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The Tail of the Tip-off    by Rita Mae Brown & Sneaky Pie Brown order for
Tail of the Tip-off
by Rita Mae Brown
Order:  USA  Can
Bantam, 2004 (2003)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

In The Tail of the Tip-off, the reader returns to the beautiful countryside of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, and the home of Harry Haristeen and her four-footed family. Harry, postmaster of the village of Crozet, has worked her small farm alone since she and her ex, Fair Haristeen, divorced. He has since discovered the error of his ways but she is adamant that she doesn't want him in her private life again. Or is she really?

A mysterious death occurs at a U of V basketball game, quickly followed by another. Harry, as usual, can't stand a mystery in which she's not involved. Nor can her three pets and fellow conspirators: tiger cat Mrs. Murphy, Pewter the gray, and Tucker, a very smart Corgi. The three get along as well as any other sisters and brother. They do, however, have a problem in being unable to communicate in a common language with Harry. They often solve mysteries and/or murders before Harry, but are unable to let her in on their findings. Sometimes heir body language helps, but not always.

The Tail of the Tip-Off is another in Rita Mae Brown's feline series that has caught the hearts of readers. Who can resist the machinations of these three lovable creatures? Harry's not so bad either. Fair needs to be fleshed out a bit more, although as a continuing character he is welcome on the scene. Other residents - like Big Mim and Little Mim, and postal clerk Miranda - of the charming, real-life village of Crozet (been there) are far out and entertaining. Some of the names are just pure fun. Matthew Crickenberger! How cool is that?

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