Customer Reviews for

Hiss of Death (Mrs. Murphy Series #19)

Average Rating 3.5
( 88 )
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5 Star

(42)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(10)

1 Star

(19)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

The nineteenth Mrs. Murphy amateur sleuth is perhaps the most poignant tale of the long running series

In Crozet, Virginia, as she prepares to sell her first grapes, Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen struggles with stage one breast cancer, but refuses to let the deadly disease prevent her from living. Thus with her husband Fair's encouragement the fortyish Harry signs up to ...
In Crozet, Virginia, as she prepares to sell her first grapes, Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen struggles with stage one breast cancer, but refuses to let the deadly disease prevent her from living. Thus with her husband Fair's encouragement the fortyish Harry signs up to participate in a 5K Run for Breast Cancer Awareness.

However, before the race, Harry and her pets (felines Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, and incorrigible corgi Tee Tucker) find the corpse of popular Central Virginia Medical Complex operating room nurse Paula Benton. Harry met the OR nurse during one of her recent hospital stays and respected the woman who was a key organizer of the race. Paula apparently died of anaphylactic shock caused by a hornet's sting. However, Harry wonders if the woman was murdered as Paula had issues with former addict now drug counselor Thadia Martin. Both were attracted to Dr. Cory Schaeffer, who is almost electrocuted in an electric car, which further affirms the belief by Harry and her sleuthing team that someone murdered Paula and tried to kill the physician.

The nineteenth Mrs. Murphy amateur sleuth (see Cat of the Century and Santa Clawed) is perhaps the most poignant tale of the long running series as the Brown tandem deftly focuses on breast cancer awareness inside of a well written whodunit. The cancer subplot supersedes the murder mystery summed up nicely in the Afterward by Ms. Brown's late mom: "You're going to be dead a long time. Do it now." Readers will enjoy the latest anthropomorphist mystery as the "real important characters" and the human support encourage Harry; who accompanied by her three pets investigate the death with the last word finally belonging to "maligned" Pewter.

Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on March 14, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

sad...

I have always loved this series. I even named my own cat Mrs. Murphy in honor of it. I loved how Ms. Brown developed her characters into real people with real life issues who also have a lot of murders happen around them! The first few books dealt with Harry and Fair's...
I have always loved this series. I even named my own cat Mrs. Murphy in honor of it. I loved how Ms. Brown developed her characters into real people with real life issues who also have a lot of murders happen around them! The first few books dealt with Harry and Fair's divorce and the aftermath of that and it was heartbreaking and hilarious at the same time. The animals were spot on in their commentary and they took an active role in the mystery investigations. These last 2 books have been so disappointing that it breaks my book loving heart. The animals are minor characters now, and I feel like she just keeps recycling the animal conversations from book to book. Actually I can look in past books and prove she is doing this. Harry has become predictable and boring and I am so tired of the big picture political/social statements that go on for pages. Dear Ms. Brown and Random house, if you are reading this hear the pleas of your readers and breathe new life into the series! There are so many more adventures and murders to be had with Mrs. Murphy!

posted by llh0803 on August 18, 2011

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  • Posted August 18, 2011

    sad...

    I have always loved this series. I even named my own cat Mrs. Murphy in honor of it. I loved how Ms. Brown developed her characters into real people with real life issues who also have a lot of murders happen around them! The first few books dealt with Harry and Fair's divorce and the aftermath of that and it was heartbreaking and hilarious at the same time. The animals were spot on in their commentary and they took an active role in the mystery investigations. These last 2 books have been so disappointing that it breaks my book loving heart. The animals are minor characters now, and I feel like she just keeps recycling the animal conversations from book to book. Actually I can look in past books and prove she is doing this. Harry has become predictable and boring and I am so tired of the big picture political/social statements that go on for pages. Dear Ms. Brown and Random house, if you are reading this hear the pleas of your readers and breathe new life into the series! There are so many more adventures and murders to be had with Mrs. Murphy!

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 15, 2011

    quality slipping

    The latest Sneaky Pie mystery falls short of its predecessors. The plot is predictable, often wandering into political and social rants of the author's own agenda. Don't bother buying, it won't hold your attention.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The nineteenth Mrs. Murphy amateur sleuth is perhaps the most poignant tale of the long running series

    In Crozet, Virginia, as she prepares to sell her first grapes, Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen struggles with stage one breast cancer, but refuses to let the deadly disease prevent her from living. Thus with her husband Fair's encouragement the fortyish Harry signs up to participate in a 5K Run for Breast Cancer Awareness.

    However, before the race, Harry and her pets (felines Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, and incorrigible corgi Tee Tucker) find the corpse of popular Central Virginia Medical Complex operating room nurse Paula Benton. Harry met the OR nurse during one of her recent hospital stays and respected the woman who was a key organizer of the race. Paula apparently died of anaphylactic shock caused by a hornet's sting. However, Harry wonders if the woman was murdered as Paula had issues with former addict now drug counselor Thadia Martin. Both were attracted to Dr. Cory Schaeffer, who is almost electrocuted in an electric car, which further affirms the belief by Harry and her sleuthing team that someone murdered Paula and tried to kill the physician.

    The nineteenth Mrs. Murphy amateur sleuth (see Cat of the Century and Santa Clawed) is perhaps the most poignant tale of the long running series as the Brown tandem deftly focuses on breast cancer awareness inside of a well written whodunit. The cancer subplot supersedes the murder mystery summed up nicely in the Afterward by Ms. Brown's late mom: "You're going to be dead a long time. Do it now." Readers will enjoy the latest anthropomorphist mystery as the "real important characters" and the human support encourage Harry; who accompanied by her three pets investigate the death with the last word finally belonging to "maligned" Pewter.

