Friday, May 20, 2016

Tall Tail: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery

It is National Bike to Work Day!  This day was started by the League of American Bicyclists in 1956 as a part of National Bike Month.  It is encourage people to set aside their motor vehicles for one day and ride a bike to work.  It is good exercise and good for the environment.  In 1609 Shakespeare's sonnets are published in London for the first time (perhaps illicitly) by the Thomas Thorpe, the publisher.  On a funny note the first traffic ticket issued in New York City was to taxi driver, Jacob German.  He was arrested for speeding while going 12 miles per hour on Lexington Avenue! If you enjoy mystery suspense/thriller novels check out Play Dead by Angela Marsons.  It is wonderful and released today. I will be reviewing it this weekend.

Tall Tail:  A Mrs. Murphy Mystery by Rita Mae Brown is the twenty-fifth book in the Mrs. Murphy Mystery series.  Harry Haristeen is driving down the road with her brood (her animals) in Crozet, Virginia when another car comes careening down the road.  The other driver ends up in an accident near the Avenging Angel statute in the local cemetery.  Harry (short for Mary Minor Haristeen) hurries over to check on the driver and finds Barbara Leader dead at the wheel.  Barbara is the nurse for Susan’s paternal grandfather, Samuel Holloway (former governor of the state).  Barbara had been such a help with Samuel (lifting his spirits).  Samuel has leukemia and is slowly dying.  His mind, though, is still sharp and he is busy working on his biography.  A few days later a media company is broken into.  Harry was using the company to shoot video for her website and they had recently shot footage at Big Rawly, the Holloway estate.  Coincidence or is something more sinister afoot in this small town?

It is 1784 in Virginia when Francisco Selisse is murdered.  It is believed Moses, a slave killed him and his wife, Ailee is an accomplice.  Maureen Selisse, the victim’s wife, was present at the time.  Catherine and John Schuyler along with Rachel and Charles West help Moses and Ailee.  They did not commit the crime, but no one will believe a slave.  Francisco is buried in the local cemetery with a beautiful Italian statue of an Avenging Angel marking his grave.  How does the past tie in with what is happening in the present?

I have not read A Mrs. Murphy Mystery is a few years so when I saw this novel up for review, I thought it would be nice to catch up.  I found Tall Tail to be more of life (and the people) in Crozet than a mystery novel. We get a lot of information about golf, Harry’s farm, horses, politics (a lot about politics) and the various animals.  TallTail is nicely written and entertaining, but the mystery was easy to figure out.  The beginning can be very confusing if you have not read any of the other books in the series especially when it starts going back in time (you have to get quite a bit into the book to see how the past and present relate).  I give Tall Tail 3 out of 5 stars.  I believe fans of the series will enjoy Tall Tail.

There are twenty-four other books in the A Mrs. Murphy Mystery series. You can find the complete list here. I received a complimentary copy of Tall Tail from NetGalley in exchange for an honest evaluation of the novel. 

Tonight is the Grimm season finale (I love that show).  I hope all of you had a delightful (and non-stressful) day!  I am off to rest my back. I think I pulled something on the right side.  I am currently enjoying Dear Thing by Julie Cohen and Rosalia's Bittersweet Pastry Shop by Rosanna Chiofalo.  Enjoy your evening, take care, and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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