Cover Image: Claws for Alarm

Claws for Alarm

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I have been reading the Mrs. Murphy series since Wish you were here 
 came out in 1990. This is the 30th in this long running, very popular series and I was not let down.. The story goes back and forth between 2019 and 1789 telling about the farms, the horses and the people of the land.
As always the animals are always there to help the story/ readers in on what the humans may miss.I love the new puppy Pirate. Can they make Mom "Harry" understand the connect between the murder of  new Vet Ben and the death of a beloved matriarch?
My thanks to NetGalley,  Bantam publishing and the author for the opportunity to read and review this book which released on October 12th, 2021
Was this review helpful?
Fair Harristeen, big animal vet, is making his rounds one day and decides to drop in on new vet Ben Wagner, to see how he's doing.  But when he arrives, he finds Ben dead, and immediately calls the police.  It seems Ben has been shot at close range, and the only thing missing from his practice are bottles of ketamine, used to tranquilize horses.  But who would want them and why?

Meanwhile his wife Harry is visiting her friend Nancy, an antiques dealer, when in walks elderly Candida Perez, who likes nothing more than to talk, and especially about her past.  With her are her children, Constance and Ballard,  After a lengthy talk with a young woman, Ballard hustles his mother out, but not before greeting Nancy and Harry.  Candida mentions as how she wants to re-read her precious family letters, some dated from centuries ago.  But while perusing them alone, Constance comes across her mother, face down at her desk, dead.  After Ballard and Constance argue about autopsies and burial, the people of the town are drawn into their squabbles about the will and their home, Lone Pine, which has also been in the family for centuries.  

Even though the upkeep is going to cost more than either can afford, Constance is determined to keep the home, while Ballard sees no way out but to sell it.  They do employ someone to catalog the letters and put them in order, but even this distresses the pair.  When there's another murder, this time the police are taking a more serious look at everything that's gone on before, and wonders what to make of it.  So does Harry, especially when she's unwittingly drawn deeper into the investigation...

This is the thirtieth book in the series and I practically devour them when they come out.  I love mysteries within mysteries, and tales within them as well.  Not only are we reading about Harry and her friends in our time, but the book takes us back to the original owners of the farms the families are living on, this time back to 1789, after the American Revolution is recently over, and the struggles the families have there to make their lives in the new country.  It's fascinating fiction, and it ties in with the present day so seamlessly that you don't even mind going back and forth in time, as it were.

In our present day, Harry can't help but be curious as to why Ben was murdered, and she shares those questions with her friends Susan, Nancy, and Tazia.  Why ketamine?  And why would he be murdered over such a small thing when there were thousands of dollars of equipment that wasn't touched?  It even gives Fair pause as he is wondering along with his wife.

Ah, but the pets -- Mrs, Murphy, Tucker, Pewter, and puppy Pirate are wondering themselves, but they are not only trying to figure out, but might hold the key to everything.  If only they can get their mother Harry to listen...

The clues are there all along, but they are given to us sparingly and we must use our own minds to put the pieces together.  Ms. Brown is one of my favorite novelists; her books are so well-written and so well thought out that I am always amazed at how she manages to write stories that are centuries apart but moments together in time.  

When we come to the end of the book and the killer is revealed, it is a motive as old as time itself.  Having been faced with the same motive from someone close at hand, it never surprises me anymore how people can allow their lives to be twisted like this.  But it is what it is, and the book not only gives us a satisfactory ending, it gives us a terrific story to read.  Highly recommended.
Was this review helpful?
First time that I have read a book from this series. Quite a few characters to keep track of. Entertaining story.
Was this review helpful?
Harry returns in a dual mystery. Fair finds a new vet dead, probably murdered. Candida Perez a 90+ matriarch is found dead – is it natural or murder? What could these have in common? And why does Candida’s daughter want the military prints back.  