    Harriet Klausner

    6 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 13, 2011

    Sadly, this series has jumped the shark

    I've always looked forward to a new Mrs Murphy book. I've followed the characters since the beginning and feel like they're old friends. But Brown seems to have devolved into delivering long political and medical diatribes and doesn't even bother to research her medical facts (with just a very few exceptions, organs for transplant are NOT harvested at autopsy!). This will be the last one I read.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2011

    not recommended

    Unforntunatly I did not read the reviews before I bought this book or Cat of the Century. I also was disappointed in the political agendas. I have previously read all the Sneaky Pie mysteries and enjoyed them. Please come back to the straight mystery format.
    judy from MN

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 26, 2011

    Wait for the book at the library

    I usually LOVE this series but this one is not woth buying. I bought it for my mom site unseen and was sorry. Way too mcuh medical mumbo jumob. It gets in the way of the story. Don't need cancer treatment, I need a GOOD read!

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2012

    Just finished reading it last night and have to agree that this

    Just finished reading it last night and have to agree that this is the worst of the Mrs. Murphy series. I was very annoyed with the periodic political/social rants to the point I occasionally picked up a pen and defaced the book with my responses. The plot is thinner than most of Brown's books, in this series and her others. I figured out who did it well before the end, but there was rather little here that led up to it and there was little finesse as to how it all came together. I've enjoyed Rita Mae Brown's books for years and always look forward to them. I certainly am not going to give up on her, although if this trend continues I will be less inclined to rush into getting the newest offerings.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 24, 2011

    Rambling

    I have read all in the series and am disappointed it seems as if the books have become a outlet for her ramblings about politics the actual story line is short but lots of fillers with her opinions

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 4, 2011

    Disappointed

    I've loved this series for years but don't understand when we switched from mysteries to public opining on the government and a variety of other topics. Does Ms Brown not have an editor who can suggest that her books have become something other than a good mystery. Come on, Rita, back to mysteries, please.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 11, 2011

    A Good Read

    There's a whole lot to like about "Hiss of Death", the nineteenth "collaboration" between tiger cat Sneaky Pie Brown and her human, Rita Mae. This series is guaranteed to tackle some tough issues and the latest one doesn't disappoint. It gives readers an inside look into what happens when a woman-in this case, lead character Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen-is diagnosed with breast cancer.
    The book opens with Harry and several friends from Central Virginia Hospital gearing up for the annual race to raise money for breast cancer research. The story takes a dark turn when Harry finds one of the committee members dead. And Harry's yearly mammogram reveals suspicious cells, which a biopsy confirms are malignant. Brown guides readers along Harry's treatment path with gentleness and compassion. Her insights into the importance of a cancer support group are right on the money.
    Then, the killer strikes again. And Harry suspects that something sinister is going on at the hospital.
    With the help of her animal friends: Tucker the corgi and cats, Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, Harry unmasks the killer and almost gets herself killed in the process.
    This is a serious subject that is handled well and Brown is careful to say at the end of the book that Harry's treatment path is fictitious and real cancer survivors may have an entirely different course of treatment.
    "Hiss of Death" is a good read and I was glad to see that Pewter the cat finally got the last word after being the butt of jokes for eighteen books!
    Reviewed by Susan Santangelo, author of "Moving can be Murder" for Suspense Magazine

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 27, 2013

    I've enjoyed this series before, but this one was a major disapp

    I've enjoyed this series before, but this one was a major disappoint. The book is just a plug for breast cancer research thinly disguised as a mystery. There was no humor, most of the interesting characters were missing, even the animals were flat. The soapbox was higher than ever, and I really get sick of Ms. Brown's assumption that no one who isn't from Virginia could possibly understand their idioms. I never thought I'd say this about a Mrs. Murphy book, but I want my money back, as well as the time I spent fervently hoping that the book would get better.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2012

    Always love Rita Mae & Sneaky Pie Brown's books.

    I have all of the Mrs. Murphy series & love them.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    I enjoyed this book very much. I am a big fan of Rita Mae Brown and she never disappoints.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2014

    Shadowcat to all

    Join my clan, The Lost Clan, at "cats" res. 3, The Cats Cradle

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2014

    Tigerpelt

    K

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2014

    Willowsong

    Gtg bbt

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2014

    Blackpaw

    Is at the apprentices den

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2014

    Firestar to Morningclan

    Beside the Warriors den sits a clump of thistles. If you push past them, a howelled out rock with a sandy floor. Nests sit.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 28, 2014

    I truly was an avid reader of  the earlier books in this series.

    I truly was an avid reader of  the earlier books in this series.  I ran into this particular one as a book in my Nook archives queue that I didn't remember reading.  Within a few chapters, I recalled reading it.  And I also recalled why I archived both it and the next one in the series.  In her earlier books, I absolutely  loved Rita Mae Brown's quirky characters, her timing, her ability to allow the animals full personality and play.  So what turned me off so badly on this one?  The use of political cliche's masked as dialogue, was a big big factor early on in it.  I don't care that the author offers the excuse in the afterword that this is, after all, how these characters in that part of our country  would talk.  It took hold of me right in my brain, and I realized I couldn't  read the books anymore.  Her earlier use of the animals to do the same thing regarding religion should have been a tip off. Sorry, but if I want to read a politics oriented mystery, that's what I'll buy.  If I want a philosophy-religion oriented mystery, that's what I'll buy.  When I want a fun mystery using wonderfully created characters, including animals, well, now I'll go to Sofie Kelly's Magical Cats Mysteries.  Sorry folks, big thumbs down on the evolution of the Mrs. Murphy Mysteries.  Will re-archive the last two I acquired and fastidiously avoid any future ones.  My opinion only, your actual mileage may vary..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2013

    Hiss of death is amazing

    I have enjoyed thus series forever and I always will. Log live murphy

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