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Ellinor's Litventures

This blog is about my literary adventures in different genres. I like variety in my reading and will read books from most genres but particulary book with some literary merit.

Nine Lives To Die (Or Not So Many)

Nine Lives to Die - Rita Mae Brown

This 22nd mystery in the Mrs Murphy series is once again set in Crozet, Virginia. Winter has arrived and masses of snow are falling. In this snow chaos two members of Silver Linings, a local youth's organization, are found dead in their cars. Both deaths first seem natural, but then it is discovered that the bodies are each missing an index- and a middle-finger...
At the same time Harry's cats and dog discover a skeleton burried under a tree in the mountains behind Harry's farm. Who is the dead person and are the two deaths connected?
After several years of very mediocre books in this series, Rita Mae Brown has once again written a story that can be thoroughly enjoyed. In the past books there was always one thing that annoyed me: Harry was always suddenly completely involved in activities or organizations that hadn't existed or weren't mentioned in previous novels (and often aren't mentioned again in any future books). Now Crozet is a small place and Harry's time is also limited (as is mentioned often enough) so that a story line like that seems very unlikely. This time just one new organization makes appearance and Harry also isn't directly involved with it. This was a definite plus.
Another positive aspect was the lack of politics. In the past novels Rita Mae often mixed a lot of political topics into her stories or let her characters have conversations about them. While I agree with most of her view, when I read a cozy mystery I don't want to read about politcs or at least not so much.
Rita Mae Brown wrote a very decent mystery with a few good red herrings. All deaths would have been perfect murders if it hadn't been for one detail (I'm not saying more here). If it hadn't been for this detail I would have given the book an even higher rating. I know she had to use it to make the known that the deaths were murders. But I'm a fan of perfect murders and so this spoiled the story a bit for me.
All in all, a very enjoyable cozy mystery. I'd particularly recommend it to fans of the series, even former ones who gave up on it. Give Rita Mae another chance!

(I received a free digital copy via NetGalley)