Hiss of Death - Rita Mae Brown Mrs. Murphy is definitely getting political and topical in the mysteries. This one was the almost obligatory breast cancer issue -- so it was fitting that I read it in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Though the topical aspect of this mystery was woven better into the lives of the characters than in previous episodes.

The one thing I am sorry about is that the mystery was wrapped up quickly and with little explanation. Again, I noticed that the series suffers from the Star Trek syndrome, in that the newly, never before mentioned introduced characters are the victims and the murderers. I suppose there is no way around that, but you would think that it might be possible to introduce these characters that are supposed to have been integral parts of the community. Also, I notice that many of the series regular characters are taking a back seat -- I am not sure if this is a mass protest or just that the author is getting weary of dealing with the characters demands.

I enjoyed this book and it is definitely a return to the feel of the earlier books.