Instead of a proper second honeymoon, the newly remarried Harry and Fair Haristeen leave cozy Crozet, Virginia, for Shelbyville, Kentucky, site of the famous saddlebred horse show. There they'll visit dear friends Joan Hamilton and Larry Hodge and enjoy a week among some of the finest horses, trainers, and riders in the country. But soon after they arrive, events veer mysteriously-and murderously-off course. First, Joan's ruby and sapphire horsehead heirloom pin is stolen from her private box at the fairgrounds. Next, a young film star's prize three-gaited mare disappears into thin air. There is no lack of suspects, from hotheaded trainers and jealous rivals to vicious ex-spouses. Then a body is found flagrantly murdered and it's obvious to Harry that someone at Shelbyville is sending a strong message: winning is only secondary-first prize is survival. As Harry searches for clues, rediscovers life as a married woman, and deals with her upcoming fortieth birthday, her four-legged detective friends are already on the case. But is animal instinct any match for human depravity? Especially with two humans to protect and a killer on the prowl?
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by Rita Mae Brown, Sneaky Pie Brown
by Rita Mae Brown
"This latest addition to the Mrs. Murphy series finds newlyweds Fair and Harry Haristeen at the Saddlebred Show in Shelbyville, Kentucky, with their entourage of two cats, Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, and a corgi, Tucker. When a prize-winning mare is stolen and a diamond brooch goes missing, tension escalates and suspicion sets in. The contestants become even more unnerved when a groom's throat is slit. Kate Forbes handles the human and animal dialogue equally well, using varied expression and tone to differentiate the voices. When the dialogue of both the human and animal characters occasionally becomes preachy, Forbes manages to handle their lines without sounding sanctimonious. She imbues the animals, especially, with personality and spunk, making this a pleasant listening experience. M.H.N. (c) AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine"
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