Pawing Through the Past

Rita Mae Brown, Author, Sneaky Pie Brown, Joint Author, Itoko Maeno, Illustrator Bantam Books $24.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-553-10738-8
Mary Minor ""Harry"" Haristeen and her intrepid trio of animal sleuths are back for an eighth--and winsome--adventure (following Cat on the Scent). Harry, postmistress of seemingly bucolic Crozet, Va., and her classmates are excited about their upcoming 20th high school reunion. They share bittersweet memories of that time when everything seemed possible, as preparations proceed to welcome back far-flung classmates. But it quickly becomes apparent that one person's memories are only bitter: weeks before the celebration, each classmate receives an anonymous letter reading, ""You'll never get old."" The class Casanova then gets a bullet between the eyes; more threatening letters follow. While the humans involved argue, dither and try to figure out what's behind the murderous rage turning their reunion into a killing ground, Mrs. Murphy, Pewter and Tee Tucker (Harry's sage tiger cat, plump gray cat and Welsh corgi, respectively) conduct their own investigation. Brown's appealing sense of humor, well-constructed setting and competent plotting carry the day. Her talking, thinking animals are funny and, for those who like this sort of thing, even adorable. Illus. by Itoko Maeno. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/01/2000
Release date: 05/01/2000
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