Crozet, Virginia postmistress Mary Minor (Harry) Haristeen is planning the twentieth reunion of her high school class and its proving to be a lot of fun. Even her pets, Mrs. Murphy and Pewter the cats, and Tee Tucker the corgi, are quite excited about the reunion and the possibility of Harry getting back together with Fair, her ex.

Then Harry and the rest of the class get cards saying, "You'll never grow old." No one knows whether this is a compliment or a threat. The meaning becomes obvious, however, when fellow class member Charlie Ashcraft is murdered.

Then everyone receives another note. This time it says, "Sorry Charlie. Who's Next?" As the reunion draws closer, the killer strikes again, and again. This time Harry and her friends decide to set a trap for the killer, but it will ensnare them instead, unless the faithful pets can do something about it.

PAWING THROUGH THE PAST is a delightful cozy mystery, all the more so because of the active role the pets take in solving the crime. There's a bit of romance as well and the puzzling mystery will shock and delight you. (May, 320 pp., $24.95)

Reviewed by: 
Toby Bromberg