Friday, August 11, 2006

Whisker of Evil

Title: Whisker of Evil
Author: Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown

Much as we got the disclaimer from another blog contributor about spelling, it’s time for me to warn y’all that, though I will make fun of most of the books I read, sometimes I really enjoy books that are totally clichéd.

This book is part of the series involving a rural postmistress (Harry) and her pets (Tucker, Pewter, and Mrs. Murphy). The pets talk – not to the humans in the book, of course, but to each other, and we the readers are privy to their conversations. The author is aided in writing these conversations by her own cat, Sneaky Pie.

There’s a rather high fatality rate in Harry’s small town – in fact, at least one person dies every time a book is written about her/it. She’s a bit of a busybody, always attempting to solve the crime, but her pets are even more skilled at detecting. For whatever reason, the animal-talk isn’t overly cutesy (perhaps because I’ve spent far too much time talking to my family’s cat?) – I rather enjoy when the cats start bickering…

In this case, Harry comes across one of her neighbors while walking in the woods; he’s lying on the ground, and dies seconds after she arrives. The pets immediately set about sniffing for bears and discussing the possibilities of how he died. As Harry searches for clues in the area, she finds a ring that belongs to another neighbor who disappeared 20-30 years ago. The pets, within hours, learn from a fox what happened to the missing neighbor, but the humans take a few more weeks (and another death) what lead to both the deaths and the disappearance.

One thing I noticed while reading this book (and another by the same author, not in the series, just before we started this) is that there’s a great deal of both lesbians and religion. It’s rather an interesting combination – I’m certainly not religious, and wouldn’t be sad to see the occasional Bible-quoting disappear from the books, but it’s nice to see the easy acceptance of the various gay folks in their town, even by the aforementioned Bible-quoters. And a bit of a statement on how things are too PC these days, since the law is finally laid down and Harry can’t bring the pets to work at the post office anymore (NOOOOO!!), which creates a scandal in town.

In general, pretty fun – AND no sex! I read a book that’s PG! Hooray!

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posted by ket at 11:47 PM


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