By Rita Mae Brown

As Harry good is familiar with, there’s hardly ever a spot in the world cozier than Crozet, Virginia, at Christmastime. Snowflakes, carolers, it’s all picture-perfect till Harry and her husband, reasonable, locate the tree they’ve selected grimly adorned with a corpse. The tree farm is administered via the Brothers of affection, a semimonastic association whose participants dwell atop the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains. Now, because the season grows merrier, a assassin is transforming into bolder. one after the other, well-liked males of Crozet are being crossed off Christmas buying lists and extra to the morgue. And if Harry and her four-legged helpers aren’t very good–and very careful–this Christmas might be her final.

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Extra resources for Santa Clawed (Mrs. Murphy Mysteries)

Sample text

Owen—Tee Tucker’s brother belongs to Susan Tucker, who bred the litter. He doesn’t know how his sister can tolerate the cats. When in feline company, he behaves, but he thinks the cats are snobs. Since Mrs. Murphy, Tucker, and Pewter live on a farm, various creatures cross their path, from bears to foxes to one nasty blue jay. They love all the horses, which can’t be said for some of the other creatures, but then, the horses are domesticated. Pewter declares she is not domesticated but merely resting in a house with regular meals.

It’s in the back. We’ll check it out. ” Relief flooded over his pleasant, roundish features. ” “Brother, Crozet’s not but so big. ” Tucker walked back with Harry at her heels. Fair recognized a client behind one of the trees that were leaning against wooden railings. They chatted about the man’s big crossbred mare. Harry knew the fellow, too—Olsen Godfrey. After the pleasantries were exchanged, she took Fair back to see the tree. Mrs. Murphy, who’d stayed with Fair, fell in with Tucker. The farther away they walked from the lighted square, the darker it became.

The aroma of a well-tended fire added to winter’s allure. Harry loved all the seasons. Winter’s purity appealed to her. She loved being able to see the spine of the land, loved popping into a friend’s house for a hot chocolate or serving the same. Born and raised here, she was buoyed up by close friendships. People might feel alienated in big cities, but she couldn’t imagine that emotion. Tied to the land, the people and animals that inhabited it, Harry knew she was a lucky soul. “Look at those hardworking women,” she called out as she removed her coat, hat, gloves, and scarf.

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