I'm not much of a mystery book reader, but this series appeals to me because it's told partially from the point of view of a cat. My friend Milo was visiting while I read it, and he's a "cozy mystery" fan, so it felt right to be reading it just then.
The story and mystery themselves are whatever. I don't love Brown (the human)'s voice, but I am a sucker for Mrs. Murphy's. (She the cat. There's also dog, Tee Tucker, as a central character.) It's none of my business, and a little judgy of me, but I'm disappointed that Brown chooses to write her narrators as heterosexual. There's one gay character in the whole thing, and he's an antiques dealer--something of a stereotype.
I like that there are illustrations of Mrs. Murphy and Tucker. I don't like how another cat character, Pewter, is mocked for being fat.
Brown injects her personal politics and humor into the novel, most of which I'm in line with, but still find annoying. I do like the southernness of the setting, which is a small town near Charlottesville, VA.
She injects cat lover into the novel, most of which I'm in line with, and appreciate.
By the time Harry cleaned up the mess she was too tired to discipline them. To her credit, she understood that this was punishment for leaving. She understood, but was loath to admit that the animals trained her far better than she trained them.
She doesn't ever grasp that the animals are helping her solve the mystery! I like Harry's feminine/humanist approach to crime solving, though.
The police ask routine questions. That's fine, because they learn a lot. We need to ask different questions--not just "Where were you on the night of . . . ?" but "How did you feel about Kelly's Ferrari and how did you feel about SPOILER REDACTED's success..." Emotions. Maybe emotions will get us closer to an answer.
The animals repeatedly observe that humans have no compunction about going to war over things and killing thousands of people, but can't deal with putting down a sick infant.
"Plus they're breeding sick ones because they won't cull." Tucker's eyes were troubled. "Sick in body and sick in mind. If I have a weak puppy, I'll kill it. It's my obligation to the rest of the litter. They won't do that."
There's got to be some backstory to that line of reasoning, put forth by Brown's animals, who seem much more logical and wise than her humans, don't you think? Is RMB a secret eugenicist?!? I'm not the first one to ask that question.