Now, I have to be honest. I know I said in my F.A.Q page that I wouldn’t be posting reviews of books I didn’t enjoy very much. Today I’m going to break that rule. However, I’m doing it for a pretty good reason. Although I didn’t enjoy THIS book very much, I would definitely recommend the first books in the “Mrs. Murphy” series to both mystery and animal fans alike.
Hiss of Death is the 19th installment of the series, which is centered around Mary Minor Haristeen aka “Harry” and her four-legged pals. Unfortunately, it seems like the past 18 books have taken a toll on Brown’s writing, and the past two or three books have become a little, well…preachy. Although I don’t mind occasional (witty) political banter, the plot and characters in this book seem to be secondary to, and get lost between, the lectures and Brown’s social commentary. Not only do I not always agree with her points, but even when I do, I can’t really agree with her because of the way she goes about it.
This is very disappointing to me, as it used to be one of my favorite series!! And, after reading the rest of the reviews posted on the GoodReads page, I can tell that I’m not the only one who feels this way.
Originally, the plots were intriguing with captivating climaxes that created just the right balance between dramatic suspension and cozy small town mystery. Set in Crozet, Virginia, the main character, Postmistress Harry Haristeen, is surrounded by beautiful nature, colorful characters, rambunctious animals, and of course a healthy dose of murder and mayhem! The other main characters include Harry’s three zany animals, a sleek tiger cat named Mrs. Murphy, a friendly corgi named Tee Tucker, and Pewter, an often cantankerous feline adopted from the grocery store next door. No matter how much trouble she finds herself in, Harry can always rely on her sidekicks (and a few other fun human-pals too) to help her save the day!
So, although I don’t recommend Hiss of Death, if these books sound like something you might be interested in I DO recommend starting at the beginning with Wish You Were Here and working your way through the series – as long as you’re aware that at some point they lose a little of their appeal.
Any other fans of the series out there? Have you read Hiss of Death? What are your thoughts? *Please no spoilers!*