. It's not enough to make me give up on the series, but I'm hoping for better things from the next installment.