Murder at Monticello by Rita Mae Brown & Sneaky Pie Brown

Bantam (first), 1994

Has Rita Mae Brown no shame? Having saddled her cat with an embarrassingly cute name, you’d think she’d let the poor animal live out its days in obscurity — as much for her own sake as for the cat’s, because we know the cat didn’t name itself. But no; Brown must advertise her error by giving her pet co-author credit for a series that now comprises three volumes. That said, Murder at Monticello isn’t as bad as I’d feared. There are several animal characters, and they can talk (though only to each other), but they all have pretty reasonable names, and they participate in the unfolding of the plot in ways that aren’t egregiously unlikely — once you accept that the animals are intelligent. A few of the human characters are really interesting, and the mystery, while based on an implausible motive, is enough to hold your attention. Set in rural Virginia, Murder at Monticello sees the discovery of the 190-year-old skeleton of a well-to-do white man buried under the floor of a slave woman’s cabin at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. The old crime becomes much more immediate when one of the investigators is killed. (Beth Thoenen)

Originally published in Issue # 135 – January/February 1995

Find in a libraryBuy a copyEbooks/Audiobooks

Your purchases using these links help support this site through commissions.