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    CAT ON THE SCENT by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown

    Bantam Books, 1999

    There is shady business afoot--business that leads to murder. Only Mary Minor Haristeen (Harry)'s cats and dog can solve the mystery. Together, pet detectives Mrs. Murphy (a gray tiger cat), Tee Tucker (Harry's welsh corgi), and Pewter (a gray cat) must uncover the clues, bring them to Harry's attention, and even drive a victim's Porche to safety.

    Rita Mae Brown (click here to see other reviews of novels by this author) and Sneaky Pie Brown (Brown's cat and co-author) write an intriguingly balanced story jumping from animal to human point of view and back again. The animals are considerably more intelligent than the people and also get all the good lines. Still, Harry makes a sympathetic human protagonist.

    CAT ON THE SCENT is set in rural Virginia and offers a compelling viewport into modern village life. Everyone knows everyone and thinks they know all the secrets. In this environment, murder is even a little more horrible than in the typical urban jungle.

    Approach this mystery with a huge willingness to suspend disbelief. I, for one, had a hard time with a welsh corgi working the Porche clutch--still, I found myself glued to the book.

    Three Stars

    Purchase CAT ON THE SCENTfrom (available in paperback).