Saturday, February 16, 2008

Book Review: “Pay Dirt” by Rita Mae Brown

Mary Minor Haristeen (Harry) is the small-town postmistress of Crozet, VA. She, along with her cat, Mrs. Murphy, and corgi, Tucker, find themselves at the center of frequent mysterious activities that have been the subjects of a long series of books. Her animals, and others in the town, talk to each other outside the understanding of the humans, which gives readers access to hilarious, and often sage, dialogue.

In this story, the appearance of a black leather-clad biker in their small Southern town marks the beginning of a series of unfortunate events. He claims to be looking for his long-lost girlfriend but ends up being murdered. His untimely death added more fodder to the town’s rumor mill, already ripe with the implications of a computer virus that would reportedly target the local businesses on a future date. When a bank audit reveals missing money, and a local love triangle involves one of the bank’s officials, tongues wag about whether the events are all connected. After several more murders, the town is reeling and would never guess who is the cause of it all.

My Thoughts
This series is good light reading. Predictably entertaining but not a real mind stretcher. Probably wouldn’t be pleasing to lovers of literary classics. It falls into the category of “animal mysteries,” not unlike the books of Lillian Jackson Braun.

Favorite Lines
1. Dog to cat when seeing the male subject of the love triangle after a particularly ugly spat: “He looks like Death eating a cracker.”

2. Dog and cat discussing Harry, who is being taken out to dinner by two likable suitors:
Dog: “How do you like that?” He watched the red taillights disappear.
Cat: “I like it a lot… I want someone in mom’s life who makes her life easier. Love shouldn’t feel like a job.”

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