Monday, April 6, 2015

Review of Litter of the Law

Book #12. The Litter of the Law, by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown. Unabridged audio.

This series of mystery novels has a high “buy-in” factor. But once you understand that the animals can talk to each other (but not to the humans) and that they are pretty good crime scene investigators, the stories are generally enjoyable.

In this book, a series of deaths occur, with each victim hidden as a scarecrow on someone’s farmland. Investigating this series of deaths leads “Harry” Hairstein and her investigating pets to uncover a money-making conspiracy that puts all of their lives in danger. The story involves Native American land, the historical process of “paper genocide” of certain mid-Atlantic tribes. And someone seems to be messing with the quality of the soil in this agricultural community as part of this plan. And when money is at stake, terrible things can happen to people who stand in the way.

The way that the plot works itself out in this novel is very strong. Brown has either done a lot of research on the topic of Native American history, or has figured out to make it seem like she has. The details seem reasonable, the past history she presents us seems reasonable, and many of the reactions of past victims seem reasonable. The process of solving the mystery and uncovering the perpetrator is exciting and satisfying.

There is not a lot of character development in this novel. All of the characters (human and animal) act reasonably in character, as established in the prior novels in the series, but no major developments occur to push them forward. But that is a minor quibble. Overall, the novel was an interesting and enjoyable read.

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