Puss â€˜N Cahoots by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown
Puss â€˜N Cahoots is a Mrs. Murphy book. Mrs. Murphy is a cat belonging to Harry Haristeen who, along with cat Pewter and dog Tucker, solves mysteries simultaneously with Harry. In this book, Harry, her husband Fair, and the animals are all off to a multi day horse event. This proves to be an eventful show as a piece of jewelry disappears, a prized horse goes missing, and then there is a murder. Both humans and animals are on the case as they wander around the fairgrounds searching out evildoers.
This is the first Mrs. Murphy book I have read, but I have read and enjoyed several of Brownâ€™s Outfoxed series about fox hunting. Brown employs the same style of incorporating animals and humans into the story and showing the thoughts and actions of each in this series. The animals all talk to each other about events and the mystery and work towards solving it and the humans do likewise. The animals understand the humans, but the humans canâ€™t understand the animals.
This makes for an interesting effect, but it has problems. While I can believe that animals communicate to each other and understand humans to some extent, I donâ€™t believe that a cat can read and understand a map. That is pushing it a little too far for me. Second, having two sets of characters solving the mystery makes the book a little choppy. There are just too many characters running around doing things and having simultaneous conversations.
Adding to the awkwardness of the book are the little soapbox moments that Brown incorporates. Seemingly out of the blue, one of the characters will go off on a tangent about the state of farming in this country, the cost of gas, the environment, homosexuality, or taxes. This is strange enough when the human characters do it, but downright bizarre when it is a cat or a horse.
Favorite character? Pewter, the cat with impulse control issues. Did I guess it? No. Will I read another? This series would not be high on my list.
Mystery Book Reviews by Liz at http://reviewedbyliz.com Â©2007