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The Beauty of the End
Debbie Howells

from FictionZeal.com re: Tall Tail (Mrs. Murphy Mystery) by Rita Mae Brown

Tall Tail: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery (Mrs. Murphy Mysteries (Hardcover)) - Rita Mae Brown

Mary Minor Haristeen (Harry) is a farm owner in beautiful Crozet, Virginia within the Blue Ridge Mountains.  She loves her animals.  Mrs. Murphy; Pewter; and Tee Tucker tend to go with her wherever she travels.  At the beginning, she barely manages to swerve her truck out of the way of a car going way to fast on this curvy road.  The car lands in a ditch.  Harry recognizes the driver as Barbara Leader.  Barbara is now dead.  She had been a nurse for former Virginia governor Sam Holloway.  Initially, the cause of death appeared to be a heart attack, which was odd because she’d been in perfect health.  Upon an autopsy, they found a lethal drug in her system.  This concerns Susan Tucker, Harry’s dear friend and Sam Holloway’s granddaughter, as she’s afraid that he may be in danger.

 

The novel is the present (2016) with flashbacks to 1784, when Francisco Selisse was said to have been killed by his slave, Moses.  Francisco had an evil temper.  The Afterword of the book was more like an ‘after thought’, adding details about the characters that may have been better incorporated into the story.  Although Tall Tail can be read on its own, it may be better to begin with the first in the series and work up (this is the 25th).  I found that I really didn’t know the main characters as well as someone who began with the first in the series.  I did like Harry and her relationship with the people of the community and her animals.  Before chapter one, there was a cast of characters and they were a small legion.  They included characters from the present (2016); characters and slaves from the late eighteenth century; and animals from both 2016 and the eighteenth century.  The dialogue was delightful, both between the humans and among the animals.  Rating: 3 out of 5.