It’s always good to see Harry and Fair back and of course the animals Great setting. Good neighbors.
Was this review helpful?
CLAWS FOR ALARM by Rita Mae Brown is A Mrs. Murphy mystery – actually number 30 in the series involving a dog named Tucker, and two cats, Pewter and Mrs. Murphy. I generally enjoy spending time with their owners: Harry, former postal worker, and her husband, Fair who is the local vet in Crozet, Virginia. However, it seems like Rita Mae Brown and her "co-author" Sneaky Pie Brown are sadly running out of ideas. The dialogue and text here felt repetitive and the story itself, involving the death of a local matriarch and subsequent squabbling by her adult children, was not particularly original or inventive.  Combining the modern day happening with a mystery set far in the past generally adds confusion and encourages readers to focus on one storyline or the other. Earlier tales in this series are more engaging and worth a look.
Was this review helpful?
I read Claws For Alarm in two days. I love this series. This one wasn't as good as the others but still readable. I felt it was very choppy. We were just dumped into these new people and I missed the familiarity of our other friends. The jumps back weren't as interesting either. I know that retelling how our nation was formed is important but I miss the relationships more. Don't get me wrong I will definitely continue reading the series but this one was a bit flat.
Was this review helpful?
I am a Rita Mae Brown fan and enjoy all of her mysteries-although the last few have incorporated the alternate time lines which I find difficult to enjoy  I hope she returns to the former format.
Was this review helpful?
The 2019 mystery was what I was expecting from Rita Mae Brown.  She gives just enough clues to keep reader actively trying to figure out “who done” it without making it too easy.  
The two plot lines left me confused.  I kept looking for clues and trying to figure out what the 1789 storyline worked into the 2019 storyline.  I tried making the connection to the skeletons found and kept waiting for the correlation in the 2019 storyline.  As the animals would smell old skin and I would keep reading through the 1789 storyline for mentions of the manuscripts and how it related back to the 2019 storyline.  As I finished reading, I still had many questions about events that happened in 1789.  The story felt unfinished. 
I would like to thank NetGalley, Rita Mae Brown and Bantam Books for my ARC of Claws for Alarm: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery.
Was this review helpful?
Fun, quick read that the reader can quickly lose themselves in and find that dinner has come and gone.  The  story is well plotted, characters believable, and the book is easy to recommend.
Was this review helpful?
Again, Rita Mae Brown has melded two historical mysteries into one.  I always learn new snippets of our history along with reading a fun mystery with interesting characters.  Being from the West it is interesting to see what makes Southerners who they are.  Keep the books coming, please.
Was this review helpful?
Haristeen gets some assistance from her veterinarian spouse to solve the murder of a young equine vet whose death may be linked to his new clinic in this interesting mystery
Was this review helpful?
I really do enjoy the slow amble of this series; the pets are always fun and the mysteries are intriguing. I really love the past narrative woven in and am always sad to jump back to present time. Additionally, I like getting that bit of history. Although, while I appreciate the new characters, I do miss the older ones like Miranda, Jones, and The Mims. And Harry’s other ex and Boom Boom!
Was this review helpful?
Always a great read. The characters represented in the past have become my new favorite. They could stand their own series.
Was this review helpful?
Another great mystery from Rita Mae Brown I have loved the Mrs. Murphy series from the beginning and it just gets better and better.
Was this review helpful?
Loved this book! The characters and the story kept me reading until the end! I enjoyed the storyline and the characters throughout the book. Such a great read to get lost in. I highly recommend this book! Thank you for letting me review this book!
Was this review helpful?
In Claws for Alarm, the novel continues to tell the tale of two separate eras…one just after the Revolutionary War and the present day. While the historic part is interesting, nothing was really settled in this episode. The modern day mystery was more interesting, but it did take me awhile to get into the story. A young vet is found murdered, an elderly lady dies, and soon another body is found. Are the deaths connected? Were they all murdered? Why…and who is the culprit? The mystery is solved by the end, but there was less connection with the characters in the story. I did enjoy the animals’ involvement and the portrayal of the Wolfhound puppy!
Was this review helpful?
I was so excited to read Claws for Alarm early as  have read and loved all of Rita Mae Brown's books in this series. This book did not disappoint. I have enjoyed the main human/ animal characters throughout the series and the introduction of the new ones in this story.  I love the two periods of time and learning how they lived in the past. The story line kept me guessing who the murderer was until the end. I look forward to reading the next of this series when it comes out.

Thank you NetGalley and Bantam Books for This ARC.
Was this review helpful?
You gotta love Rita Mae Brown's characters, especially the animals. The fact that you learn something about the history of Virginia is not bad either. Another mystery solved by the Crozet animals.
Was this review helpful?
Rita Mae Brown returns with another cozy mystery including a tale from the historic past as well as a current murder of a veterinarian, followed in rapid order by another man and a leading citizen who curated a fantastic family collection of documents and letters.  

Fair Haristeen, Harry's husband, finds that his supply of ketamine is missing from  his veterinary truck.  Other places, including a murder scene, are mysteriously missing their ketamine.  Ketamine  has a number of uses, and for veterinarians, it's a tranquilizer, but for humans, it is a date rape drug, and in large quantities, a  murder weapon.  

Candida Perez is found dead at her desk, having knocked over two boxes of documents as she passed away, apparently naturally.  Harry is asked to assist in setting the documents to rights, organizing the letters by date, and   watching for things that might not be as they should be.

Her devoted pets are also helping out, including a newcomer, Pirate, a wolfhound puppy.  They note that some historic prints on various subjects smell strangely, but don't know how to convey this to their owner.  It has to be solved soon, as a valuable historic home and its collections are part of a large estate left by Candida, and her children are fighting over it.

Who wanted it bad enough to murder their mother?
Was this review helpful?
I received this book for free for an honest review from netgalley #netgalley

This is a new to me author but it will not be the last. Everything about this was screaming cozy and comfy and I loved every word.
Was this review helpful?